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Can Facebook cement its role as a platform provider?

Can Facebook cement its role as a platform provider?

"But it won't be easy - every major player from Google to Amazon to Apple understands this and is making its own play."

Facebook will further cement its role as platform provider at the F8 Facebook Developer Conference this week.

While developers in consumer-oriented enterprises likely already have Facebook's platform services in their organisation's portfolio, most don’t yet recognise it as strategic.

But they ought to, says Jeffrey Hammond, research analyst, Forrester Research.

"Enterprise application platforms will need to do more than just provide services for building and maintaining enterprise applications," Hammond says.

"They will need to evolve into a digital platform, capable of also supporting commerce functions, customer-facing services, and connected-product applications.

"Digital platforms like Facebook's address the customer quadrant, providing a bridge between enterprises and a very large set of individuals around the world."

Forrester also anticipates more signs that point toward Facebook making Messenger a platform with the data showing 28% of US smartphone owners in particular have used a mobile messaging app in the past month.

“The future home screen of the smartphone will hold a small set of curated disintermediaries, offering consumers a contextual portal to the universe of services on mobile devices,” adds Julie Ask, research analyst, Forrester Research.

“Facebook gets this. With its acquisitions of Instagram and WhatsApp, and its latest moves on Messenger, the social network is preparing for a place in this disintermediated world.

"But it won't be easy - every major player from Google to Amazon to Apple understands this and is making its own play."

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