SnatchApp Blog
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The Forecast for Messaging Apps, Part 1 of 2
SnatchApp Team, 07/08/2017

New private conversation interfaces are changing the way brands interact with their customers. More than three billion consumers today use messaging apps—and they’re not just spending time. They’re investing energy, having an experience, and sharing emotion. Harnessing the opportunities of such apps as Facebook Messenger, WeChat, and SnatchApp can be a challenge, but the benefits may be far greater than you can imagine.

There’s a shift happening right now in which the messaging apps of the last several years are colliding with “intelligent assistants” like Amazon Echo and Apple’s Siri, as well as integrating automated chatbots. Apps alone are no longer the way of the future; they are evolving, implementing other technologies in such a way that enhances a user’s experience like never before.

This is a potential treasure trove for marketing. It’s our belief that traditional broadcast advertising will eventually be replaced by interactive, personalized conversations between brands and consumers—precisely the type offered by messaging apps and communication platforms. These interfaces will delve deeper than ever before into the interpersonal relationship and blur the line between advertising and communicating.

Take Facebook, for instance. With nearly two billion active users, not only are they the world’s largest social media network, but they are also the premier messaging app right now. With that size user base, it’s unlikely that other providers are likely to take a significant market share.

Therefore, recent innovations are trending toward adjacent technology—specifically voice-driven AI, digital assistants, and bots. In 2016, Facebook began integrating bots into their messenger app, an opportunity that they’re competitors are not yet affording.

Despite the progressive strides being made, messaging apps are still engaging more users on a per-minute basis per day, which is why the innovations being made are focusing on integration of these newer technologies, and not a replacement of the traditional messaging app. Ultimately this has the ability to make them a dominant interface through which consumers experience brands, and by extension, change the methods by which brands and marketers handle customer service.

For example, the SnatchBot platform, which blends the smartest ML (machine-learning) and AI (artificial intelligence) technologies with peerless conversational design, allows for Node.js integration, which allows users to perform functions like calling APIs, or interacting with any type of database.

There are several means by which the SnatchBot platform allows your bots to be deployed:

Web
Email
SMS (for example, Twilio option)
Any API (like Twitter, Google Calendar, or Trello, to name a few)
Chat Messenger: Facebook Messenger, Skype, Viber, Telegram, Line, SnatchApp (build once and deploy to conversational channels that reach more than three billion users)

Blurring the line between AI and Messaging

Industry analysts estimate that over the next few years, messaging apps will rise even further—but in parallel to these adjacent technologies. Innovations in AI and chatbots alike require progress in voice recognition, semantic search, and natural language processing, all of which, when integrated with messaging apps, have the capacity to create a new type of interface that is recognizable, but changes the ways in which we interact with each other. In short, text-based communication and voice-enabled intelligent agents will merge, and conversation will become the new interface for computing.

After testing it, the SnatchBot platform equips you with the ability to publish your text, voice, or video chatbots easily to all web apps, channels, and chat services, such as Facebook Messenger. SnatchBot is already the only platform on the market today that allows you to sync across chat channels, which means that a user can start a conversation on Facebook Messenger, continue on a website, and end in SMS with no interruption.

Consider the brief history of the computer interface: the mouse and keyboard, the internet browser, and more recently, touch-based technology. The next logical improvement in how we interact with digital devices is the method by which our brains best compute thought—through language. Simple conversation is the most natural way for us as humans to connect with our environments.

Such innovations are already crossing over industry lines; for example, Ford and Amazon have partnered to implement voice-activated technology in automobiles. By progressively leveraging artificial intelligence in an effort to understand users’ intent, while blending the automation of bots with support from human input, new technology will be able to improve the experience of contextual conversation and advance such interfaces.

“Messaging apps of the future will be hyper-personal assistants,” says Avi B., Founder of SnatchApp and SnatchBot. “As the technology matures and more granular data is collected, messaging apps will eventually be predictive to users’ input, and have the ability to make automatic recommendations, rather than simply answer questions in conversations.”

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