Facebook: What’s Next For Messenger?

Summary

  • FB’s introduction of payment in FB Messenger suggests that it will be the leading mobile communication platform for FB.
  • WhatsApp will be increasingly irrelevant as FB is most likely to convert WhatsApp users into FBM users.
  • Expect further service offerings to include dining, travel, wireless services, taxis, etc to be added to the FBM ecosystem.

FB’s introduction of payment in FB Messenger rather than in WhatsApp is a clear indication that FB Messenger will be the leading mobile communication platform for FB and that WhatsApp users will eventually be migrated to the FB Messenger platform with the goal of driving FB penetration higher. This suggests that FB’s acquisition of WhatsApp is purely for user acquisition and a defensive move against the emerging Asian mobile communication peers.

At the time of the acquisition, it was apparent that FB was falling behind the mobile communication/social networking trend and it was critical for FB to gain a presence in this space. WhatsApp’s acquisition provided FB with the user base and the time for it to formulate a plan to counter the Asian threat, and this justifies the premium FB paid for WhatsApp at around $42 per user when peers are valued at roughly half of that.

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