The messaging wars were heating up before COVID-19 changed the world. Now, the arena has become more intense still and could well up end up in a complete massacre.
It is now becoming clear that a new normal will emerge from the current situation. The advantages of working from home, the efficiencies and cost savings are simply too good to change straight back to the old normal.
This means, as others have said, that the new digital battle will be fought in the world of communications for remote workforces.
Messaging is in the frontline.
MobileSquared, for example, is estimating that WhatsApp Business will enjoy unprecedented growth over the next few years. The company predicts growth for the platform of an eye watering 5,400%, taking companies using the messaging platform’s API from 992 today, to 55,000 in 2024, generating revenues of $3.6 billion. The company believes that WhatsApp Business will be the ‘go to’ platform, leveraging the 2 billion WhatsApp users, for customer services enquiries from the user base.
“What we expect to emerge in the coming years is that outbound A2P traffic will centre on SMS and RCS, with inbound P2A traffic split between WhatsApp, ABC and RCS – with WhatsApp likely to become a dominant force.” says Gavin Patterson, chief data analyst at Mobilesquared.
What this demonstrates, perhaps, is that the messaging wars will not be straightforward. WhatsApp Business will grow on the success of WhatsApp for everyone. And given the ownership structure, and Facebook introducing a desktop version of Messenger ‘out of the blue,’ this might feed into the success of WhatsApp Business even more.
Ranged against these established giants are messaging and communications apps such as Slack, which of course has benefitted from the virus and as long as it can manage the extraordinary growth, will be a serious contender in the messaging wars. Zoom, of course, is under serious observation.
Then, too, there are others emerging, including (it might now be said) RCS, the innovative messaging application developed by committee for telcos, by telcos (see innovation committee).
This heightened competition can only be good for customers, in the long run. Messaging apps will attract customers through the functionality, stability and scalability of the platform and how it manages pricing. The sad thing is that some will not make it, however innovative they might be.
One thing is for sure. Once the messaging wars die down and the new normal emerges, the various platforms will look very different to the ones we have today.
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