How Messaging Apps Are Changing the World of Private Communication?Yogesh Pant
Messaging apps aren’t just serving the purpose of keeping in contact, but a sea change has come to this trend. Gone are the days of the one to one chat scenarios that was evident in the plain text messaging era, no one can initiate a private communication as well engage in a group chat with friends, relatives or office colleagues. Messaging apps aren’t just text messages, but you can send streaming videos, audios, voice messages, documents, photos, to your contacts as and when you feel the need.
Messaging apps such as WhatsApp, WeChat, Facebook Messenger, Skype, Viber and Snapchat amongst others have revolutionized the way people both young and old communicate and remain connected with one another. Instagram and Pinterest weren’t far behind with videos and photo sharing options which clicked instantly with netizens.
Businesses have also not remained far behind and have latched on to this burgeoning trend to capture a wide market share for their business. Small traders smart enough to understand the power of messaging apps have been majorly profited due to creating a user base of their small but continuing clientele by showcasing them newer products with pocket friendly prices.
Messaging app companies have given people an advantage to think and plan in one go. Online courses for beauty therapies, health and yoga, as well as maintaining a healthy diet plan have all come into the purview of online messaging apps.
Besides the above, people have been clever to use messaging apps for good social causes such as creating blood donation camps, prevention of food wastage, and in situations of manmade and natural calamities the world over.
Recently it was seen that a group of WhatsApp messaging enthusiasts created a messaging group called Daryeel meaning “Caring” to help the victims and relatives of drought stricken Somaliland. Through their efforts they were able to muster up donors to help such small village communities in this express hour of need. This saw a financial aid of US$ 225.000 through Somali origin individuals from all over the globe. 39 villages were benefitted through this kind but necessary act of theirs which reached more than 700 water tankers to thirsty mouths and monthly food packets to the 900+ residents living there. This messaging app usage of Daryeel has led to the creation of other WhatsApp groups from neighboring village communities and district level development is underway.
Online Chatbotbot development have become big ticket businesses nowadays. The time is apt to set your ideas in motion and portray it to your target audience. As per the latest statistics from Statista in April 2019, there are more than 6000 million people who are actively connected to one another through the popular online messaging apps on a monthly basis. The market of online messaging apps is huge and can be used effectively with the idea that could make millions if it goes viral.
Big venture capitalists and funding organizations are eyeing the online messaging app industry for decisive funding due to its highly profitable nature. This can be judged by the enormous valuation figures of some of the trending online messaging apps:
- WhatsApp is estimated to reach $100 billion valuation
- Snapchat is confident at getting a USD 19 billion valuation
- Slack a messaging tool used by companies for day to day office communication is seeing a valuation of USD 7.1 billion
- Line has a market valuation of USD 9.84 million
- Hike the Delhi based messaging app is valued at $1.4 billion
Today messaging apps are integrating chatbots to offer various services and products to customers. There are playing a pivotal role in building relationships between B2B and B2C. One of the major impacts is advertising and marketing as this gets you right to the notice of the end user. It is a unique channel of communication with immense possibilities. One of its examples is the Sephora brand of beauty products. It provided two services via the Facebook Messenger app. One was for scheduling a store makeover visit while the other was for matching makeup shades to the person’s skin tone through their currently uploaded pics. This resulted in a spurt in bookings and customers were happy to get services right from their comfort zones.
Another way that messaging apps are in vogue is by offering payment facility options. This was witnessed with WeChat users who were able to access medical facilities, schedule and book appointments with physicians and health consultants, as well as pay for health checks, medicines and treatments. This was another unique way of integrating services into online messaging apps, to be able to provide essential services on the tap of your fingertips.
Currently, messaging apps are providing integration services with third-party chatbots for enhanced user experience. The user can search for a service or product through the search window provided in the messaging app and the inbuilt chatbots help in providing suggestions for the same. Such an aspect provides certain businesses with a prime opportunity to sponsor partnership deals between messaging app and themselves for providing valuable user engagement with the messaging app, for example Uber is a transportation option for visitors to Google Maps.
Not only businesses, but political companies have also partaken into the power of online messaging apps to influence voter turnouts during election time. Advertising propaganda, speech sound and video clips have irked the voters’ mindset for making a decisive use of their voting power.
But there is a word of caution to businesses and messaging app companies, that an excessive of advertisements can annoy users and lead to their discontinuing with the messaging app. Another evil that hounds messaging apps is the distribution of fake news of incidents that could mar the messaging apps reputation. Messaging app companies should take stringent measures to block and take evasive action against such wrong doings. Need of the hour is to censor content that is sent by such senders.