Change. It’s never easy, but it’s always inevitable.
As a tech company, change is something we deal with a lot. It’s the core of our business. And we’ve learned that when there is a major industry change, the truly important questions don’t usually revolve around the technical details of the change, but rather the reason for the change and the direction that change will take us.
A good example of this are the many changes that have taken place with Facebook this year.
Most notable were the extraction of the Facebook Messenger platform from the parent mobile app, and the launch of Facebook Paper. We heard a lot of grumbling about the migration of messaging and a fairly lackluster interest in the Paper app, but both of these changes show a significant and wise move for Facebook. When a company that large and powerful moves in a particular direction it’s important to take note, even if the methods don’t make much sense — at first.
It’s all about mobile
It’s important to note that the big changes mentioned above have to do with mobile apps. From Facebook’s perspective, they need to be ahead of the game when it comes to social media apps. In order to learn what works the best, they are going to need more than one variable to work with. So let’s take a look at these new Facebook apps, not from an operational standpoint, but rather from the aspect of what the social media giant might expect to accomplish with them.
The Facebook Messenger app
“Why, Facebook? Why do we have to use a completely different app to message our Facebook friends?”
If you haven’t been expressing a similar sentiment, you’ve undoubtedly heard it from others. Another thing that we all constantly complain about is the Facebook app crashing. If you think about it, that app has a lot going on. Removing the messaging platform undoubtedly helps, and possibly gives Facebook the freedom to develop more features in both apps. And there is another upside for Facebook: More apps mean more ad revenue.
The Facebook Paper app
If you haven’t tried the new Paper app, we highly suggest you give it a spin. The first thing that will probably strike you is how dated the original Facebook interface is — not just on the Facebook app, but on the website as well. Paper is Facebook for 2015. It is so radically different and easy to use, you really can’t complain about change here; nothing is the same! And we should mention that there is another bonus to using Paper: Messaging is included in the app — at least for now.
The bottom line here is that Facebook is an aging brand with a customer base that is highly resistant to change. On one hand, this is a sign of Facebook’s success; on the other, this is a dangerous place for a tech company to be. By dabbling with mobile apps, Facebook can learn about not only how to serve users better, but also how to stay ahead of the social media game and the great shift to a mobile Internet. Change is inevitable, and Facebook knows it.