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Messaging will be preferred mobile channel in the future, says Snaps exec

NEW YORK ? As messaging platforms continue to explode in popularity, they will become the new preferred channel for consumer-to-consumer and consumer-to-brand mobile interaction, said an executive from Snaps.

At Mindshare Messaging Day, an internal series of talks and presentations from companies in the messaging space, at Mindshare?s company?s office in Manhattan, the executive spoke about the future of messaging platforms and how they may soon overcome other forms of mobile interaction ? the mobile Web, namely ? as the most popular mobile channel for consumers.

?Consumers trust messaging because they know that the conversations they have with each other and with brands are private,? said Chao Liao, director of partnerships at Snaps. ?We are trying to maximize the value for both consumers and brands.?

Mobile messaging
At the event, Mr. Liao spoke about the new possibilities that messaging apps present for the modern consumer, going over the many ways that technology takes form ? sticker packs, branded emojis and keyboards all the way up to dedicated chatbots.

Mobile messaging platforms are growing in popularity every day, with mobile messaging apps being the number one most used feature on mobile, edging out social media and other apps and having the highest retention rate of any mobile channel.

Mr. Liao gave three reasons for messaging?s popularity. ?The three key reasons people love messaging is trust, immediacy and control,? he said.

Users trust messaging more than they do other apps and are more likely to give sensitive information such as credit card info or location through a messaging app than by another method.

That trust is compounded by the immediacy of mobile messaging. Rather than send an email or post on a customer support page for a brand and await a response, customers can now get immediate, personalized responses from the brands they interact with through chatbots and messaging services.

Finally, messaging presents a level of control that other channels cannot.

With branded keyboards, such as the ones provided by Snaps? Keyboard 3.0 template, users can see branded messages in the forms of emojis, gifs and stickers, but it will not enter their content streams unless they decide to send them themselves.

Chatbots are another area where messaging will be a huge player in the retail and commerce spaces.

As the space evolves, more and more brands will beging to have their own chatbots that can handle many of the things that are now taken care of by apps, Web sites and in-person meetings.

Soon, users will be able to search for products, see recommended items, ask questions, find nearby stores and make purchases all through a dedicated chatbot that lives on a messaging platform.

?More and more consumers will start to adopt messaging bots, but right now we are in the infancy, day one, in terms of what AI can bring,? said Jeff Malmad, managing director and head of mobile and Life+ at Mindshare NA. ?But the opportunity for growth is immense and the opportunity for commerce is significant.

?The ability to connect with the consumer and connect with it will happen over time. The fact that Apple has opened up iMessage to third party developers is a huge step.?

Looking forward
The challenge now facing the world of messaging is that it is still young and standard consumer behavior is not ironed out. But rather than try to standardize one set of practices for all the many competing mobile messaging platforms, Snaps is encouraging platforms to play up their differences.

?Users interact Facebook Messenger in a very different way than they do Tango, for example, which has a large population of Spanish-speaking users, making it popular with first-generation immigrants? Mr. Liao said.

He compared them to publications. There is the New York Times, which everyone reads, and then there are more niche publications, which people interact with in different ways.

Encouraging that kind of variety will only lead to a better understanding of how consumers want to use messaging, which will in turn help brands and platforms to shape how they develop and what they offer.

?The messaging ecosystem is a new world of personalization, allows us to engage consumers in unique and different ways unlike we have before.,? Mr. Malmad said.