Will Facebook Replace SMS?

Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) is looking to take over the instant messaging market place, even hoping to trump the standard SMS feature on phones, with its widely-compatible Facebook Messenger application.

The director of communications and product management at Facebook, Peter Deng, has said the company aims to replace the outdated SMS protocol with its own app, which it offers to smartphones and even a number of feature phones.

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Wide compatibility is an edge for Facebook’s app, but it will still have to compete with the high-functionality of thousands of other apps that also seek to obviate SMS. A search for messaging apps on Google‘s (NASDAQ:GOOG) app marketplace, Google Play, will show over 1,000 different messaging apps all vying to replace SMS. Some also offer voice services and even video chat, as is the case with the ever-popular Skype, which Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) purchased for $8.5 billion in 2011.

In a saturated market, Facebook will have to find a way to best the competition — potential edges include compatibility, Facebook’s own popularity, and the ability for users to set up the service with only a phone number, though many other apps also offer this feature.

As Facebook’s developers continue to push their focus onto mobile platforms, they are hopeful that they can seize the instant messaging market and maybe even gain a few new Facebook users while they’re at it.

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