Facebook Messenger is the next great technology platform. A lot of prominent tech investors and entrepreneurs recognize this - including Snapchat seed investor Jeremy Liew - who recently penned a piece on Medium describing the type of company that will succeed in the Facebook chatbot gold rush.
I decided to dig in a bit further and had the chance to catch up with Stan Chudnovksy, who is the Head of Product for Facebook Messenger. Below are some of my main takeaways, including some thoughts on what companies should be doing now to take advantage of the Messenger platform.
Takeaway 1: The Vision for Messenger is Huge
When I spoke to Chudnovsky about the product vision for Messenger, his enthusiasm was understandably unbridled. "The way people communicate with each other is rapidly changing. We want to totally reinvent that experience. Everything from the way people send audio streams and video streams to how users think about the camera - we are thinking about product that will address all of this," said Chudnovsky.
Indeed it appears as though Facebook has thought about a lot of details that are pretty non-obvious. Facebook has even built product to address the large portion of the world on older phones, so they don't have to make tradeoffs between whether to save space on their smart phone, or take a picture.
Takeway 2: The Business Platform Extends Well Beyond "Chatbots"
Everyone in the media is talking about "bots" and how they will affect commerce, and basic interactions with your favorite businesses. But Facebook is thinking well beyond the bot. Said Chudnovsky "If you are a small business already advertising on newsfeed, we feel we can make that experience more valuable for you. Instead of opening windows to non-mobile sites, for example, you can wrap your own website into Messenger threads. You can personalize the experience more to users and make it more valuable for both sides."
Takeway 3: If You Run Any Sort of Commerce Site, You Should Be Thinking of a Messenger Strategy Now
My biggest takeaway, and what every business should be thinking about now, is how to enable commerce through Facebook Messenger. Facebook now enables payments through the Messenger platform. This is something anyone who runs any sort of commerce through the web, or mobile web should be thinking about immediately. Facebook Messenger reaches over a Billion people - it's not out of the realm of possibility that we start seeing multiple billion dollar standalone companies built on the Facebook Messenger platform.