Facebook Messenger leads Stan Chudnovsky on interoperability progress
Stan Chudnovsky from Facebook
Horacio Villalobos | Corbis | Getty Images
The adoption of Facebook interoperability between Messenger and Instagram is ahead of expectations, according to the executive who runs the Messenger business.
“We are exceeding our expectations in terms of how quickly and how many people are upgrading,” Stan Chudnovsky, head of Messenger on Facebook, said in an interview.
Specifically, the company told CNBC that more than 60% of eligible users on Instagram have updated the new experience, which allows them to exchange messages with people on Messenger. This is the first time Facebook has provided a figure on the update’s adoption rate.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in March 2019 announced plans to allow cross-app messaging between Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp. From Facebook’s perspective, allowing people to exchange messages between apps removes a sticking point – the idea that not everyone knows which app to use – that increases messaging usage. However, Facebook today doesn’t make a lot of money from advertising in its messaging apps.
Facebook has started rolling out cross-app communication between Messenger and Instagram users in September 2020, but it is still a long way from integrating WhatsApp into the mix. Before that happens, Facebook will need to build end-to-end encryption into Messenger, as WhatsApp already has this feature. This update won’t be completed until well in 2022, according to a Facebook spokesperson.
Facebook no longer reports usage figures for each app individually, but in 2017 the company said Messenger has more than 1.3 billion monthly users, in 2018 he said Instagram has over a billion, and in 2020 he said that WhatsApp has over 2 billion users.
The adoption of Instagram and Messenger has boosted the confidence of Chudnovsky and his team as they develop interoperability.
“The fact that people are upgrading to the upgrade pace on Instagram suggests that our thesis was correct and that people are definitely buying in the convenience,” Chudnovsky said.
Facebook says that according to its research, 70% of Americans use three or more messaging apps. According to Facebook, a third of these users have trouble remembering where certain conversation threads are. This is why the company claims that it is in the process of developing inter-application communication.
“A large percentage of them really don’t know where to go to talk to a particular person,” he said. “As a result, you are just sending fewer messages.”
Facebook’s Messenger service could serve more users if Apple opened up its iOS ecosystem to allow iPhone users to choose their default messaging apps, Chudnovsky said.
“When it comes to messaging apps, we’re very pro-choice that people should be able to choose which particular app is the default app on their phone so that their preference is actually respected,” did he declare.
Right now, iPhone users need to use the company’s iMessage app to text their friends. This contrasts with Google’s Android operating system, which allows users to set other messaging services, including Facebook Messenger, as their default app for sending text messages.
IPhone users who prefer Messenger to Apple’s iMessage app “are at a disadvantage because they can’t change this default and they must be stuck with what Apple wants them to use,” said said Chudnovsky.
“We don’t necessarily think it should be that way, but we try to play within the rules of the ecosystem and we have to respect the rules that the platforms impose on us even though we feel it puts people at a disadvantage. “, he mentioned.