Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has confirmed that his firm is opening up its Messenger service to third-party developers, allowing them to add their own functions. The company has confirmed that more than 40 new add-on apps have already been developed so far.
Messenger has already proved controversial with some users of the social network, who have complained about having to switch between two apps to stay in touch with their Facebook friends.
The CEO said more than 600 million people already used Messenger at least once a month to express themselves, and that allowing other social networks and services to directly post to it would make “conversations better”.
Among the new apps unveiled are ways to post:
- Looped animated images known as Gifs sourced from the sports TV service ESPN and elsewhere
- Still images from the picture hosting site Imgur
- Computer-generated animal cartoon messages with recorded audio via Talking Tom
- Forecasts from the Weather Channel service
- E-cards from the humour site Jibjab
- Audio files from the Sound Clip
It builds on a move to allow US-based users to send money to and from each other via Messenger, which Facebook announced last week, and the earlier inclusion of Voip (voice over internet protocol) calls and stickers.