When it was first mentioned by TechCrunch that Facebook was officially separating the messenger capabilities from the rest of the mobile application, many thought it was a sneaky move since they opted to not do an official blog post or press release at first on the subject.
Since the article by TechCrunch, Facebook has posted updates for users to read. Yet, it wasn’t until the media got a hold of the privacy settings attached with the new Messenger app, that people felt “sneaky” wasn’t a strong enough word. Now you cannot help but to run into comments or articles online discussing either not to use the app or to remove it from your mobile device and just use the mobile web access to Facebook.
Here is a screenshot of a few of the settings. It is worth taking the time to read the rest of them. You can find them by visiting Google Play or iTunes.
But of course many are stating these are typical permissions many applications use. Whether or not users have already given up this permission or whether Facebook is going to see a strong following to the app is not really the purpose of this post.
Facebook has once again helped other app developers and publishers see what users are willing to accept as well as opinions on giving up so much access to a large data collector/marketer such as Facebook.
USA Today has already put out a list on alternative options for using Facebook Messenger.
So, what can we learn from all of this? Here are a few things businesses can keep in mind when deciding to build or update your mobile application.
- The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) may not be swift, but they are active in keeping up with could be considered harmful or a lie to consumers. Make sure complete disclosure is made to the public about what happens to the information your app has access to and how you will access it. I.e. Facebook and the FTC have already engaged in this topic before the messenger app was made to stand alone.
- How will you protect all of the data once you have it. Hackers are swift, so make sure you have the ability to protect the information before you rush to collect it.
- See what type of fallout you to could receive for collecting or accessing more data. You may not be thinking of using some of the features they intend to, but at least you have a front row seat over what happens if you do.
- Don’t just collect data for the sake of collecting data. Have a plan to utilize it fully for the benefit of the user. People mind a little less about what your app has access to if you provide convenience to their lives. For example, GPS. Everyone knows they are being tracked, but to know how to get somewhere quickly without using a physical map is a trade-off users are willing to engage in.
While Facebook Messenger’s app could succeed or it could very well fail, the big take away for other brands, app developers or publishers will be, “Is Facebook forging the way for us to do it or helping us to know not to do it?”
What do you think? Are you using some of these same features to track or collect data or your app? Will you try the messenger app?
Let me know your thoughts. They may be used in a future article.
Above Promotions is a digital marketing and public relations agency with B2C clients that promote brands in the food, fashion and family entertainment industries. We build and protect brands by creating and executing digital resources to sell products or build positive public sentiment. From a local to international market, Above Promotions Company can provide the exposure that goes above your expectations. Visit http://www.abovepromotions.com today.
Ebony T. Grimsley is the Creative Director and Owner of Above Promotions Company. She is also the author of “Because You’re Small: Effective Marketing Strategies for Immediate Implementation” which is sold on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other stores and a contributor to various media outlets.