The 900m MAU Messenger Opportunity

Opening up the Facebook Messenger platform to bots is similar to 2007 when Apple opened up the iPhone to outside developers. Except the messenger platform has 900 million monthly active users (MAU) on day 1.

The Problem

The basic problem that Facebook is solving here is app overload. As our screens get more and more crowded with apps we hardly use, it is difficult to convince most users to download and use any new app. For almost any brand, an app just doesn’t make sense.

A great example of this is 1–800-Flowers.com. They spent a lot of money to build an iOS app, but it never really made sense for users to download an app just to order flowers. On the other hand, sending real flowers with a few text messages via Messenger delivers the same value, but without requiring users to install an app or call a 1–800 number.

Bots Should Be Social

The other opportunity with bots is the social nature of bots on Facebook’s Messenger platform. Unlike apps that usually don’t directly tie into social networks, any Messenger bot will be built directly on a social network. Seeing how the last crop of huge companies built on the Facebook platform came from growth hacking the shit out of Facebook, I bet that the biggest companies built on Messenger will be social at their core and drive installs from viral sharing.

There Is Still A Lot To Be Done

While opportunities abound, there are still quite a few limitations to what is possible on Messenger and other messaging platforms. The 1–800-Flowers.com app on day 1 didn’t read my address correctly. The weather bot just seemed silly. Tons of promised features for developers still aren’t working. There is clearly a lot of work yet to be done.

It will take patience and some time to figure out best practices and build out the tools necessary to build billion dollar businesses, but with close to a billion person audience, it is safe bet that this is a good time to get on the Messenger App bandwagon.

Action Items

Check out my running list of Messenger Bot Ideas for a look into what we might see on messenger in the coming year. If you are interested in learning more or building something, don’t hesitate to follow me below and/or reach out!