On August 10th, Facebook introduced it’s new Messenger app for 3G and 4G Android Phone models plus the Apple iPhone. Smartphone users have been able to use Facebook’s messenger function via the popular Facebook app for Android and iPhone for sometime, but now they’ll be able to access the messenger exclusively through an easy flick of the finger. The ease in which it has now become to send a Facebook message is matched to that of the traditional text message. In addition, the Facebook Messenger app lets users send photos with their messages along with location coordinates and other information lacking in traditional SMS service.
This has industry experts wondering if the age of the text message is coming to a close. Facebook certainly hopes so and has the full intention of replacing SMS service, which currently consists of carriers operating their own in-house collection of data. To Facebook, typical text messages inhibit users from being able to fully express themselves to each other through instant text-based communication. They represent an archaic mode of transferring information, a mode with an existence that’s getting harder to justify in light of superior technology.
At the same time, however, the only way Facebook will succeed in taking over the role of text messaging is through the industry that commands text messaging. The only way the social network company can conceivably overcome such an obstacle is to either convince carriers they can make as much profit from losing SMS as they do keeping it around, or starting their own phone service.
Considering that Facebook has recently announced plans to release “products” the idea that they could try and outmaneuver the phone industry completely isn’t outside the realm of possibility. Especially when you consider the mountain of capital and sky of possibility available to Facebook right now.
In the meantime, Facebook is likely very focused on just letting people start to prefer the Facebook Messenger app over texting on their own. It’s been said that one of the biggest things going for it is the ability for text messaging addicts to cut the costs of their monthly phone bill down by using the app. However, since data usage is no longer optioned with a flat-rate fee, the savings might be less than what you would be led to believe.
Text messaging is a means to an end. That end – dispensing information to associates – can be replaced with a multitude of various methods of communication. Judging by how influential Facebook is in the lives of people the world over, there’s probably little point in SMS-profiteers fearing competition from anyone else.