Will New Facebook App Replace Text Messaging?

Facebook's new smartphone app, Facebook Messenger, allows Facebook users to text each other.  The app continues Facebook's move to replace other communications: Facebook Message, introduced in November, aims to be an email substitute. As Mark Zuckerberg said, "E-mail is too formal. . .Think of the friction of trying to think of the e-mail address and think of a subject line, write 'Hey Mom,' at the top and 'Love, Mark' at the bottom." With its capability for group texting, Facebook Messenger is also an attack on Google+.

Communication convergence may be inevitable -- at least Facebook would like it that way. According to Zuckerberg, "We are trying to make it so that people don't have to think about this stuff," Zuckerberg said. "We are trying to make sure a message doesn't go to five different channels." Facebook would like users to have all messages in one place -- a worthy goal -- but is Facebook the center of it all?

FB Messenger Discussion Starters:

  • What are the implications of Facebook Messenger for business? How do you see business people using the tool, if at all? What programs may be developed for business people in the future?
  • What is your experience with FB Messages and Messenger? In what ways do these apps save time or make messaging easier?
  • How do you assess Facebook's promise to help users avoid sending multiple messages through IM, text, and email? Do the apps help choose the best option for a message (IM, text, or email)? What are the downsides?