Messaging services are an invention that has transformed into a way of life. Our phones are filled with notifications and constantly ping throughout the day.
The number of mobile messaging app users worldwide is still growing at a significant rate, even after three years of double-digit growth. eMarketer expects growth will drop to single-digit rates in 2019, as penetration among smartphone users nears 80%. Chat apps are considered to have a higher retention and usage rate than most mobile apps. As a software provider company, we constantly watch out for trends going around this social preference.
Here are some trends we think will shape the future of messaging apps:
1/ Instant payments through messenger: Instant payments are available on many apps and websites and it is now being integrated into messaging apps. Synchronization of a payment solution within the messaging app, improves the user experience and allows users to better manage their financials. Here at East Agile we have worked with quite a few companies, like BBM and Achiko, who see the value of integrating payment systems into their messaging apps. This feature became quite popular with BBM’s user base. At their peak they boasted more than 60M active users. Instant mobile payments are convenient to pay for goods and services online, as well as retailers’ stores. The new feature was integrated with almost all banks, which would save them a trip to the ATM. Huge messaging platforms like Facebook and WeChat also offer many peer-to-peer services, including payments. This will set a new standard for all the messaging apps that want to compete in this space.
2/ Voice commands: Google has taken on this trend quite early with Google Assistant. An app that lets users interact more through voice commands in messaging apps. When you enable notifications for Google Play, it will read your messages using a third-party messaging app, and let your reply via Google Assistant. In the meantime, Tech giant Facebook, has not made any official announcements yet regarding voice commands for Facebook messenger. They did however confirm that the software is being tested internally.
"Voice is the only way to communicate and multi-task.”, according to Thomas Gayno, co-founder of Cord. "A few seconds of voice has much more to offer than a few hundred characters." Voice commands are considered the new way to interact with technology. Voice features will definitely grow and it's just a matter of time.
3/ Chatbots as assistants: Chatbots in the messaging app industry has opened a new gateway for smartphone users. Its strength lies in the unique touch to every customer without the involvement of a human connector, using AI Tech. According to Humanity in the Machine reports, most people would prefer to talk to a chatbot in order to communicate with a business or brand. According to DigitasLBi, 30% of US citizens are willing to make purchases through a chatbot,. Chatbots allow brands to provide “in-context” suggestions for useful products and services. They are also instantly available to assist and resolve customer service inquiries.
Sephora, Barbie, Uber, the Weather Channel and KLM are just a few examples of brands who jumped on the messaging app bot train early. This will remain an inevitable trend for businesses in the future.
4/ Privacy is a must: The increased usage of messaging apps brings about security issues. The constant surveillance of civilians has fueled the demand for messaging apps with advanced protection. Most messaging apps now apply end-to-end encryption to secure users’ data. However, according to Martin Kleppmann, former Rapportive co-founder, and LinkedIn engineer, “Although encryption in transit is widely used, it has serious security problems. For example, the service provider could be hacked by an adversary, or compromised by an insider, causing sensitive information to be leaked. A fault in the service provider could cause data to be corrupted. For these reasons, security experts are pushing towards widespread use of end-to-end encryption, which reduces the exposure to such attacks.”
Additionally, proper documentation and advanced integration capabilities with a wide variety of frameworks, mobile SDKs, programming languages and other software platforms will remain key selling points for messaging service solutions as the market develops.
The innovations being made in these 4 areas, at major companies, are the key reasons why we think they are leading trends the future of mobile messaging apps. We are also anticipating to see these features being combined into one app in the future. Is it possible that such technology will substitute a human live communication? Stay tuned for more.
Questions? Comments? Concerns? Contact us for more information. We’ll quickly get back to you with the information you need.