Mobile messengers and the post-app world

May 17, 2017

It’s no secret that I’ve been a believer in the inevitability of a swing back toward centralized architectures in mobile. Although I probably mis-timed my call of the HTML5 inflection point, I remain convinced that it is approaching, and I believe Facebook is leading the way.

Facebook has now almost completed its initial worldwide rollout of its Instant Games platform on Messenger. Today, a closed club of about 30 publishers have released approximately 50 games on Messenger. Our portfolio company CoolGames is fortunate to be part of this closed curated platform, and with 4 games live, ranks neck-and-neck with Zynga (who has also engineered an admirable comeback of their own recently) as the number one games publisher on FB Instant Games.

When the post-app world arrives, I believe it will be thanks to the mobile messenger platforms leveraging their social graphs to deploy interactive ‘apps’ on the basis of a sufficiently mature HTML5 technology. I’ve long argued that messenger platforms like LINE and WeChat were miles ahead in innovation over the alternatives in the West. On this trend, however, they’re playing catch-up to FB Messenger. Make no mistake though, they will catch this wave too.

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posted in technology, venture capital by mark bivens

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