According to The Verge, Facebook is hard at work on a multitude of mobile apps.
Sure, the Facebook app is popular, as well as Messenger, the company's standalone messaging app, and Instagram, which Facebook acquired as its very own standalone photo app, but the company knows it has the vision and talent to create other apps giving people the power to share more quickly and efficiently.
The news seems to indicate that Facebook is moving away from the “one-stop-shop” approach to a more tailored and specific experience. The result is a less cluttered Facebook mobile experience, a trend The Verge credits Apple's App Store with starting. And it makes perfect sense – now that we have seen the powerful smartphone and all it can do for our everyday lives, we want more targeted apps.
Standalone Apps Are Where It's At
Facebook saw great success after releasing Facebook Messenger. It provides a way for users to carry on conversations without the ultimate distraction of opening up the Facebook app to access messages.
The app experienced an overhaul at the end of 2013, removing indications the app is affiliated with Facebook and providing an easier to use interface that focuses on what the app was designed to do: send messages. This might be what led to Messenger surging ahead of Instagram, Snapchat, and other popular chat apps to become the messaging app that is relied on the most in the United States.
Although it hasn't been confirmed, the article mentions a possible first move by the company: a news app. This is based on comments made by Zuckerberg himself expressing his desire for his site to be everyone's “personalized newspaper.”
He says the data gathered by the company shows people want to see more relevant news rather than grumpy cat pictures. Since the use of RSS feeds is steadily declining, a Facebook-owned news app would be a great starting point, giving Facebook users a way to get the news they crave without scrolling through endless baby pictures and memes.
According to a Re/Code article, Facebook plans to deliver a news reader similar to Flipboard at some point this month.
Other App Ideas
As long as Facebook succeeds at keeping their brand out of the apps they design – read that as “keeps sponsored ads out of the apps they design” – there is the potential to make many useful and popular apps.
One suggestion: a calendar app. As it is, there are calendar apps available that integrate your Facebook events and birthdays, but it's another idea that just might work. While they could offer Google Calendar integration, there should be a focus on the Facebook event integration, making it the best way to view and edit Facebook events and birthdays.
What about Facebook's new Graph Search functionality? Why not bring this to an app? Facebook hasn't yet bestowed its mobile app with the neat feature, so it's worth exploring. It's definitely a smart move, as it is more useful to someone on-the-go anyway. You probably want to see the restaurants your friends like when you're out searching for a restaurant to try, not while you're at home.
So watch out, world: Facebook has a multitude of apps in store that you might actually find useful, all without modifying the structure of Facebook, something it does a lot (and that users hate!) What kinds of apps would you like to see?