According to a recent study 1, an average smartphone user has ~36 apps installed, whereas 1 out of 4 is used daily and 1 out of 4 is never used. 68% of installed apps are in the field of social & communication, led by messenger apps such as WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and WeChat.
With 900 million monthly active users (MAUs) on WhatsApp, 700 million MAUs on Facebook Messenger or 800 million MAUs on WeChat 2, messenger apps can already be considered as pre-installed on most smartphones. Worldwide, users are spending 50 to 200 minutes with messenger apps per week 3.
Messengers are a Standard Channel for Communication
Messaging is a standard communication habit of our society. Every smartphone user is used to it in some way. Various companies already started to focus on providing their user interface (UI) through messaging. Think of Siri, Facebook's M, Luka or Magic. They need nothing else than a simple text interface. Without a fancy UI, the focus is on providing value through a simple interface which is already familiar to every smartphone user: text messaging.
Way more important is the fact that users don't need to change their habit of communicating and therefore don't need to learn how to communicate with a new service or app.
Popular messengers like Telegram already started to open their platform to enrich the messenger experience with 3rd party integrations (through so called "bots"). This move attracted a lot of developers who are now providing their services or "apps" through Telegram's messenger platform (see this list of Telegram bots).
Messaging will move to a combination of written messaging and dictation with a combination of human trained AI and human-agents and this will make it even more compelling and harder to resist for app developers and consumers — Sal Matteis (@sal_matteis), Managing Director @ StartupBootCamp
We are confident that much more services will be available through text interfaces, because it simplifies the user interaction and will be even more powerful with advanced NLP (Natural Language Processing). This is the reason why we are working on orat.io: to enable businesses to communicate through messengers.
- Messaging Is The Future of User Interfaces, December 2015
- The Return of the Command Line Interface, August 2015
- No UI is the New UI, November 2015