Instagram and Facebook Messenger Are Merging: What It Means for Marketers

This week, some Instagram and Facebook users were notified of a “new” messaging experience arriving on their smartphones. The long-awaited combining of Facebook Messenger and Instagram’s direct messages finally appears to be coming to fruition. When this initiative is complete, any Instagram, Facebook, and eventually WhatsApp user (all Facebook properties) will be able to message another user on any of these platforms from any application. It’ll be a single messaging experience for users of any Facebook property – and a massive opportunity for marketers and advertisers.

A Better User Experience

For users, this promises to be a far more fluid messaging solution. Gone will be the often clunky and mildly convoluted messaging experience on Facebook and Instagram. When the merger is complete, it will simply be a single spot for all of ones’ messages for any Facebook platform. Less friction for users could mean even more adopters onto each (and potentially all) Facebook platforms for the advantage of using the superior messaging application. If successful, this platform could become the standard way of messaging for users around the world, replacing SMS and iMessage. Think of this as network effect on steroids; or at least, that’s likely what Facebook execs are hoping for. 

Messaging Platforms and Marketing Opportunities

For marketers, however, the move could make Facebook even more lucrative. Over the years, brands have fought to get into users’ Newsfeeds, but it’s obvious that the more lucrative space is a user’s messaging inbox. The combination of the higher open rates that are inherent of messaging platforms and the ability to offer an even more personalized message to individual users makes this combined messaging initiative from Facebook a marketer’s dream come true. 

By combining messaging from Facebook, Instagram, and eventually WhatsApp, Facebook is putting its combined user base (roughly a third of the population on Earth) within marketers’ and advertisers’ reach. If you haven’t been thinking about adopting a messaging-first marketing strategy, now is certainly the time to start coming up with ideas. 

 

For more about the move, check out these great articles from The Verge and Ars Technica

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