“Text me” is a phrase all mobile users are very familiar with by now. But plenty of smartphone users aren’t satisfied with their inflated cap plans, texting still costs too much, simply because it’s costs anything at all.

Smartphone app texting programs are all the rage right now, you’ve probably got one on your own phone, or the person sitting next to you does. Programs like WhatsApp and GroupMe let you message friends around the world with instant notifications straight to their phones, just like a text, for free.

Just like all new social media trends where small companies have great success with a fresh idea, Facebook wants in and will challenge to be the market leader. They are launching a standalone app called Facebook Messenger. It makes sense, people with Facebook profiles generally have most of their physical friends locked in as electronic friends too, so don’t have to create a slew of new contacts for a messaging service.

It basically works the same as the message service within Facebook at the moment, but Facebook clearly reckons that if the app is its own entity, people will use it more.

What does it mean for marketers? Nothing yet. Facebook will surely be considering ways to make the investment get a return. However, Facebook Places hasn’t killed FourSquare like was widely predicted, although FourSquare hasn’t exactly set the world on fire either, and they haven’t taken up many of the marketing opportunities location-based services offers. So rather than a quick way to make cash, Facebook’s move into messaging apps is also probably part of the larger strategy to make Facebook to make the go-to and one and only portal for living life online, and, now, on your phone.



BY Brendan Lawley ON 11 August 2011