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Facebook's future could include app consolidation

Matt Kapko | April 6, 2015
Facebook CEO and cofounder Mark Zuckerberg has been on a mission to unbundle the company's many services and expand far beyond the single application that transformed it into the largest media platform that's ever existed. Zuckerberg says the changes represent an evolution in Facebook's approach to how it connects people around the world.

He says the WhatsApp icon on his phone is his "tunnel to a very particular group of people that I communicate with incessantly." His connections and conversations are Messenger are equally distinct. The different apps will, and should, remain autonomous for as long as people come to them to reach different people, engage in specialized communications or share and seek unique objectives, according to Krieger.

Platforms could merge when time is right

Marcus, the head of Facebook's Messenger platform, says the strategy and implementation of third-party development on Messenger is an indication of how each app in Facebook's family stands on its own.

"I think the way we did platform is to not bloat the app," he says. "[W]e could have built a lot of those capabilities into Messenger, but it would have made it slower and less reliable and bloated, and we don't want that. Since the experience happens in their apps and not inside of Messenger, we can have the best of both worlds by doing it this way."

If Facebook's plan for a family of apps stays constant it will be because users embrace these differences and have no interest in seeing Facebook become an all-encompassing platform that tries to be everything to everyone.

WhatsApp, Instagram and Messenger serve different roles and audiences today, but if those lines begin to blur Facebook will almost certainly fuse themselves together, in what will be one more profound shift that could redefine how people and businesses communicate in the digital age.


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