Facebook Tuesday announced on its official blog that it is introducing a new messenger app for smartphones so that it will be easier and faster to reach someone.
Lucy Zhang wrote on the Facebook blog Tuesday: “we’re introducing Messenger, a new mobile app that simplifies how messaging works, and gives you a faster way to message friends and small groups.” Zhang explained because so many people are using mobile phones to send and receive text messages, it is sometimes hard to know the easiest and surest way to instantly contact someone. Facebook thinks “you should be able to write a message, click “Send”, and know that you will reach that person right away.”
Facebook’s new messenger app will compete with similar services provided by WhatsApp, and Blackberry Messenger (BBM), which received much attention this week because young rioters in London were able to use it to help coordinate and organize their activities by sending messages to large groups of friends.
The mobile app messenger services are a threat to the way mobile operators traditional make money because the messages are delivered over the internet so cost much less than regular SMS services, even if the text is being sent to another country. Mobile chat apps also offer extras that SMS services can not, such as photo sharing, delivery notification, and chatting in small groups.
Eighty percent of mobile messages sent by 16 year olds in the UK are sent via BBM and only 15 percent were sent via traditional SMS and 5 percent over email, according to Graham Brown with Mobile Youth consultancy. Brown said: “If it wasn’t for BBM, they would be switching to iPhone a lot quicker.” Five years the ratio was opposite: 90 percent of messages sent by this group were sent via traditional SMS.
Facebook’s new Messenger app lets users get or send messages with just one click, and Friends are more likely to see them instantly because they are sent via notifications. Mobile users can simply type their friends name to send a message and since the app is an extension of Facebook messages, any message sent will be part of Facebook’s message history with that person and the conversations will be viewable after logging in, along with any other messages sent via texts or emails.
Facebook’s mobile app also lets users have group conversations so they can communicate with everyone at once.