Guest Blog: Messaging apps to evolve in 2016

Source: Written by JBTechDiary – Exclusive for 10Fold

Due to the continuing evolution of mobile technologies, messaging apps have become more than, well, just messaging applications. They are now tools that connect people and businesses faster, efficiently, and more effectively. For the last couple of years, famous messaging apps such as Facebook Messenger, Whatsapp, Snapchat, and Slack have built a significant user base and they are finally showing how utterly brilliant they can be.

Based on research featured by the Business Insider, messaging apps have a growing huge user base with a quarterly increase of 15% month-on-month. Users are also found to spend more time using mobile messaging services than other apps.

Mobile devices have also found various ways in presenting messages to users. The new Galaxy S7 Edge comes with the Always-On-Display (AOD), which O2 explained is one of the unique features the handset possesses that allows the user to keep useful information on the screen even on idle mode. The information also mentions that it only uses less than 1% of the battery hourly, ensuring your battery life isn’t been drained significantly even if an app is working in the background. This is a game changer of a feature that will surely be followed by other mobile devices soon.

Since the Galaxy S6, the Korean tech company has improved its battery power significantly. According to the handset specification page, the user will be able to play a full length movie on said smartphone after only 10 minutes’ charge. Meanwhile, the pixel count on the display was already at 2560 x 1440 on the Galaxy S6, which is more than what most TVs in 2012 could offer.

“Like social networks before them, these apps are becoming the hubs for everything global smartphone audiences do on mobile, and hence engagement is going up. Messaging apps help people connect with one another, share photos, video chat, and, increasingly — play games, buy digital goods, and even shop offline,” wrote Emily Adler in her BI article.

The year of consecration for messaging was said to be last year, where many messaging apps had garnered strong user bases and had brought in more functional features. Messenger was reported to come with 800 million monthly users, which is the fastest growing app in the US. It has improved massively as it now offers video calling, customization, and an easier option to share photos and even current location.

With a significant user base, it is time for messaging apps to monetize themselves and their services. Some apps already follow a freemium economic model, where users are required to pay extra to enjoy premium services, while there’s also the free ones that come with basic features. Meanwhile, Snapchat is now opening its service to native video advertising.
However, Facebook’s Messenger and Whatsapp have developed an organic approach in building stronger ties with businesses and their customers. In fact, Whatsapp dropped its $1 subscription fee in January.

“What we decided was that over the long term, the ads and monetization would perform better if there was an organic interaction between people using the product and businesses. So instead of focusing on ads first, what we did was we built pages, and we made that free. That way as many businesses as possible could get into the network,”said Jan Koum, CEO & co-founder of Whatsapp.

Messenger has started their integration of Uber that allows users to order a ride directly within the message box. Facebook M has also worked with Facebook users in assisting them with their requests, even purchasing items online.

But the most innovative was WeChat’s newly developed service that allows users to process secured payment transactions via WeChat’s Wallet. It can store bankcard details and make quick cash payments via the app itself.

“The service is another way WeChat is merging the online and offline worlds, providing users with seamless payment integration in a single application. Now they won’t be inconvenienced if they forget their purses or money at home because everything they need is at their fingertips,” said Brett Loubser, Head of WeChat in Africa.

Exclusive for 10Fold
Written by JBTechDiary