It is expected that by the end of next year, the Facebook Messenger application will look a whole lot different. One of the latest updates for the popular messaging application is it allows users to integrate their phone’s text messages into the app. This way, Messenger can become the default messaging app for the device. Apart from becoming a better messaging experience, this might also spell the end for phone numbers as we know it.
Facebook Messenger Might be Spelling Doom for the Phone Number
David Marcus, the Facebook messaging products’ vice president, believes that phone numbers will eventually become obsolete in terms of it being a form of communication. He said in an interview with Time magazine that chat apps will be so famous that they will be able to replace phone numbers in the future. “The real question is, in a couple of years if you will need a phone number on a business card? Or if you’ll need a business card at all for people to find you,” Marcus explained. “It’s a profound change actually, and I believe it’s really happening. People used to call your house, they didn’t call you. And so we went from calling your house, to calling your number, to calling you for real. It’s an interesting evolution,” he added.
Marcus also said that as he revealed the ambitions of Facebook for this year that by the end of 2017, Messenger “will look a whole lot different.” He speaks about the layout of the application’s inbox layout, in which it will show information such as a user’s friends’ birthdays, along with the friends that are active on Messenger at any given moment. He said the following pertaining to this notion: “We believe birthdays are actually a really important thing, especially for your close friends. Birthdays, for [most] of your friends, you’re probably more inclined to write on their Facebook page.”
But what if you might want to give your friends a message on their birthdays but do not want to disturb them by giving them a call? This is where the app’s “Active Now” feature will come in handy, as per Marcus. The feature, as opposed to texting or phone calls, the feature will ensure that your friend is available to chat if you want to talk to them.
Furthermore, the Facebook executive hinted at the possibility of rationalizing notifications. This way, the app will be able to differentiate between chats from humans versus those from chat bots. Still, Marcus explained that most of the notifications are acquired from friends. However, “If there are lots of interactions that actually notify people a lot, we can mute these notifications, or we can group them. Right now it’s not a problem, it’s a hypothetical future problem,” he explained.
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