Fairly recently an interesting thing happened: all of my sharing moved to Messenger. When Messenger got an iOS share extension it was kind of a game-changer for me, and it wasn’t long before I was funneling nearly everything through it.
I realize I’m kind of a special case (yeah, probably that kind of special too), in that I share an awful lot. If you’re a friend of mine and I’m aware that you like something, I’ll never fail to send you topical stuff I come across each day as I read the entire internet. I’ve been doing this for the last 15 or so years, and for nearly all of that time I did it via email (BCC if it was going to more than one person).
That method wasn’t inefficient, but it was very 1990s, and now even seems a little silly. Over time my sharing splintered across a few services (e.g., email, Twitter DM, SMS, Telegram, etc.), and required me to keep a mental note of which services certain friends preferred. This meant too that I’d often have to share the same thing multiple times (via different services). I hated that.
The simple, beautiful truth is that everyone is on Messenger; after Facebook unbundled messaging from the main app and then let people use Messenger with just a phone number (and no Facebook account), there was no turning back. Add to this the ability to create selectable, user-defined groups and the ability to select with the extension a large number of recipients (with everything effectively BCC’d), and you have a very efficient sharing infrastructure. And the best part is that the more I share, the more my non-tech friends realize they can do it too, and that it’s easy and fun.
Yes, it sounds simple, but getting here was anything but; it required mobile, push, and an IP-based ubiquitous communication platform to converge into wonderful utility.
(Full disclosure: I work at Facebook.)