Australia is the 2nd country in the world to launch “Messenger Day” | Facebook’s new feature!

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Facebook “Messenger Day” rolled out in Australia on Tuesday, making it the 2nd country in the world that Facebook have launched their new social story-telling functionality on Messenger.
 
Clearly inspired by the success of Snapchat and following the launch of Instagram Stories, Facebook has focused the testing and release of this new feature in international markets where Snapchat usage isn’t nearly as high as Facebook Messenger, in an attempt to build an audience of users who will then influence other users to adopt this new feature (Poland was the test market out of interest).
 
As always when Facebook updates their apps, you’ll see a backlash from a proportion of users who struggle with change and love a good whinge, however interestingly enough, this time I’ve observed that same backlash from a proportion of friends of mine who actually work in the digital media industry like myself and/or are regularly passionate first adopters.
 
The feedback from the younger demographic of social media users is that “we’re already time poor as it is and don’t have time for Snapchat, Instagram Stories AND Messenger Day.” To them, this is also clearly just a blatant copy of existing technology that’s working… which Facebook and Instagram put their hands up and freely admit that it is.
 
“Just like when Facebook invented the [News] Feed, and every social product was like, ‘That’s an innovation, how do we adapt that to our network?’ You’re going to see stories pop up in other networks over time, because it’s one of the best ways to show visual information in chronological order”
– Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom when Instagram launched “Instagram Stories”.
 
I’m not saying that Facebook Messenger Day doesn’t have a place for a proportion of the digital market, as no doubt, as a number of existing Facebook Messenger users will adopt Messenger Day into their lives, however lot of my younger friends use Snapchat as their main tool of communication (including more than text messages), so Messenger Day certainly won’t be something that replaces Snapchat (in the short-term at least) for the youth market.
 
It does definitely make sense for an organization like Facebook to adopt game-changing digital technology from competitor platforms that fits with current social media behaviours and more personalised storytelling, whilst still sinking millions into development of new Facebook-powered social media apps and features, however they need to keep their eye on the ball and continue to develop different innovations in the medium to long-term to “push” their relevance with their younger audiences.
 
Brands and agency media buyers beware. This “new” Facebook Messenger Day feature won’t necessarily be the magic solution for reaching 14-25s with your marketing, if and when it becomes available for advertisers. 
 
But Facebook do have money to burn, so watch this my space 😉😜 for newer technologies that they develop that might be! 

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