What Facebook Messenger says about Facebook’s strategy

Some are saying that Facebook is on the defensive in reaction to the release of Google+.

Google+, the social network to rule them all, the replacement for Twitter and Facebook in one.

Early reports laud G+ as the best thing ever, or, conversely, the next Google Wave.

Sure, Facebook has offered some immediate changes – like the topic-sorted wall posts. But, suppose it does have more up its sleeve?

Take Facebook Messenger, aka, a re-branded Beluga, as an example. Now, I have two Facebook apps on my home screen. What is the point? Why give me an extra app to do something that I could already do? Isn’t it the same as Facebook chat, which is already functional in my Facebook app?

For the record, the Facebook iPhone app is shitty. It doesn’t always tell me when I have updates, it freezes, it is undependable. I would never trust it to keep me in touch with friends. “My Facebook app didn’t tell me you replied…” is not an acceptable excuse in my book.

Facebook Messenger, on the other hand, works as seamlessly as BlackBerry Messenger did, from what I remember (minus the so-and-so is writing and read/not read functionality). This is a replacement for texting.

This is especially good news, as I have a friend who won’t pay the extra $10 for unlimited texting and tells me when I’ve hit my quota 🙁

So, this isn’t another Facebook app – it is a texting app – and it comes pre-developed with all my friends in it. No more “I dropped my phone, please text me your phone number” Facebook events and groups from old acquaintances.

But let’s look at the big picture.

Google started with a number of applications – Maps, Search, Documents, Mail. With G+, they’re rolling it all into one, one place to rule all of your stuff. The social network of social networks.

Facebook began with a social network, and perhaps, they are expanding outward – the opposite of Google. What if Facebook Places became a separate app? To dramatize with a longshot – what if Facebook made Facebook Maps? Every place you’ve checked in, every friend who lists their address, is saved. That would save me some time.

Start watching for Facebook Mini-Coopers with cameras, mapping your neighborhood.