Messaging Apps Move Beyond Just Communication
As we discussed earlier this year, we are seeing messaging apps evolve beyond being used as just a communication tool and towards becoming full engagement platforms offering a medium for users to conduct everyday tasks, while still providing entertainment value. For instance, consumers are able to inquire about new products by connecting with their favorite brands, make in-app purchases, and share entertaining and engaging branded content with their friends. With all this new content, there are more eyeballs and more hours spent engaged in the app.
More recently, Facebook released Instant Games – a place where consumers can go to Facebook Messenger to play games with friends, instead of having to go to the app store to download an app. According to Facebook, more than 1.5 billion games were played on Instant Games on Messenger and Facebook News Feed over a previous 90-day period.
Image: Facebook Developer News Blog
Increasingly, brands and financial institutions are making messaging apps a part of their consumer engagement strategy – offering value to their customers outside of their brick-and-mortar establishments and websites. In April, Western Union followed MasterCard and Wells Fargo by creating a chatbot within Facebook Messenger, which will allow users in the U.S. to wire money to more than 200 countries, using 130 different currencies. Chatbots for financial institutions allow banks to go beyond basic transactions, and to interact with users directly in the app. As younger generations – who are more fluent and comfortable with messaging apps – become the target audience for these financial institutions, it’s likely that this medium will become a primary way to conduct business.
By Facebook Messenger going beyond offering basic communication functionalities and making it more of a utility, it is setting itself up to become the leading platform and other messaging apps will need to take notice in order to keep up with its success. Messaging apps are fast becoming a hub of social interaction and commerce. We expect to see a number of new use cases coming to mobile messaging apps in the months and years to come.
Many brands are asking how they can get into this space? What is the right entry point? How do you start engaging consumers in the right way?
We’ve worked with hundreds of brands to help them understand the opportunities that exist in the mobile messaging space. Whether that’s testing a campaign to see if consumers will engage with branded content – or if this type of content (emoji, GIF, chat bots) can actually influence a purchase.
Our self-service portal (launched last month), provides brands and advertisers an easy, effective and personalized way to create a presence within mobile messaging and personalization apps. Now, brands can come into the portal and start pulling various levers to create campaigns within a wide variety of mobile messaging apps. They can tailor the campaigns to geographies, demographics and KPIs and get real-time analytics on how campaigns are performing. They then have the flexibility to scale campaigns based on success or future needs.
As the mobile messaging space grows and these apps are becoming the new browsers, we are making it easier than ever for brands to get into the space and understand how to form a strategy that will keep them top of mind for consumers.
We look forward to seeing what the industry presents next and continuing to keep up with these trends.