This week Facebook unveiled a move to transform its popular standalone Messenger app into an app platform—not so dissimilar from Apple and Google's app stores—while also releasing Parse for IoT.

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Messenger Platform #

Facebook’s new Messenger Platform allows developers to create apps for use with its popular Messenger app. Messenger’s functionality providesdevelopers with the tools to either create basic or optimized apps for the new platform. Users can then send more personalized media content beyond the app’s traditional, including more extensive text and emoji offerings.

The announcement came with the promise of a mobile ad exchange using Facebook data to target ads to specific audiences. Even more, a new tool called Analytics for Apps promises to provide detailed, cross-device demographics data of app users to developers. Businesses can also expect added Messenger functionality that will allow them to send order information through the platform as well as contact customers for quick queries and support. Consider how Facebook is in talks with media companies about hosting news on the popular social platform and you may start to think along the lines of The Next Web. Facebook wants to own every single thing you do on the Internet.

Not everyone’s sold on the Messenger Platform. MacStories provides a look at Facebook’s new Messenger and compares it to the App Store, complete with featured section, exclusivity, and app review. It's an interesting take on how one of Apple’s most downloaded apps is using Apple’s infrastructure to create its own Apple-like ecosystem

Parse IoT #

Parse’s Internet of Things SDK launch for Arduino and other platforms extends the already comprehensive mobile backend service’s reach beyond smartphones and tablets. Parse's new SDK will enhance the accessibility of IoT for developers and companies struggling to pair software and devices.

What does this mean? Fortune sees a future in which the Parse Platform allows developers to pull data from connected devices and match it with already existing Parse data streams to buildthe next level of apps. Imagine weaving data from a connected fork, a smart refrigerator, and a food-tracking app to create the ultimate health app.

Additional Parse updates include: React JavaScript library support, Cloud Code Webhooks, Enhanced Sessions data security, and Parse Explorer, a new debugging tool to help developers keep an eye on API request issues

Meet Periscope, Twitter’s New Live Video App: Twitter recently bought Periscope for, rumor has it, around $100 million. But what about its competition? Meerkat may beslowerwith lower quality video, but it got a good SXSW head start (and raised a bunch of money).

Bubble talk: Y Combinator's Sam Altman is sick of hearing about a tech bubble. He's placing a public bet on the promising futures of the top six U.S. companies, as well as some mid-market and YC startups. Do you agree?

Buying the 21 most expensive apps on the App Store will cost you over $12,000: And they’re not very impressive either.

Designing better app icons: This 10-minute video demonstrates ways to create app icon designs that stick with users. It tackles five major aspects of icon design with examples. Good for newbies and design veterans.

Apple acquires durable database company FoundationDB: Why would Apple acquire a "fast, affordable and durable database" company? TechCrunch has an idea. Fun fact: FoundationDB is just down the road from savvy apps!

How my app ended up in an Apple ad, and what happened next: Move over Shark Tank Effect. What happens to an app... in an Apple ad... during the World Cup?

10 tips on prototyping UIs with Sketch: Solid ideas on how to improve your prototypes when working with Sketch.

5 ways to validate your startup ideas with $100: How Mint, Pebble, Oculus, Ouya and more managed risk by validating their startup before courting investors.

This week’s swanky photo courtesy of .

March 27, 2015
Written By:

Whitney Rhodes

Whitney Rhodes is the lead editor for the Savvy Apps blog. She helps share Savvy Apps' extensive knowledge with all who seek to build better apps.