Instant messaging apps are stealing eyeballs away from the big social networks and Facebook knows it: that’s why it wants to expand its Messenger app to include a host of new features.

Features could include more options for sharing content, better access for third-party developers, and the ability to host other services on top of Facebook Messenger.

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Essentially, Mark Zuckerberg and his team want to turn it into a platform in its own right, according to “multiple sources” speaking to TechCrunch.

Letting you pay your friends through Messenger is just the first step, it would seem. Soon you could be messaging your mobile operator through the app or using it to keep up with the latest viral videos of the day.

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In the hands of F8

Facebook apparently wants to follow the lead of the big messaging apps in Asia like WeChat and Line – these apps have expanded from being one-on-one communication tools to fully fledged portals that support calls, gaming, different kinds of content and other apps that are built on top.

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Line, for example, lets you follow your favourite sports teams and celebrities as well as ping your friends; Snapchat, meanwhile, has also broadened its horizons with the Discover page. You can expect Facebook Messenger to follow suit in the next few months.

Via. TechRadar