Amazon dominates the online retail space, and its Alexa-powered Echo speaker has also seen considerable success. Now it looks like Amazon might be venturing into the messaging space with a new app called Anytime. According to a report by Aftvnews, which first reported the story, Amazon’s Anytime app could be launched soon, and the e-commerce giant is already “surveying customers” about what they want in a new messaging app.
The report says, “It’s unclear how far along the new service is, but one customer said the survey seemed to imply it was a ready product.” According to the report, the messaging service will have voice, video calls, photos sharing ability, filters, masks, etc. Additionally the messaging app will have tasks like playing games, order food, which can be done in groups.
It is unclear if the service will have end-to-end encryption turned on by default, though according to the report, it will encrypt bank account details. Oh, and more importantly the idea here is to let users shop from Amazon, so privacy will be an important question.
Amazon has messaging, calling on Alexa devices, but for a messaging app to take off won’t be that easy. For starters, the messaging space is pretty crowded as well, and Facebook dominates with WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. Google’s Allo and Duo, which were launched with much fanfare, but haven’t quite made the impact they were expected to.
For iOS users, iMessage might be the preferred app to use to messaging, sharing links etc, even if it is a little more complicated now with all the extras being added by Apple. WhatsApp itself plans to brings services to the platform soon. Then there’s Snapchat, the app that has been copied by pretty much everyone, and the reason why everyone messaging app now has some sort of filters, face masks options in photos. Instagram’s Direct is also growing given the explosion that Instagram Stories has seen.
So yes, for Amazon’s Anytime, success will really depend on what it offers and whether users find it an attractive option. A differentiated offering the messaging space won’t be enough to win in this space.