I’ve begun messing w/ Whatsapp, Kik Messenger, Samsung ChatOn, and of course GroupMe, Google Voice / Google+ Messenger, FB Messenger.
There’s just way too many out there. But I guess it’s a given, considering mobile messaging apps are still in their infancy stage. It makes sense that this realm will have this kind of disparity. Let’s not forget, in it’s earlies days, there were way too many Social Networks popping up after Friendster gained popularity and MySpace over took them. In this case, the most popular messaging being used as of now, is still txt messaging. But prior to the release of the iPhone, when Blackberry was the dominant smartphone out there, it had the built in messaging app BBM. I was one of those users. It was quite good. Easier to use over texting, and could create a group conversation quite quickly. Heck it was so similar to instant messaging, because you could see when the message was delivered, and know the other party was in progress of typing. With text messaging, you hoped the message was sent and was read, but were not sure if the person read it, or was in progress of typing a response it required to do so.
Now comes GroupMe, Beluga, WhatsApp and Kik Messenger. They were the more popular txt based messaging platform, where it was platform independent. Of course Beluga was bought out by Facebook, and FB converted Beluga users to FB messenger. GroupMe was bought out by Skype. and now there’s talk of WhatsApp being potentially being bought out by FB. I guess I can see why, seeing as how whatsapp has over 30 million users worldwide actively using the app. In the US it’s not as popular. More and more people are still using text messages. And it does make sense. After Apple realized the popularity of these data based text messages, Apple didn’t want their users to stop using sms text messages over FB messenger, GroupMe, Beluga, etc… So, they made an update to iMessenger, to use data if they were txting an existing iPhone user, which would then mean the person would use data over sms txt plan. But it’s still dependent on other users being on an IOS device. Apple realized the power of messenging and added a new feature to Mac OS X Mountain Lion, which was of course the notification center. So now you could use iMessages to converse w/ a mac user. You were no longer limited to just IOS users. Now with Facetime included it’s easier for IOS / Mac Users to talk to each other easily.
But that’s Apple. What about Skype? Skype seems to be focusing on the mobile messaging platform now. They bought out GroupMe and Qik (which was the video chatting service for mobile). How long before Skype tries to integrate it’s client with GroupMe and Qik. It would be much easier, considering that Skype has over 100 million users or so worldwide who have skype, if they integrated them all quickly. But of course Skype is owned by Microsoft. There were talks of integrating Skype with XBox. So if you know have Xbox + Skype + GroupMe + QIK, it makes for one very powerful communications platform for Microsoft in the enterprise and consumer market, especially in the living room. Coupled with the fact that MS owns Yammer, Microsoft could potentially generate their own “Social” branded network. You already have the hotmail property which there are over 500 million users worldwide. This could be potentially big.
But let’s not forget the beheamoth out there: GOOGLE. Google already has Google Talk, Google Voice. And now with Google+ properties: Hangouts and Messenger, it can only be a matter of time before Google figures out how to integrate each one of them into one unified communications platform, which would of course be applied to Android phones, and android enabled devices. Which is of course the tablets, but ALSO GoogleTV and Android-based television sets. Once google figures out how to combine/integrate/make it seamless between each of the messaging platforms into a unified communications platform, they’ll have the consumer market, not only for PCs, tablets, and smartphone, but the living room thanks to GoogleTV, which I tell you know, if Google doesn’t sell of the Motorola set-top boxes, then Google will have the living room dominance that Microsoft has been trying to break into for 10-12 years now!
This, however, doesn’t discourage the other competitor’s out there. Because it’s still in it’s early stages, I think someone can come out ahead, like FB did, and gain the market dominance that is so richly deserved. Of course FB will try it’s hardest to capitalize on this market as well. The more users it has, the better. So if you get everyone who has a smartphone to install FB messenger, you’ll have way more FB Users actively using a FB property every day, which in the long-term helps out FB.