Facebook Messenger: What's the Big Deal?

Earlier this month (August 9 to be exact), Facebook Messenger was released for iPhones and Androids. The question is, “Why?”

I already have Facebook on my iPhone if I want to message my Facebook friends. And guess what… I can already text my friends directly from my iPhone so I’m not sure why this new app has become such a hit in the App store.

I’m giving it a good college try so here’s what I’ve got so far:

1. It’s a stand alone app so if your intent is to send/check facebook messages/chat, it eliminates TWO whole taps that are required to get you into the messaging interface on the regular Facebook app.

2. It’s refreshingly minimal. Send and receive messages like texts. Simple.

3. It gives you control over your message alerts — adjusting when and how often you are notified of new messages. You can also customize these settings for different people and conversations — a nice feature.

4. You can control whether or not to share your your location with each message. This is touted as a plus that makes it easy for a group to coordinate get together’s.

I will admit to geeking out on the latest and greatest gizmos but I just don’t get it. When I first heard about Facebook Messenger, I immediately thought that it interfaced with… my phone — as in, it takes phone numbers that my friends have in their Facebook profiles and uses that to send them SMS messages on their phones.

In fact, if I were the app development fairy, I would suggest exactly that over what they’ve got going here. Why? As it stands, even if my friends type in their phone number in a Facebook Messenger message, it doesn’t automatically become “callable” the way phone numbers do in other apps or text messaging. Along the same lines, it’s got all this geotagging going on but Messenger doesn’t interface with my map app either. If I get an address in a message, I can’t tap that into Maps? Serious?

Any phone numbers or addresses I receive can’t be added to a contact the way I can from a text.¬†And (gasp!) I can’t copy and paste?!?! Tell me why I should bother?

photo credit: Facebook Messenger

Article Posted 5 years Ago

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