Thoughts on the go — Messaging as a platform

Today, Facebook will announce Messenger as a platform. And shortly thereafter, Google will likely follow suit. A few quick thoughts around what a platform built upon messaging could look like…

  1. Foundation : 1:1 and group chats. Everyone in the space has this covered.

2. Strengthen the base : Make the core experience better. Done in-house, and involves —

(a) seamless sync across multi devices : mobile, desktop, smartwatches. Let me switch devices and continue where I left off.

(b) device appropriate experiences : glanceable + voice driven on the smart watch, natively on the desktop

(c) parse the conversations to extract metadata/intent that can be use to drive ‘apps’

(d) provide an ability for the ‘apps’ to inject content and have an inline conversation with (translated into appropriate format depending on device being used) one or all of the participants

(e) help users manage communications better — act, prioritize, filter, share state with others — builds a better core experience and translates to stickiness.

3. Build native services to strengthen the core and leverage existing products—free P2P payments is a great way to collect payment info that can be leveraged to facilitate commerce via 3rd party services. Facebook & Snapchat are already doing this, and Google, with Wallet, will likely follow suit soon. Google could build in App store discovery driven off of conversations.

4. Open up to 3rd party services that can add inline content, driven by metadata / conversation intent. Example verticals :

(a) Productivity : Scheduling Appointments / Reminders (calendar apps), Directions / Maps / ETA (Maps apps)

(b) Local search : Nearby restaurants (Yelp, 4SQ) & Quick bookings