Messaging apps and bots dominate the mobile world right now, and with it the way we communicate is undergoing quite a change. Today’s message apps offer much more than just sending messages, adding other options to the game. How so?
Messaging app and chat apps are totally crushing it in current business of technology, and there is a reason for that. Due to human nature it is getting more obvious (and confirmed by latest mobile trends) that social activity is happening less in public, and more and more in private groups and chat apps of various kind. This change in social media essence is a remarkable evolution.
Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp combined account for 60 billion messages a day.
This turn is most probably going to affect everything we’ve known about social media so far. Until now, social media strategies were mainly focused on appearing in the news feeds of Facebook and Twitter. Now, on the other hand, messaging brings a bunch of new challenges to businesses, as feeds and timelines are less attractive to people. New opportunities as well.
Messaging apps like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, iMessage and other popular ones show no sign of slowing. But the field there is more diverse than it may be assumed. According to The Economist report, the reason for market leader – Facebook, to invest so much resources into messaging apps is this: 25% of all downloaded mobile apps are deleted after a single use, while over 2 billion users have at least one message app installed.
Over 2.5 billion people have at least one messaging app installed.
The leading duo of Messenger and WhatsApp have approximately 1 billion users monthly each. WhatsApp users spend nearly 3 hours weekly on messaging. Find more statistics in the detailed report on messaging apps here.
Let’s highlight basic facts and reasons for this huge popularity of message apps.
iMessage, Viber, Whatsapp, Wickr and Telegram are the apps now offering users this type of “tough measure” security. So it can be said that end-to-end encryption is the new normal. It has gained even more traction after the “Apple vs FBI” case, being essentially a privacy-against-security issue.
The controversy here lies in the feature itself. With end-to-end encryption only those sending and receiving messages can read them. After Apple has won the case with the FBI, the encryption became the must-have feature in chat apps. For instance, WhatsApp offers automatic and full encryption to all messaging formats – photos, videos, voice messages, documents, calls. Viber has built in a “hidden” chat feature protected by a PIN code.
More Than Messaging
Today, messaging apps are allotted by more features rather than just to send messages. The ability to experience group videos, music, pay bills, make medical appointments, check traffic and other content together with your friends perfectly encode this statement. Another vivid example is related to Facebook Messenger. Except for the sending messages, it enables you to make operations with money, for instance to send them to your friend. In the light of last events, it has been reported, that Facebook Messenger will give the opportunity to pay for things in the stores.
Emphasizing on more than just sending the messages, WhatsApp plans to develop something to make communication more enhanced. It refers to charging businesses to use app to talk to customers, or simplifying the communication with your bank about recent transactions. Furthermore, it seems like there’s never enough chat apps. There are even desktop apps for Windows, Mac and Linux, allowing messaging from a single dashboard for 14 different services including Skype, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, WeChat and Google Hangouts.
The Bot Ecosystem
Another part of messaging apps that is becoming widely used, the chat bots. Interaction between a human and a bot – that is the main idea. If you want to get things done you can simply apply to bot. For instance, if you want to order Uber taxi service you can use a Messenger bot. So what is a bot?
Bots do not need to be downloaded, they live on servers and not a user’s device. China is one of the examples where a large number of brands run bots through the most popular message app there, WeChat. Bots within this app give users the possibility fulfill actions like booking taxis, playing games, managing banking, checking in for flights, etc. Even more, Facebook is expecting to announce the launching of the Messenger bot store.
Social media and mobile apps have obtained great success in optimization of the interaction between enterprises and customers. Many brands have started to test bots within messengers. Some have moved further, like KLM airway company. Its mobile app gives its users the power to receive flights updates and the boarding passes through the messenger. In addition, passengers can enjoy holding the communication with KLM customer support, directly inside the messenger.
Now, users may not rely on the social networks and email that much. Any personal action or request can be carried out within the message interchange platform. The transition from social networks to the messengers may be the most significant alteration to the internet marketing.
Practically speaking, among available three million apps, the average user does not download the majority of them. That is a subject matter that presents a problem to marketing specialists, as far as consumers do not interact with them as expected. So how it all is going to play out? Some pundits point to chat bots to be installed within popular apps to solve this issue. Others advise not to interfere and learn to work with messaging environment. Time will tell. And what do you think?
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