Messaging is the new social media. Families now use WhatsApp instead of Facebook. Millennials and teenagers, eye-candy of the “social media” companies, have shunned Facebook for more conversational platforms like Snapchat and Instagram (especially its Direct Messaging feature). Facebook’s acquisition of WhatsApp was the coming-of-age moment of this trend.
It’s no coincidence, then, that the very companies that proclaimed themselves within the social media bracket are now eager to shed that tag.
Snapchat (now Snap Inc) has been striving to shed its image of ‘just another social network’ that failed to mature beyond its core use. Rather than being labelled a platform, Snapchat is projecting itself as a camera company.
Mission statements across Snap inc’s job listings now read as follows: “We believe that reinventing the camera represents our greatest opportunity to improve the way people live and communicate”.
Twitter is changing the way it acknowledges itself before the public; now marketing itself as a news service. In a memo sent to Twitter staff (October, 2016), CEO Jack Dorsey called the service the “People’s News Network.”
These reforms have also offset parallel changes as to how businesses now perceive social media for building their brands; shifting from publishing to conversations as they look to engage both potential and existing consumers.Companies need to consider how they talk ‘with’ customers, and not ‘to’ them.
Facebook, having anticipated this paradigm shift, has stayed ahead of the curve by integrating business elements across its leading product, Messenger. With over 900 million people using the product globally (by company estimates), Facebook has launched Messenger Platform, where companies can provide services integrated in the product (Messenger), enhancing the conversation experience of their customers.
Additionally, Messenger Platform gives businesses as well as developers liberty to embed additional UI elements inside the consumer and user threads; be it intent capture or even receipts, shipping notifications and flight updates. But even then, the most important takeaway is that businesses can initiate post-transaction conversations with their customers.