Next week at its F8 developer conference, Facebook will announce new ways for third parties to offer experiences through its Messenger app, according to multiple sources. Facebook hopes to make Messenger more useful, after seeing Asia’s chat apps WeChat and Line succeed as platforms that go beyond just texting with friends.
At first, Facebook will focus on how third parties can build ways for content and information to flow through Messenger. Depending on the success of the early experiments, Facebook may then mull bringing more utilities to Messenger.
While the Messenger platform is said to be a major part of F8 by all the sources, it’s unclear exactly what form the third-party integrations will take. Considering what WeChat and Line have done, there are plenty of opportunities including ways for businesses to communicate or share content directly with users, or options for richer friend-to-friend content sharing.
The platform is likely to start slow, with Facebook working with preferred partners, but it may eventually open to more developers. Facebook declined to comment on this story.

Avoiding Spam

Facebook is looking to recreate the best parts of its earlier web platform efforts without repeating its mistakes.
Facebook’s web canvas thrived with games, as it let users quickly bring their identity and friends to third-party experiences. And its Open Graph protocol connected people’s apps back to their Facebook profiles. Both were popular because they helped developers find an interested audience. That’s something especially tough now in the mobile era, as the app stores have become highly competitive and overcrowded.
Facebook Game Spam, circa 2010

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