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Facebook is Unbundling

When looking at the marketplace many companies decide to bundle their goods; a strategic decision made by the company to enhance the sales and use of their products. Microsoft Word, Powerpoint, Excel etc, for example, are bundled together into Microsoft Office and sold as a group. In the case of Facebook the company has been trying to unbundle the services that have been built up on their website over the years. Most recently, Facebook has plotted to take over the lives of their users even more by disabling the message feature within their original iPhone and Android application. Thus, forcing you to download their separate Messenger app in order to employ that capability of Facebook, despite their recent acquisition of WhatsApp, another popular, standalone messaging service. facebook-messenger-voip-us-624x351

This has become a major controversy and many people, myself included, are worried about the privacy policies for this new app which has caused some to forgo Facebook messaging on their phone altogether. What is troubling is that the Messenger application requires access to your camera and microphone as well as all your phone contacts. I have even heard rumors that you must give the app permission to call text or message anyone from your facebook friends or phone contact list. This really has people freaked out and although these claims are hyperbolic of their actual policies, the truth is not always what a consumer makes a decision on.

It makes sense: users often change their minds about whether they want generalization or specialization for all their social media needs and Facebook is hedging their bets to keep up with what consumers want, or what they don’t know they want now, but will in the future.

Leaked screenshots of what the new payment capability will look like within the Facebook Messenger app
Leaked screenshots of what the new payment capability will look like within the Facebook Messenger app

What is most interesting, however, is information that has just surfaced recently stating that Facebook may have required you to download it not only as a precaution to unbundle their services but because they are rolling out a new service. The Facebook messenger services are being tested to be used as a proxy for a new mobile payment system to rival products such as Paypal and Venmo. These apps work as a easy payment systems between friends and acquaintances and Facebook is apparently looking to get into the payment market as well, tying it in as another form of social connections.

So although Facebook users are skeptical of the new Messenger app, millions have downloaded it anyway, a result of Facebook’s cult like following, and users may be pleased with the new capabilities of this app in the future.

One Comment

  1. Setting up a new platform to facilitate rolling out cell phone based emoney certainly makes sense (or is it cents?). You can already find such systems in many markets outside the US, at least for small purchases (train fares, newspaper-tobacco kiosks, vending machines).

    We can also ask whether the current structure is the most profitable. If having FB bundled with Messenger does not increase the use of FB – everyone who uses Messenger also uses Facebook, but not everyone who uses FB uses Messenger – then profits won’t fall if you unbundle. Instead, you might be able to create a separate advertising or revenue platform

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