WeChat, the mobile text and voice messaging communication service developed by Tencent in China, has already incorporated a whole e-commerce system within that service, “allowing third-parties to create their own individual stores”. In effect, it has created a ‘sticky’ place where its users not only send messages and payments to each another, but can also play games, shop and purchase items without leaving the app.
Now it looks like Facebook intends to do the same with Messenger.
According to TechCrunch, Facebook’s Messenger Bot Store could be the most important launch since the App Store. This new application would enable users to browse, search, purchase and download third party applications, goods and services directly onto their mobile devices. In fact, Facebook just announced such integration with KLM, where one can receive KLM flight confirmation message, access their KLM boarding pass, receive check-in reminders, get flight status updates, and have their customer service questions answered, right from Messenger.
Why is this significant?
First look at the numbers: “Today, Facebook Messenger has 800 million monthly active users – more than 100 times the number of iPhone owners when Apple launched the App Store. Messenger’s current active user base exceeds even the total number of iPhones ever sold. Messaging apps now have more active users than social networks”.
Next think about the experience: Imagine using Messenger to quickly and easily make purchases, restaurant reservations, and travel bookings. A “conversational user interface” would make even an app feel bloated.
Retailers – get prepared for yet another huge disruption that is on its way.