Zuckerberg answers biggest Facebook Messenger question: Why?

Facebook has made many changes to both its web experience and its mobile apps, and a good number of them have never been popular. The latest debacle that the social networking giant has found itself in is about the forced move to a separate independent app for messaging. The company has just recently conducted its first public town hall Q&A, with Mark Zuckerberg taking the mic. And surely enough, the first question thrown at him, said to be the most popular one, is why on earth did Facebook force this change on them.

To be really honest, the separate Messenger app actually makes sense. That is, if your business actually revolved around instant messaging. From a purely app development perspective, separating the messaging capabilities of Facebook into an app of its own is actually the only way the functionality can grow without bogging down the rest of the Facebook app itself.

Even if development teams were actually separate, sooner or later the two shall meet and the single unified app would be overloaded. Of course, that all hinges on the presumption of Messenger growing on its own, which brings us to point Number 2.

BELOW: The Messenger question starts right about the 5 minute mark.


Let's face it. Instant messaging, whether it be via Facebook or any of the half dozen services around, has taken a life of its own. It is no longer simply about firing off the occasional message or two.

Just as some live inside their Facebook news feeds, some also live inside their messaging apps. And in some cases, the two groups do not really intersect. Facebook acknowledges that different types of users exist and, in order to serve those best, the only way to move forward would be to separate messaging and social networking activities into apps of their own.

That said, reasonable explanations (some might say excuses) do not alleviate the pain or discomfort of change. Zuckerberg at least admits that they have asked quite a lot from users by forcing them to switch and it will need some time and effort to mend relationships and build up trust again.

Of course, this is all presuming that it's all worth it and that the popularity of instant messaging isn't just a fad that will eventually plateau. But then again, if it does die out and Facebook would have to gimp down its Messenger, it is perhaps, in the end, wiser that it was separated as early as now, rather than force yet another invasive change on the main app.

SOURCE: Facebook