Facebook tried (and failed) to take over the users phone when they created their own android launcher called Home.
On paper, the logic of the android launcher may have been sound, but users did not want Facebook to be “the primary” in their communications and phone usage.
Now, with the latest Facebook Messenger updates, Facebook is at it again. On the surface, the addition of their own app store directly embedded in the messenger platform seems like a simple attempt at making messages between friends more interesting. Hmm.
In their presentation they quickly glossed over the idea that is Business on Messenger. If this were to take off, it would open the door for brands to push notifications to consumers without their own app even on the users device.
The problem is, once Safari and Chrome support push notifications for mobile devices, brands won’t need Facebook to reach the consumer in that way.
In Retailing Today, the point is made that messenger can be used as a customer service platform. The reality is, brands are already doing this using Twitter direct message and through the Facebook comments. Consumers are more apt to voice their complaints in the public forums because that will help them get a resolution faster, as brands do not want to have negative conversations in the public forum. Tools may come up like Zopim that will tap into the messenger platform, but the custom live chat tools market is flooded with options for brands to interact with their customers in real time.
But here’s the deal: Facebook isn’t solving a new problem, they are struggling to stay relevant and grasping at areas with limited opportunity.
The big four, Google, Amazon, Apple and Facebook are built on platforms of innovation, celebration worthy indeed. Willing to fail, sometimes spectacularly #AppleNewton, ultimately the investments in software and time aren’t as crippling as million square foot warehouses overflowing with unmovable inventory.
The bigger issue is that the perceived convergence of technology and connectivity means that companies are constantly on collision courses, like a herd of rams which stop their forward momentum every mile to smash their heads and horns together.
In the case of Facebook’s latest folly, it will be as fleeting as the Facebook tabs that brands launched with each campaign to make sure they were able to reach their Facebook fans. Yes, along came better options with mobile devices and the days of Facebook tabs were over.
But in the world of the big four, nothing is ever truly over. Instead, they are wrapped into the perpetual growth and innovation of companies who embrace and learn from failure better than any commercial generation before it. #like