Facebook launches the web version of Messenger
On Wednesday, Facebook (FB) launched the web version of its Messenger mobile app. This move will help users use Messenger for chat independently of Facebook’s main site. Currently, Messenger is available as a standalone app on mobile devices, but now, Facebook has extended its use to desktop devices as well.
Messenger has more than 500 million users who log on to its platform every month. The number of users that log on to Facebook’s main site every month total 1.4 billion, which is way above Messenger. Comparatively, Facebook’s other applications—such as Instagram and WhatsApp—have about 300 million and 700 million monthly active users, respectively.
Facebook is looking to expand Messenger’s reach
Facebook has taken this move in order to expand Messenger’s reach so that it has another platform to show display ads to users. Facebook is already the leader in the US display ad market. According to a recent report from eMarketer, Facebook will continue to gain share in the US digital display market.
As the above chart shows, Facebook will likely manage to increase its share from ~24% in 2014 to ~27% in 2017. The increase should come at Google’s (GOOG)(GOOGL) expense. Google’s market should will decline from ~14% to ~11% during the same period. Meanwhile, Twitter (TWTR) will gain share rapidly. It will increase from 3.7% to 6.8%. Yahoo (YHOO) will lose share rather steeply. Its share will decrease from 5.5% to 3.5%.
In another Market Realist article, titled Google: Network Revenues Take Hit on Policy Changes to AdSense, we discussed one possible reason for the continued slowdown in Google’s Network business, which primarily relates to its display ads business.
To gain diversified exposure of Facebook, you could invest in the iShares Dow Jones US Technology (IYW). IYW invests about 4.9% of its holdings in Facebook.