The roots of instant messaging go back to the 1960s when MIT’s Compatible Time-Sharing System allowed up to thirty users to send and receive messages. But only in the last two decades has it taken over the world—with 70% of teenagers sending more instant messages than emails and 90% of the world population expected to use instant messaging apps every day by 2018.
Even today, the evolution of instant messaging has not stopped. In addition to bridging individuals round the clock, instant messaging has also become a fuel for the growth of businesses. In this article, we point out five definite ways how instant messaging has reframed business communication and its consequential benefits.
#1 Mobile Commerce
From Starbucks to personal banking mobile commerce will become commonplace
In 2016 mobile commerce grew by an impressive 47% (Source: Internet Retailing). In 2017 and years to come this growth rate will continue and will also increase since mobile adoption all over the world is on the rise. eRetailers are also welcoming mobile commerce since it drives better user engagement as well as helps achieve costs of the economy compared to selling through a website.
Mobile commerce will find its way into instant messaging too, in form of advertising or as an integration that allows users to shop from within the app. Retailers will embrace instant messaging as in-app messaging tools that will help upselling or serve customers promptly.
Starbucks Card Mobile App is already a hit among users and has literally become an equal mode of payment at after cash and plastic card. Geo-location indicator of Starbucks, QR scanner, loyalty schemes and plenty of other features have made this app a popular one.
Chatbots will kick off an era of conversational eCommerce
Artificially intelligent chatbots ingrained with Machine Learning will make instant messaging superior in performance compared to today’s messaging apps. Facebook launched its own chatbot platform some time ago that helps retailers install a Chabot into their pages and Facebook stores. Customers can place orders and buy stuff directly by interacting with the chatbots. One of the instances is Google’s Dialogflow which allows API to integrate chatbot into their inbuilt-chat app solutions.
Omega Bank’s website is intelligent enough to help account holders pull credit card information from the bank’s servers. Additionally, the chatbot also suggests smart product suggestions based on offer rewards related to the user’s credit card or bank account.
#3 Augmented Reality
The new reality in town is Augmented Reality
Augmented Reality, the perspective-altering technology can take the experience of Augmented Reality a notch higher than the present. It can give users a real-life visual experience that can enrich their knowledge or communication prowess. The latest gadget world sensation Apple X is a fitting example as to how Augmented Reality has already become a reality that will soon be in everyday use.
#4 Language Translation
Language Translation will get a turbo boost of intelligence
Instant messaging has turned the world into a global village. However, multilingual communication is still a challenge for many. Although there are many language translators available online as well in the form of mobile apps, an instant messaging app inbuilt language translator is yet to come. But, it will soon be a default function in the near future of instant messaging apps.
Google’s Translate is an excellent example of this. The company released an update in 2016 which made it possible for anyone to chat with other users in a foreign language even if they do not know the language. The in-built translation works like a charm and is a best friend for many, especially travelers.
Channelization will make one for each interest
In instant messaging, groups and teams pave the perfect way to organize communication about a specific project, topic, task etc. Channels will give instant messaging that secret ingredient that made social networking popular. Groups and channels. Instant messaging channels for exclusive topics and discussion. These channels could be related to work, team chats, social communication, public and so on.
Instant messaging are also gearing up to create specific team chat apps that can do much more like conduct polls, organize meetings, share large sized files and much more. Collaboration tools like Slack are also offering timeline newsfeeds through channels customized to user tastes and preferences.
As this article is being written, WhatsApp could be tweaking its code for the next update. Facebook Messenger could be planning something big. It might be to roll out its next feature.
WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Slack and several other companies have changed the fortunes of businesses for the good. The coming years, they will become the default means of communication.
Where do you think the future of instant messaging apps is heading? Let us know in comments.