Facebook’s latest test brings back in-app messaging

Facebook’s latest test brings back in-app messaging

Image sources: Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto/Getty Images

Facebook CEO Tom Alison announced today that the company is testing whether users can access their Messenger inbox within the Facebook app. In 2016, Facebook removed messaging capabilities from its mobile web app to direct people to the Messenger app, angering many users.

The company is now testing a reversal of that decision. In a blog post, Alison said the social network is currently testing this change and noted that Facebook plans to expand the test soon. The change comes as Facebook and other Meta-owned platforms look to compete with TikTok.

“In the coming year, we’ll be developing more ways to integrate messaging features into Facebook,” Alison said in the blog post. “Ultimately, we want to make it easy and convenient for people to connect and share, whether in Messenger or directly within Facebook.”

Over the past year, Facebook has moved away from focusing on apps for close friends and family, instead positioning itself as a discovery platform. Last June, the social network revamped its “Home” feed to improve content discovery. At the time, Facebook said the Home feed would act as a discovery engine for users to find new content and creators through algorithmic recommendations.

The move signaled Meta’s continued desire to pursue its biggest threat, TikTok. Given Facebook’s focus on being a discovery engine, it’s no surprise that it wants to bring back in-app messaging. This allows you to appear as a place where users can directly discuss your content after discovering it. Alison notes that it’s important for Facebook to make it easy for people to share what they’ve discovered on Facebook via messaging without having to switch to another app. Since TikTok shows its users new content and allows them to discuss it through DMs, Facebook probably thinks it needs to do the same to compete with it.

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As part of today’s announcement, Alison said that Facebook is off to a great start this year and that the social network is “booming”.

“Contrary to other reports, Facebook is not dead or dying, it is actually alive and thriving with 2 billion daily active users,” Alison wrote. “People use Facebook not only to connect with friends and family, but also to discover and engage with what matters most to them.”

In its fourth-quarter earnings report last month, the company reported fourth-quarter revenue of $32.17 billion, beating estimates, though still down 4% year-over-year and its third-quarter decline. But the stock soared after its earnings beat, thanks to Meta’s promises of “one year of efficiency” and the neglect of the metaverse in favor of AI work.

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