Messaging apps (a.k.a. "Social messaging" or "chat applications") are apps and platforms that enable messaging, many of which started around social networking platforms, but many of which have now developed into broad platforms enabling status updates, chatbots, payments and conversational commerce (e-commerce via chat).
Some examples of popular messaging apps include WhatsApp, China's WeChat and QQ Messenger, Viber, Line, Snapchat, Korea's KakaoTalk, Google Hangouts, Blackberry Messenger, Telegram, and Vietnam's Zalo. Slack focuses on messaging and file sharing for work teams. Some social networking services offer messaging services as a component of their overall platform, such as Facebook's Facebook Messenger, along with Instagram and Twitter's direct messaging functions.
Messaging apps are the most widely used smartphone apps with in 2018 over 1.3 billion monthly users of WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, 980 million monthly active users of WeChat and 843 million monthly active users of QQ Mobile.
Online chatting apps differ from the previous generation of instant messaging platforms like the defunct AIM, Yahoo! Messenger, and Windows Live Messenger, in that they are primarily used via mobile apps on smartphones as opposed to personal computers, although some messaging apps offer web-based versions or software for PC operating systems.
As people upgraded in the 2010s from feature phones to smartphones, they moved from traditional calling and SMS (which are paid services) to messaging apps which are free or only incur small data charges.
Messaging apps each have some of the following features:
- One-on-one chat
- Group chat
- Broadcast lists
- Chatbots (including "bot in group chats")
- "Smart replies" (suggested replies to incoming messages provided by Google's Reply platform )
- Voice calls
- Video calls
- Audio alerts (on Line)
- File sharing
- "Mini Programs" (e.g. WeChat Mini Program)
- News discovery (e.g. Snapchat Discover)
- Payments or mobile wallet, e.g. WeChat Pay which processes much of the Chinese mobile payment volume of US$5 trillion (2016)
- Personal (cloud) storage
- Push notifications
- Status updates (WhatsApp Status, WeChat Moments)
- Virtual assistant, e.g. Google Assistant in Google Allo
Unlike chat rooms with many users engaging in multiple and overlapping conversations, instant messaging application sessions usually take place between two users in a private, back-and-forth style of communication.
One of the core features of different messaging apps is the ability to see whether a friend or co-worker is online and connected through the selected service -- a capability known as presence. As the technology has evolved, many online messaging apps have added support for exchanging more than just text-based messages, allowing actions like file transfers and image sharing within the instant messaging session.
Instant messaging also differs from email in the immediacy of the message exchange. It also tends to be session-based, having a start and an end. Because application message is intended to mimic in-person conversations, individual messages are often brief. Email, on the other hand, usually reflects a longer-form, letter-writing style.
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F.A.Q about Messaging Applications
What is instant messaging software?
Companies use instant messaging software to facilitate communication between their staff members who may be located in different places and countries. Popular websites such as Facebook offer instant chat services for free. Good quality messenger application solutions provide useful features such as video calling, web conferencing, and VoIP. Advanced platforms offer IP radio, IPTV, and desktop sharing tools. Large enterprises have greater communication needs and therefore they typically invest in installing an internal IM server to serve their thousands of employees.
Why people use Messaging Apps?
- Real-time text transmission
- Records of a chat history
- Easy for multitasking
- Operating anytime anywhere using the WiFi or Mobile Network operators
Communication is an essential component of any business: interaction with external or internal customers, end users, employees. A good communication platform is vital to stay connected with the employees and broadcast information fast and efficiently. Thousands of people support the escalation from IM to other ways of communication, such as group chat, voice calls or video conferencing.
Depending on the purpose of use we can separate popular messenger nto those with business needs or for corporate use, such as Slack, Hangouts, Flock, Stride and those for everyday communications like WhatsApp, FB Messenger, WeChat, Telegram, and others.
How messaging apps can benefit your business?
Heads bowed, shoulders hunched over glowing screens—we all might be a little guilty of smartphone addiction, and mobile usage is only increasing. We’re in constant communication with one another, and over the past few years messaging apps like Facebook Messenger and WeChat have become commonplace. Of the 10 most globally used apps, messaging apps account for 6.
With consumer messaging apps on the rise, businesses have begun to connect with customers on yet another channel. According to Gartner, “By 2019, requests for customer support through consumer mobile messaging apps will exceed requests for customer support through traditional social media.”
Serving up customer support through customer messaging software can deepen your brand’s relationship with customers. On the customer side, messaging apps provide an immediate way to connect with your business and get a response.
Here are three ways your business can benefit from connecting with customers over consumer messaging apps:
- Unrestricted communication. No matter where they are in the world, messaging apps offer your customers unrestricted communication options. Unlike SMS, which often incurs charges, your customers can still reach out privately via messaging apps and receive a timely response without worrying about cost. That means happier customers, and happy customers mean a happy bottom line for your business.
- Move customer queries from public to private. Giving your customers an easy option to reach your business privately not only decreases their likelihood of publicly tweeting a complaint, it also offers a space to exchange sensitive information, like delivery details. With a more private outlet for customer interactions, your business can thoroughly help customers while simultaneously saving brand face.
- Increase first contact resolution with chatbot integrations. According to Gartner, artificial intelligence is a top trend for 2017. With the help of chatbots, your business can better manage workflows and automatically respond to customer requests via messaging. Chatbots can help point customers to the right information, helping them self-serve and ultimately allowing your support agents to focus on the issues that require a human touch.