Miruna Codeanu

Facebook vs Skype

In Uncategorized on July 29, 2014 at 6:51 am

Facebook’s new messaging app. This is the second time in the last 6 months this news is a headline. This time it seems they’re actually doing it. Here’s the statement Business Insider received from Facebook:

“In the next few days, we’re continuing to notify more people that if they want to send and receive Facebook messages, they’ll need to download the Messenger app. As we’ve said, our goal is to focus development efforts on making Messenger the best mobile messaging experience possible and avoid the confusion of having separate Facebook mobile messaging experiences. Messenger is used by more than 200 million people every month, and we’ll keep working to make it an even more engaging way to connect with people.”

This Facebook step raised my eyebrow from the very beginning. A Facebook spokeswoman affirmed the company’s purpose is to make Messenger the best mobile service for messaging, also avoid confusion that might rise from having the Facebook app do the same thing. May I remind you there’s a third app Facebook owns that does the same thing, quite a popular one. It’s called Whatsapp, and Facebook paid an impressive amount of money and Facebook shares for it. From having 3 apps doing the same thing, Facebook will have 2 apps doing the same thing: online mobile messaging.

I’ve been using Whatsapp for some time now. Whatsapp survived the lifetime  3 mobile phones. I don’t remember what is that made Whatsapp so appealing in the first place. It was probably the very simple design, enabling one to send messages and photos to friends or groups of friends. I guess it was the groups feature that made Whatsapp so attractive. We were probably texting more over groups than to individual users. I probably still do. At least one group for each group of friends, or maybe 5 groups, some of them very similar to Pinterest folders. Probably this is what makes Whatsapp attractive. Messenger is much more chaotic. For some reason, I can’t see texting as a core for Facebook’s Messenger. The direction for its development makes more than internet based mobile texting: voice calls and video calls.

Eliminating Facebook’s app ability to send messages, Facebook will now have 2 apps with almost same abilities: texting. When Facebook bought Whatsapp there were voices saying the reason behind this acquisition is Facebook’s strategy to eliminate competition. Facebook denied. Customers and humans, in general don’t like abrupt changes. If Facebook had killed Whatsapp from the beginning, Whatsapp’s users would be running to some other service doing the same thing, not necessarily Facebook. Facebook Messenger also allows one to make free voice calls or video calls and it’s pretty good. Better than Viber with which, no matter how good our signals are (4G) I’ve never managed to have a decent non delayed conversation. While Skype is kind of last year and Gtalk has the same problems as Viber. Even some of my friends who are not really into Facebook use Messenger for voice or video calls and to texts, we have Whatsapp.

Mesenger is no Whatsapp’s competition. Messenger might be actually aiming Skype and other alike services, although last week Skype launched a killer feature: instant translation.

Now, honestly, this seems a bit useless. Why would be you talking to someone you couldn’t previously communicate? Or maybe I see endless use for erotic video chatting with girls and boys from third world countries that cannot properly articulate an international language. Although, people involved in this activity usually can use some basic words for their job. Going back to Messenger versus Skype and Viber. Messenger’s biggest competitor, by the direction Messanger is heading is Skype, not Whatsapp or any other interned based texting app.

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