Social media and messaging apps have moved far beyond just providing a means for people to connect with others. They’ve offered the ability for us to access a wider range of services within their own app for killer convenience.
WHAT’S THE TREND?
You’ve probably noticed this, if not used it yourself. Some have used Facebook Messenger to check their bank balance, hail an Uber or even receive news and updates from organizations. WeChat, China’s number one messaging app allows their 700 million users to check their flights, book taxis, play games, buy cinema tickets, reserve doctors and conduct video calls – all without leaving the app’s ecosystem.
It’s safe to say that Messenger and other regional competitors like LINE and WeChat will be the ‘App for Everything’. The question is how many apps will you have left in your phone in the next couple of years?
FACEBOOK ROLLING OUT MORE SERVICES
Tech giant Facebook recently announced last week that they’re rolling out a new ‘food delivery’ option in its main navigation and Messenger. It’s official, you’ll be able to order food directly from Facebook. Now, let’s take a step back and just think about how much we rely on Messenger in our day to day lives. Besides the obvious – connecting with friends and family, building a community and sharing memories – you can hail an Uber, send money to your friends, chat with customer services, buy a pair of sneakers or even share your Spotify playlists among other things!
IS FACEBOOK ALL THAT BAD?
Many people have already accused Facebook as they see this as a way for the giant to collect more data, distribute even more ads and capitalize on their gains. However, on the flipside of things, it makes economic sense! Besides fostering convenience and user experience in the sense that people don’t have to switch between a giant library of apps, Facebook is providing the awareness and subsequently the likelihood of more people using these other apps with their mountainous active users. In addition to all this, users will also be able to save storage space on their mobile device – something we do sometimes take for granted.
According to research firm Gartner, the app usage is going to eventually plateau in the following years to come as many smartphone users said they were fatigued. After years and years of actively searching for, downloading and using smartphone apps, users are maturing in their usage behaviors and need to be convinced about the value of an app. This change in consumer behavior and the constant need for convenience encourages the concept of an ‘App for Everything’.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR BUSINESSES AND MARKETERS?
With over 45 million active business pages on Facebook and 700 million active people of Messenger. The App of Everything will provide a streamlined way of bridging this gap. Businesses will not only have an instant way of communicating with their customers but also have the ability of operating their services directly through Messenger. On the marketing front, businesses will have to adapt their efforts including content marketing, influencer engagement, and newsletters in the form of a message that can be instantly sent out to their followers on Messenger.
Manit Sethi is a Social & Digital Executive at Vero, orchestrating creative digital strategies for brands and developing killer content that excels on social.