After launching its Chime messaging service for business customers earlier this year, Amazon is reportedly looking to introduce a new messaging app called Anytime. The messaging service could allow users to communicate with others via text messages, voice or video chats. Sure, Amazon wants a slice of the instant messaging pie. But why does the e-commerce giant feel the need to create a messaging service in the first place? Also Read - Facebook smartwatch to feature cameras alongside fitness functions: Yes, detachable cameras!
It’s a war for dominanceAlso Read - Redmi Note 10S with Rs 1,000 discount on Amazon sale: Check offer details, new price
In the instant messaging space, the war is between top tech companies. Facebook has its social networking app, Messenger, Instagram and the highly popular WhatsApp. Apple also has iMessage built for iOS and macOS platforms, allowing iPhone, iPad and Mac users to communicate with each others. Google also recently introduced Allo messenger client for Android and iOS users, along with Google Assistant (AI) integration. There are other big names in the list too, Microsoft has Skype messenger, BlackBerry has BBM, then there is Telegram, WeChat and Hike Messenger as well. And even if we think of it as a crowded space, there s clearly room for new players. Also Read - OnePlus Nord CE 5G, OnePlus TV U1S launch in India today: Event time, how to watch the event
But why messaging?
Now, there are quite a few reasons why Amazon could have its sight in the messaging space. Today, whether you are looking forward to send a quick text, a photo or video, there is no shortage of available services. To use these services, you are required to link your phone number or e-mail. However, if the report is to be believed, Amazon Anytime messaging app will allow you to reach your friends just using their name. The messaging app from Amazon is expected to pack in other tricks its sleeve too, but let s first try to look at the smartphone platforms and dominant apps. ALSO READ: Amazon is reportedly working on a standalone messaging app called Anytime
Top ranks of app stores spill the beans
I don t know how many of you may have noticed this, but the top free apps section on App Store and Play Store will give you a hint as to why Amazon feels the need to create a messaging service. Let s talk about Apple s App Store first. In the top free apps category, among the top 10, four are social messaging apps from Facebook. This includes the popular instant messaging app WhatsApp, and Messenger, the social networking app Facebook, and the photo and video sharing app, Instagram.
Moving on to Google Play Store, the same four apps make the cut in top 12 apps. WhatsApp and Messenger taking the first and second spot, followed by Facebook, Facebook Lite and Instagram in the same list. ALSO READ: Amazon India rolls out Local Finds feature on its website
It is clearly visible that instant messaging and social networking apps are dominating on both, iOS and Android platforms. And if you think app stores aren t a clear indication, look at your contacts, family, friends and colleagues. You are most likely to find them using WhatsApp for instant messaging, Facebook to connect with loved ones, and other services like Instagram to share their photos and stories.
Rumored features of Amazon Anytime
Besides the ability to text users, Amazon Anytime is also rumored to support voice and video chat options. To make your interactions even more interesting, users could also add fun special effects and masks to photos and videos. The messaging service would also let you color code and customize your chats by adding nicknames.
One could even mix up conversations with stickers, emojis and GIFs. For chats with sensitive information such has bank account details, credit card details, passwords and more, Amazon will reportedly allow you to encrypt and keep them private. ALSO READ: Amazon Alexa with Echo smart speaker to launch in India later this year: Report
Lastly, Amazon Anytime is also expected to offer seamless integration for your chats across mobile, desktop, Android and iPhone. Currently, Telegram messenger offers seamless integration, where your messages are stored on cloud, and made available across all devices. For instance, you can start a conversation on web browser, continue where you left off on smartphone app or iPad, without having to lose anything. Facebook Messenger, works in a similar way. However, the same is missing in case of WhatsApp and Google Allo, which could be a gain for Amazon Anytime.
How Amazon can better use Anytime at its disposal
Well, Amazon is an e-commerce giant, but more than that, it has other offerings too. With the Anytime messaging app, Amazon can allow sellers on its marketplace to directly communicate with buyers. Besides keeping the buyers informed about products and shipments, and answering queries, sellers can also keep them informed about new offers, discounts and more.
In a way, the move could be similar to what Facebook was expected to do with WhatsApp by showing ads in between chats. It has already done with Facebook and Instagram, where you will see some ads on your timeline, mostly based on your interests. There was an initial outrage among users about the decision, but now it seems like a done and dusted issue, with people used to it.
Amazon also has its AI-assistant Alexa powering smart devices such as Echo, Echo Dot, and more. And with Microsoft and Google integrating chat bots in Skype and Allo apps, respectively, Amazon can do the same. The Alexa chat bot can keep users informed about weather updates, set timer, help in ordering food, keep you informed about price rise and drops across product categories in the marketplace, and much more.
Considering the above pointers, Amazon Anytime sure has a potential to fight for some market share. Now, whether Amazon will be able convince users to switch from popular messaging apps to the new Anytime messenger is something that remains to be seen. It will also be interesting to see how many of the reported features finally make the cut to the final version. Also, there is no word on the launch date yet. But clearly, there is room for another player in the messaging space and Amazon its clearly betting on that.
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