Last year, Brian Solis wrote that "Facebook evolves from social network to social ecosystem." The 2015 edition of F8 went a step forward, with a preview of the next generation of social networks, opening a new frontier between an intricate impact of our real-life relationships, and our private digital secrecies. WeChat was probably ahead of the curve in 2013; Facebook is now bringing their own assets to the logic shaped within this new type of messenger app. Again proving that if the blue network keeps rocking the world, it's because it grows with its communities, subtly educating them and introducing change without shocking them too much.
Businesses on Messenger: on-demand transactional relationships
The general idea is to bring businesses on Messenger with the goal of enhancing how people and businesses communicate and interact on the platform. A smart idea to keep order and shipping updates for example, but also to interact with live sales. In other words, instead of splitting relationships (my favorite pizzaiolo) and transactions (paying at the cashier), the two stages merge. A tremendous set of opportunities will rise for businesses, who won't have a choice but to secure internal digital champions, and for the consumers, who won't have access to the same level of service if they don't connect.
The Netflix logic of on-demand satisfaction is therefore entering any single good or service industry.
From a social network as a "destination" to the permanent social logging.
Facebook understood that we're increasingly uninterested to "go" on a website to get access to the value of the network. Surprisingly enough, we still think that we're somehow protected, or in a private space on messenger services. Facebook introduced App Invites: the idea is to share the apps users like, with friends in a private way (link, or object, we don't yet the final rendering...). That's massive news as most of the viral organic effects up until now, happened through notifications (perceived as spam, thank you Candy Crush) or through sharing things on walls. It's now a whole new ecosystem in which brands will have a chance to precisely target users in their very own private gardens (their messenger app) while not looking too intrusive.
Parse: home and brick & mortar places as the best social interfaces?
According to Gartner, "by 2022, the average household could have up to 500 connected devices".
This is a massive opportunity for Facebook to try and connect the dots between the pervasive and permanent social interactions happening on its ecosystem - and the objects in real life. Manufacturers (ie: Samsung) and Google are trying to be the leaders in the future home. Facebook might look a bit defensive at first sight, but as the tangible world is now adopting the digital business logics, it will likely be down to one app to make the difference.