Facebook is taking another step towards making its users into consumers for its growing base of advertisers, by expanding its messenger service features. Bobbi Rebell reports.
Facebook is trying to turn its users into consumers. The social media company announced at its developers conference that it's converting its messenger app into a platform- which will now run apps including those of retailers. CEO Mark Zuckerberg: SOUNDBITE: MARK ZUCKERBERG, CEO, FACEBOOK (ENGLISH) SAYING: "Messenger platform is a new platform that developers can use to build apps that help people connect with the more than 600 million people who are using messenger as they communicate every day." As an example, Zuckerberg showed off a jib jab video his team created in the messenger platform. Besides sharing videos, the platform allows users to interact with apps from businesses including retailers. Forrester's Nate Elliott: SOUNDBITE: NATE ELLIOTT, PRINCIPAL ANALYST, FORRESTER (ENGLISH) SAYING: "People are becoming more willing to interact with brands and companies on Facebook. and other social sites and that is a good sign. But Facebook is trying to put together two things that people haven't necessarily shown an appetite for. The messenger app that people aren't terribly pleased with. And also shopping on Facebook is something that Facebook really wants to encourage and retailers would like to see that happen. But most people haven't really shown an appetite for shopping on Facebook either." Elliott says digital companies- including Amazon, Apple and Google- are focused on knowing what users are buying- and in some ways Facebook is playing catch-up. SOUNDBITE: NATE ELLIOTT, PRINCIPAL ANALYST, FORRESTER (ENGLISH) SAYING: "It's not enough to have people on the social networking application. they need people on mobile messaging applications as well. they need to control more of consumers' interactions with brands. Not just by clicking the like button and occasionally receiving an ad from a brand but the private interactions they have about purchases as well." More than 40 apps are already on the Facebook Messenger platform.