The problem with Facebook Messenger and why it struggles to beat Snapchat

Facebook Messenger is an amazing product. It allows users to get in contact with anyone on the planet using their Facebook profile, Facebook username, just their name, their new Scannable Code, or if you’re old school, their phone number. Add in the ability to send money, get an Uber, send photos and videos, or any other kind of content and you have an app that destroys what a plain text message or iMessage can accomplish.

As of lately, Facebook appears to be chasing Snapchats Chat features to no tomorrow. Both apps are capable of sending cash, calling one another, sending drawn on photos, including goofy stickers in the conversation, and even video calls. But Snapchat has one thing that Facebook appears to have lost.

Context

There is currently a trend of people sharing personal updates less on Facebook, while Stories on Snapchat are experiencing exponential growth.

I am a huge advocate for Messenger. I wish I could convince my friends that Facebook wasn’t an evil company out to keep your data, and even though you “hate Facebook” you still log in to Instagram daily, that their messenger is the best messenger out there. Messenger deserves to have the text messaging market.

But Snapchat isn’t the same as a text message. Conversations in Snapchat are completely different from those in a text. They are fast, fun, and goofy comments about a photo that neither of us will see again. It’s extremely informal. It’s fun. It’s nothing that a text message is built to serve. While both apps serve as great communication tools, I could use Messenger for work. I would never consider Snapchat to be a replacement for formal communication.

Messenger and Snapchat deserve to live together in harmony, but Facebook, stop going after Snapchat. You will never be snapchat. Only Snapchat can be Snapchat.