It seems like Facebook is rather keen on developing its Messenger app by following after the model set by the likes of WhatsApp and Viber. In other words, the biggest social network on the planet wants to turn its instant messaging (IM) app into something much more than just a tool to text your friends. Facebook already started following this philosophy a while ago when it started experimenting with stuff like intelligent chatbots and mobile games within the Messenger ecosystem, and it's been almost a year since the IM app doesn't require its users to have a Facebook account anymore and can simply be used as a default SMS app.
Now, it seems like the next thing in line for Facebook is making more money through Messenger, as the company is allegedly working on a publishing tool which will allow automatic article distribution, i.e. promotion via its messaging app. The work on the tool has apparently started in January when it is claimed that the German newspaper Bild had started testing it. At the moment, the system seems to revolve around yet another chatbot which promotes individual news stories by sending their summaries and links to full articles to users who start a conversation with it via Messenger. More generally speaking, Facebook is apparently planning to allow interested parties pay to message people who already started conversations with them via Messenger though no one yet knows how that could directly translate into actual revenue, or better said, how is this more individualized solution more money-efficient and generally better than promoting posts on Facebook. Both Bild and Facebook refused to comment on these reports though sources claim that Facebook is planning to officially announce the launch of the new Messenger tool at its annual global developer conference that's taking place in San Francisco next month.
Regardless of whether this is seen as a good or a bad thing, there's no denying that a whole lot of users are going to be affected by it, if it actually gets implemented on a global scale. Namely, Facebook Messenger has been the fastest-growing app in 2015 and the company claims it's currently being used by around 800 million people per month, not to mention that its rising popularity doesn't show any signs of slowing down anytime soon.