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Facebook Messenger leader Stan Chudnovsky on interoperability advances

Stan Chudnovsky from Facebook

Horacio Villalobos | Corbis | Getty Images

Adoption of Facebook’s interoperability between Messenger and Instagram is, according to expectations, according to the management that runs the Messenger company.

“We live up to our expectations in terms of how fast and how many people upgrade,”

; Stan Chudnovsky, Facebook’s head of Messenger, said in an interview.

Specifically, the company told CNBC that more than 60% of qualified users on Instagram have updated to the new experience, which allows them to exchange messages with people on Messenger. This is the first time Facebook has given a figure on the adoption rate of the update.

Facebook Director Mark Zuckerberg announced in March 2019 plans to allow cross-app messaging between Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp. From Facebook’s perspective, removing a friction point from letting people exchange messages across apps – the idea that not everyone knows which app to use – removes the message. However, Facebook today does not make much money on advertising in its messaging apps.

Facebook began spreading communication across apps between Messenger and Instagram users in September 2020, but is still a way away from integrating WhatsApp into the mix. Before that happens, Facebook will have to build one-to-end encryption in Messenger, as WhatsApp already has that feature. According to a Facebook spokeswoman, this update will not be completed until well into 2022.

Facebook no longer breaks consumption figures for each app individually, but in 2017 the company said Messenger had more than 1.3 billion monthly users, in 2018 it said Instagram had over 1 billion, and in 2020 it said WhatsApp had more than 2 billion users.

The adoption of Instagram and Messenger has been a boost in confidence for Chudnovsky and his team as they build interoperability.

“The fact that people are upgrading at the rate that they are upgrading on Instagram suggests that our dissertation was correct and that people are definitely buying into the convenience,” Chudnovsky said.

Facebook says that according to its surveys, 70% of Americans use three or more messaging apps. A third of these users, according to Facebook, have a hard time remembering where certain conversation threads are. This is why the company says it builds communication across apps.

“A huge percentage of them really do not know where to go to talk to a particular person,” he said. “As a result, you’re just sending smaller messages.”

Facebook’s Messenger service could serve more users if Apple opened its iOS ecosystem to allow iPhone users to choose their default messaging apps, Chudnovsky said.

“When it comes to messaging apps, we are very positive from the point of view that people should be able to choose which particular app is the default app on their phone so that their preference is actually respected,” he said.

Right now, iPhone users need to use the company’s iMessage app to text their friends. This is in contrast to Google’s Android operating system, which allows users to set other messaging services, including Facebook’s Messenger, as their default text messaging app.

“IPhone users who prefer Messenger over Apple’s iMessage app” are in a bad position because they can’t change this standard and have to stick with what Apple wants them to use, “Chudnovsky said.

“We do not necessarily feel that it should be, but we try to play within the rules of the ecosystem, and we must respect the rules that the platforms impose on us, even though we feel that it puts people in a disadvantaged situation,” says he. said.

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