Week in a Nutshell #11

Welcome to the eleventh episode of the 'Week in a Nutshell’ series,

Competition among the live streaming mobile apps is heating up with the entry of a new player, Periscope. Also, Facebook Messenger updates during Facebook F8 event were the highlights of the last week. 

Headlines:

  1. Periscope, Twitter's answer to Meerkat-style live streaming, is now available
  2. Facebook Launches Messenger Platform For Content Tools And Chat With Businesses

Periscope, Twitter's answer to Meerkat-style live streaming, is now available

Mobile apps like Meerkat and Periscope allows you to live stream using your smartphone. This is actually not a new thing for most of the people in my home country, Turkey because back in 2013, protesters used UStream on their smartphones to live stream during Gezi Protests. In fact, Kayvon Beykpour, the co-founder of Periscope states that he was in Istanbul, Turkey at that time and saw those people using their smartphones to live stream.

Meerkat launched nearly a month ago and it became an immediate hit. You can login to Meerkat by using your Twitter account and start live streaming in 2 taps. It is as easy as that. Also, Meerkat had very strong integration with Twitter's social graph during its early days but then Meerkat became so popular and Twitter limited Meerkat's access to its social graph. This was very similar to what Twitter had done to Instagram when Instagram started to send significant traffic out of Twitter to Instagram.

Back in the days after limiting Instagram's access, Twitter responded to Instagram by launching photos filters. I believe Twitter made a similar move by acquiring Periscope, Meerkat's competitor, for $100 million last week before even it is official launched. Periscope launched on Thursday for iOS users and I think its biggest advantage against Meerkat as of today is you can actually replay and record your live streams on Periscope. I also believe having deeper integrations with Twitter social graph could give Periscope the edge over the competition with Meerkat.

Andy Warhol once said in the future everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes and thanks to apps like Meerkat and Periscope, it is becoming easier more than ever now.


Facebook Launches Messenger Platform For Content Tools And Chat With Businesses

I wrote about the positioning of Facebook Messenger in my previous post, "Week in a Nutshell #10". Facebook held their F8 event mid week and one of the announcements was about the Messenger Platform which enables 3rd party applications to integrate their product and services with Facebook Messenger. For example, while chatting with your friend on Facebook Messenger you will be able to share content from Imgur without leaving the Facebook Messenger app.

Facebook Messenger is taking a different approach compared to WeChat and Line here and it is not directly embedding those 3rd party apps within the Facebook Messenger application. If you'd like to use any of these 3rd party applications within Facebook Messenger, first you'd need to install and enable them. This makes sense as Facebook does not want to clutter Facebook Messenger with all those 3rd party applications. Users will decide which one within Facebook Messenger. I think it is the right decision as Facebook does not need a revenue sharing model at this stage for Facebook Messenger. 

Facebook also highlighted the business chat feature of the Messenger Platform and I believe this would be a great feature for businesses on Facebook. With this feature, businesses can communicate with you over Facebook Messenger to inform you about your order checkout, billing and delivery confirmation as well as customer support. Facebook has partnered with Zendesk to kickstart this effort.

Let's imagine this scenario: You liked a Facebook page of a fashion brand. Based on your demographic information, likes and interests on Facebook, this brand will be able to send you targeted messages (ads) about their new products that you might like. If you really like the product, now you will be able to purchase it without ever leaving the Facebook Messenger app thanks to the mobile payment system that Facebook introduced last week. Once you purchased the product, the fashion brand can send you updates about your order over your existing conversation in Facebook Messenger. Up until now, you would need to get all those updates about purchase and delivery confirmations to your email account but with this feature Facebook is trying to change that habit. This is a serious move.

I've seen couple of e-commerce brands in Turkey that includes WhatsApp phone numbers in their Instagram posts and accept orders over that WhatsApp number. I believe Facebook might see a significant demand for this feature from the brands in Turkey.


We came to the end of the eleventh episode of ‘Week in a Nutshell’ series. If you enjoyed this post, I'd be happy if you could comment, share, like and/or recommend it. 

Thanks,
Birkan