Are ‘Bot Stores’ going to be the new ‘AppStores’?Harshith Mallya
Mobile is eating the world, and mobile apps are now the primary point of contact between most businesses and consumers. Many startups and even established companies are now increasingly focussing on their mobile app strategy, with many going mobile-first and some even going app-only.
Teamchat is an enterprise messaging and business chat application that helps teams better communicate within their organisation. At YourStory’s TechSparks 2015, Kunal Patke, VP of Engineering, Teamchat spoke about how messaging is the new ‘user interface’ (UI) for mobiles and how messaging will look like in the future. Here are some of the highlights from the session.
Messaging apps are ruling the app stores
Kunal began, “It’s a no brainer that messaging apps are among the most popular apps on the Playstores (Android and iOS). Six out of the top 10 messaging apps on the Playstore are either messaging apps or have some element of messaging in them.”
Messaging apps command a large percentage of users’ mindshare both in terms of regular usage and average time per session. Another notable change in the mode of communication is that the form factor has changed. The world has progressively gone from mainframes and minicomputers to PCs and laptops and now to smartphones. The user demographic has also changed, from only high-tech users to a combination of both tech-savvy and non-tech-savvy users.
Companies are now clamouring to control the entry point of their consumers. Currently, we are going through a transition where control is being transferred from operating systems to search engines to app stores. This brings forth other challenges, the biggest of which is ‘app overload’. People don't want to keep many apps installed on their phone unless they are using them regularly.
To combat this, many popular messaging apps are now embracing the ‘app within an app’ strategy to provide users with more intuitive solutions. Kakaotalk, WeChat, and Line are good examples of this philosophy. They are not restricting themselves to basic messaging but moving to payments, commerce, cab booking, etc.
Bot Store’s, the new app store?
Teamchat believes that ‘Bot Stores’ are the future, where users need not bother about downloading and installing apps on their smartphones. But will instead rely on specific bots such as ‘World News bot’, ‘Weather bot’, ‘EMI calculator bot’, etc., to cater to their needs. They currently provide developers with access to ‘Bot SDKs’ for this purpose.
Currently being used by over 2,000 organisations worldwide, Teamchat believes that smart messaging will replace regular messaging because of the inherent benefits involved. Through their platform they aim to aggregate and reduce clutter and make messaging in enterprise environment more seamless. Headquartered in Silicon Valley, Webaroo is the parent company behind Teamchat. Their other product, GupShup, is a cloud-based API which enables enterprises to message their customers across SMS, voice, and data channels.
They believe that messaging platforms that will be mainstream in the future will include a combination of web services, enterprise services, and IoT devices.
A big shoutout to TechSparks 2015 sponsors – Sequoia Capital, ICICI Bank, Money on Mobile, Microsoft, Signal Hill, IBM Bluemix, PwC, Atom Tech, Teamchat, Govt. of Karnataka, Intel, Rabbler, Dailyhunt, Reverie, Loginext and PayUBiz; Partners – Duff&Phelps, Taxmantra, Dineout, Exotel, 360ride, Yoga Bar, Chai Point, GWC; and our Media Partners – TV9, Fortune India, RedFM and Deccan Herald.