Stan Chudnovski from Facebook
Horatio Vilalobos Corbis | Getty Images
Acceptance of Facebook interoperability between Messenger and Instagram is ahead of expectations, according to the CEO who runs the Messenger business.
“We beat our expectations in terms of how fast and how many people are upgrading,”
In particular, the company told CNBC that more than 60% of eligible Instagram users have updated the new experience, which allows them to exchange messages with people in Messenger. This is the first time Facebook has provided a figure for the acceptance rate of the update.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in March 2019 announced plans to allow messaging between apps, Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp. From Facebook’s point of view, allowing people to exchange messages between apps removes a point of friction – the idea that not everyone knows which app to use – which increases message usage. Today, however, Facebook doesn’t make much money from advertising in its messaging apps.
Facebook began spreading communication between apps between Messenger and Instagram users in September 2020, but is still far from integrating WhatsApp into the mix. Before that happens, Facebook will need to build end-to-end encryption in Messenger, as WhatsApp already has this feature. This update will not be completed until 2022, according to a Facebook spokesman.
Facebook no longer makes data on the use of each application individually, but in 2017 the company said that Messenger has more than 1.3 billion users per month, in 2018 it said that Instagram has over 1 billion, and in 2020. WhatsApp has more than 2 billion users.
The adoption of Instagram and Messenger has boosted confidence in Chudnovski and his team as they build interoperability.
“The fact that people are upgrading at the speed they are upgrading on Instagram suggests that our thesis was true and that people are definitely taking advantage of the convenience,” Chudnowski said.
Facebook says that according to its research, 70% of Americans use three or more messaging applications. One-third of these users have a hard time remembering where certain conversation threads are, according to Facebook. That’s why the company says it builds communication between applications.
“A huge percentage of them really don’t know where to go to talk to a particular person,” he said. “As a result, you just send fewer messages.”
Facebook Messenger could serve more users if Apple opens its iOS ecosystem to allow iPhone users to choose their default messaging apps, Chudnowski said.
“As far as messaging apps are concerned, we’re very pro-choice in terms of people having to be able to choose which particular app is their phone’s default app so that their preferences are actually respected,” he said. he.
IPhone users currently need to use the company’s iMessage app to send text messages to their friends. This contrasts with Google’s Android operating system, which allows users to set other messaging services, including Facebook’s Messenger, as the default text messaging app.
IPhone users who prefer Messenger to Apple’s iMessage app “are at a disadvantage because they can’t change that by default and have to stay with what Apple wants them to use,” Chudnowski said.
“We don’t necessarily think it has to be that way, but we try to play within the rules of the ecosystem and we have to follow whatever rules the platforms impose on us, even though we think it puts people at a disadvantage,” he said. said.