As if we are going back in time, messaging is the hot new thing! Before you know it, I’ll be reactivating my ICQ account.
This week, Facebook’s messenger app just passed the major milestone of 1 billion users and in so doing has joined a prestigious club where WhatsApp (bought by Facebook for $19 billion about two years ago), Facebook, and YouTube all stand.
Messaging is a global phenomenon. Japan’s Line app just had the largest tech IPO this year by far with a market cap of around $8 billion at the time of writing this. And that is with about 216 million users (mostly in Japan).
Facebook’s WeChat-ification, Tech in Asia
However, it is Tencent’s WeChat in China, with around 700 million users, that has been pushing the innovation of ‘chat’ to new areas. Within the standard WeChat app there exists a whole host of services from ordering taxis and paying your phone bill to transferring money and finding public services.
It would be incorrect to simply label these apps as chat, considering we have come to rely on them for so much more than that. Chat has already seen the steady creep of services making their way into the apps, starting with WeChat and Messenger also getting on the bandwagon.
Why and how chatbots will dominate social media, TechCrunch
Then there is the growth of “chatbots.” In essence, these bots within the platforms are there to facilitate customer service for example, but this is really just the beginning of a whole ecosystem built around services within the messaging platform.
There is a major appeal for brands to find a place in these platforms and grow connections with users that leverage these new technologies to engage in meaningful conversations with customers.