Apple Levels Up In Messaging: Five Things Marketers Need To Know
At Apple’s developer conference yesterday there were some major announcements about the future of mobile messaging on iOS 10, Apple’s latest mobile operating system. These updates are game changing for marketers who are interested in harnessing the massive audience power of mobile messaging. We are more excited than ever to provide marketers with a platform to take advantage of this quickly evolving and growing space, where there are 270+ billion messages sent everyday, and for this reason we have unpacked the updates below for easy consumption.
1) Apple opens Messages to third party apps
There is no longer a 'globe' constraint to the number of apps a consumer can install for Messages. With the App Store for Messages, access to an unlimited set of Apps will be at your fingertips providing even richer experiences for users beyond content sharing, such as buying and transacting, daily utilities, and much, much more.
For marketers this means that your apps become conversational in ways they have never been before. Users can now message with friends about daily activities, and when needed, can launch your applications within those conversations to complete social tasks such as ordering food, clothes, travel tickets, share music and so much more. The opportunities are really endless for making your brand’s experience conversational within this new App Store.
2) Apple adds deeper sticker integration...and predictive emojis?
There will be no more copy and pasting of images. Now stickers and gifs will be automatically added to the compose bar when selected. What's more exciting is they can be drag-and-dropped onto photos in the messaging pane to allow users to dress up their photos or messages. Emojis also received some love from Apple with predictions for the semi-automatized replacement of words with emojis.
We have been saying that mobile messaging is more than texting for over two years, and now this has truly become mainstream with this integration into Apple’s native messaging app. This means that messaging is truly the next rich media distribution channel, and really is the next evolution of social sharing for branded content.
3) Rich links for video and websites mean you never have to leave
Now when a user shares a link or video within Messages, there is a rich preview of the site that can then be “hard pressed” using Apple’s 3D touch feature, and viewed directly within Messages without ever leaving the conversation.
This is huge for long form branded content distribution and ecommerce businesses. If you are a publisher, your articles can now be shared directly within Messages at a peer-to-peer level, and read right within the application. If you are a goods manufacturer, fans can now share their favorite items with their friends in Messages, and the purchase can take place right within the conversation.
4) Siri can interact with brand experiences on messaging apps
Siri can now interact with third party applications in new ways. For Messaging, this means that you can use Siri to send messages via third party apps like WeChat, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Kik and Slack. This means that you can message friends on your favorite messaging apps with voice commands, similar to its integration into Messages historically.
Voice command AI continues to advance in performance, and what was once a novelty is now becoming a powerful tool for users to increase messaging frequency and response time. This integration will increase usage of third party messaging applications, which means it’s more important than ever for your brand to have a presence on applications like Facebook Messenger, WeChat, and Kik - where brands can have promoted 1-1 experiences at scale using chatbot technologies.
5) Our “One More Thing” – Apple and chatbots
At Snaps, we have been watching the mobile messaging space evolve, and expect Apple to take a “sitback and watch” approach to chatbots. We deeply believe in the power of one-to-one marketing at scale, and believe that Apple is positioned to take the market by storm next year. The deep integration between Apple’s software systems and hardware allows for rich chatbot experiences within the lock screen, using 3D touch to click in and out of messages, and allowing access to application experiences within messages means that chatbots on Messages could be the most powerful marketing channel of this decade.