Messenger is just the tip of the iceberg: more Facebook apps coming soon

By , Jan 16, 2014

Mark Zuckerberg (image 001)

Excluding Instagram, the social networking giant Facebook currently counts five iPhone and iPad apps in the App Store: in addition to the main Facebook client and the recently revamped Messenger, there’s also Pages Manager, Camera and Poke, the latter an ill-fated attempt to counter the rising popularity of “disappear” apps like Snapchat.

They’re all available free of charge but only the main Facebook app and the new Messenger have managed to pick up steam.

Pages Manager is somewhat useful for those who manage Pages on Facebook, Camera was quickly forgotten and Poke was a joke to begin with. Not content with standing still, Facebook is seemingly reading a host of standalone native apps on mobile this year.

These apparently include a Flipboard-killer said to use summarization technologies to deliver a sharply focused news-reading experience, among a few others…

Mark Zuckerberg said in an earnings call two weeks after the new Messenger launched that “we expect to develop more of these services to help people share” and The Verge has learned that Facebook this year wants to “produce a number of slick, standalone apps designed for mobile”.

The publication speculated as to what these apps might be:

Reader – Zuckerberg made it no secret that he wants Facebook to become a “personalized newspaper” of sorts and AllThingsD claimed the app would include functionality similar to that of Pocket and Instapaper.

Saved-Apps-SideBar

There will also be a button in the web interface attached next to News Feed stories allowing you to save stories and access them later via a user’s Facebook apps menu. A Re/code report earlier this week reiterated that such a feature is in the works and up for an announcement later in January.

Open Graph SearchFacebook rolled out a new Graph Search tool to the web interface a year ago and it’s still nowhere to be found on mobile. The feature taps Facebook’s vast database to enable interesting searches such as ‘photos with me and Jane in 2013′, ‘friends who like iDownloadBlog’, ‘Sushi restaurants my friends like’ and some such.

Rumor has it Facebook’s been testing an iPhone client with Graph Search enabled, but so far nothing. Maybe a standalone Graph Search app is in the works instead?

Calendar – And why not? That’s how Google created a platform around iOS, by releasing core apps for the iPhone and iPad such as Gmail, Search and Google+, in addition to Google Play Books, Music and Movies storefronts.

Facebook Events are popular for remembering people’s birthdays and apps like Sunrise Calendar indicate there’s demand so a nicely done dedicated app could prove popular.

I’d also add the following:

Wallet – This could be huge. Facebook already has a payment platform that gets mostly used to buy virtual gifts in Facebook games. Given the 1+ billion installed user base, the brand power and Facebook’s sheer reach, a payment solution of sorts could go a long way toward establishing Facebook as a major player in this space.

Facebook Trending (web screenshot 001)

In other Facebook news, the company just unveiled a new Twitter-like feature which puts talked about topics inside a new Trending section in the top right corner of your News Feed. As depicted above, these include hot TV shows, events and articles shared by your friends and Pages and public figures you follow.

The feature is currently rolling out on the web in select countries and Facebook says that “we are going to continue to test on mobile”.

Zuckerberg will appear – for the first time – at the Mobile World Congress next month. He’ll be attending the industry show for a good reason so announcing a 2014 new mobile strategy alongside a host of new native apps sounds plausible, don’t you think?

If these are designed as nicely as Messenger, I’ll be giving them a shot for sure. In the meantime, I just want an iPhone client with that gorgeous, clean Messenger design and Open Graph Search.

You?

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  • Chris Kenworthy

    Long time ago there were rumours about a Facebook OS for mobile… considering all the other start-up OS’s around like Mozilla’s new Firefox phone/OS, it probably wouldn’t be such a bad idea to release a Facebook phone/OS…

    • Norbi Whitney

      You know it wasn’t just a rumour?
      It came out, and fell flat on its arse.

      • ConduciveMammal

        Haha yeah, it was in the news for all of about 2 weeks then dissipated into the clouds

  • Framboogle

    Do we even want this?

    • CollegiateLad

      Nope!

    • Jason Baroni

      Actually Facebook apps could be handy for some users. I can talk by myself: all my friends birthdays are only on Facebook and with an separeted calendar app I can view every date on it with no need to sync the contacts on there with my iPhone.

      A “Game Center” could be huge for Facebook too. Guys have a huge addicted users to their games, and it could have some attentions on a wallet app too.
      I cannot talk about every people, but in my country and actually on my friends network I have a bunch of people using these sort of applications on Facebook.
      We are talking about people. We never know how the market can react over it.

  • Willie

    Maybe Facebook will release a search engine and a video app service and music streaming service and the list goes on….

  • Gucciipad

    Got rid of FB long ago. The privacy sucks.

    • Jason Baroni

      I couldn’t agree more. Facebook is not only about connecting, but it strongly stands for sharing. I cannot understand why do you have to share stuff all the time like locations and what you just you liked… I mean, if there is a “share” button why people are able to see also what you just liked or comment? Man, it sucks. It shows how many minutes passed after you closed the chat app… like seriously?! I hope they don’t suck Instagram on this way…

    • 123bob

      I never got it!

  • on3simpleclick

    Zuckerberg is a wanker.

    • Guest

      whats a wanker

      • Ninja Banana

        lol

  • ConduciveMammal

    I’ve just got the new trending section and yet I still see nothing of Graph. Can’t find it anywhere.

    In other news, if you use Flex to enable Employee Settings within the app, graph search has it’s own section, however, I’ve yet to get it to work.

  • Scott Curry

    Grammar nazi: I think you meant Facebook is readying…not reading. Just to help out :)

  • Mohammad Ridwan

    Meh.. Messenger is unnecessary.I can do messaging from the fb app.Instagram is not so cool now. Poke was a fail.. You are a one hit guy zuck. Stick to facebook.

  • https://www.facebook.com/LP.lyrics.video Ghaith Al Hami

    i hope they make something good

  • Linton Findlay

    i dont even use messenger, doesnt make sence to me to make me move to another app to just talk to someone then go back to the facebook app to look at the newsfeed

  • Polo

    Mark Zuckerberg, must be sleeping os stacks and stacks and stacks…