Facebook Messenger has the makings of being a huge success. It started as an in-app no cost way to text and share with your friends and family. You could even call someone! But now, a few years down the line, even Facebook’s head of Messenger, David Marcus, admits things have gotten out of control.
First, Messenger was spun out into its own separate app. Then, Facebook tried to add as many elements and features as possible to make Messenger even more appealing. That’s a move that, Marcus admitted last week, got away from them. In less than four years, the additions to Messenger include self-contained games, customer service live chat bots, payments to and from other users and, of course, ads in message feeds. Messenger became so weighed down that a Lite version was introduced, although it was for Android only. That move was designed so users in developing countries with limited internet could still use the app. It became the preferred version for many Western users, too, because of its streamlined appearance.
Facebook now says—without offering any real specifics – that they are going to look for ways to clean up and speed up Messenger in 2018.
But why should you and your credit union care?
There are 5 key takeaways from Marcus’ note:
- The job is never done. Of course a website and app are going to constantly evolve to stay relevant. The same is true of any credit union or community bank that wants to continue to bring in new members.
- Know when you’ve gone too far. This may seem counter to the first point but it is actually a key follow up to it instead. Adding user and member products and services is great. And if a little is good, a lot is better, right? Not always. Facebook is a humongous worldwide company/phenomenon that has over 2 billion active monthly users and 1.3 billion monthly Messenger users†. They could just keep moving along and adding more features and revenue streams because who is going to stop them? But they have the ability to look at themselves and recognize when things are no longer good for the user. Have you done that recently with your member features?
- Be aware of your what your competition is doing but don’t let it derail your plan. Snapchat Stories are extremely popular. It only stood to reason that Messenger’s story feature would be, too. But it turned out to be one more (fairly clunky) addition to an app that was already laden with options. In late 2017, the feature rolled into Facebook’s parent story feature. It just wasn’t something Messenger needed and they couldn’t replicate Snapchat’s success with it.
- Expect Facebook Messenger to become an added communication stream for your credit union. In a recent study, Facebook found that 56% of people would rather message a business than call it and 67% say they expect to use messaging even more over the next couple of years.* That means having someone ready who can speak for you in a positive, friendly, informative voice is going to soon become a necessity in your business model.
- From an advertiser standpoint, Facebook cleaning up Messenger means your ads will be more prominent for users. There are also going to be new ways for members and potential members to engage with your marketing message. That’s always a good thing!
Want to talk more about Facebook, Messenger or how to get those videos to stop playing on your phone when you’ve clicked out of them (hint, swipe down and right), our Digital Director, Marne, is here! Get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.