Facebook Fails Forward With Apps ?

bigstock-Facebook-LoginIf your only experience with Facebook was through one of its many failed apps you would probably think that the company, as a whole, was a massive failure.

Of course, you would be wrong; and while the company might have introduced some ideas prematurely or simply did not find the success they expected, EMarketer analyst Debra Williamson notes, “It’s not like these apps are completely a waste of time for Facebook; But I think as standalone experiences they’ve been rather underwhelming.”

Ok, fine; but, really, how many Facebook apps actually flopped?

First of all, there is Facebook Rooms. It was designed to be an anonymous chat app like Whisper or Yik Yak that was supposed to reminisce of AOL chatrooms.

What about Poke and Slingshot? These were intended to compete with Snapchat?
Or Riff, which was supposed to be a Facebook-Camera and Video app to compete with Instagram? They did have a little more luck with a different photo-sharing app, Moments.

She also notes, “Every experiment that they’ve done, every app they’ve launched, even if they pulled it, they found some way to learn from it, and some aspect of that app is probably lurking around in some other feature. I don’t think there’s any downside to Facebook doing this kind of experimenting, I think it’s good and it’s healthy.”

And Facebook is now looking to shift their Messenger application into its own platform. The hope is to make it more like China’s WeChat, which is only one of many popular overseas messaging apps that just have not seem to take to American users so quickly.

“WeChat is kind of the gold standard for functionality and utility in an app. You can do everything from hail a taxi to pay your electric bill using WeChat, which sounds really strange,” Williamson shares. “I think the idea is to learn from the kinds of functionality and WeChat offers and see what can be built or bolted onto Messenger or WhatsApp.”

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