Mobile Messaging Apps To Dominate SMS By 2018: Salesforce

Group of young adults (18-20 years) using mobile phones.

It seems the likes of Facebook Messenger and WeChat are here to stay, with Salesforce predicting that 75 per cent of mobile messaging traffic is set to go via these direct communication apps by 2018.

Huntley Mitchell
Posted by Huntley Mitchell

Speaking today at the company’s Future of Marketing Forum in Sydney, Lucy Brindley, head of mobile for the Asia-Pacific region at Salesforce Marketing Cloud, told attendees that while SMS is still continuing to grow exponentially – “it’s growing in line in terms of volume, in terms of frequency” – one thing has changed.

“What we’re seeing is text messaging is moving away from marketing and more into this service-related messaging such as delivery notifications and appointment reminders,” she said.

At the same time, Brindley said app notifications are becoming smarter and more accessible, providing companies with an effective direct marketing channel and giving rise to the concept of an app within an app.

“We as consumers only tend to access five apps [on our mobile phones] on a day-to-day basis, so as brands, how to we gain mindshare when we’ve got such a limitation in terms of how we’re actually consuming information from apps?” she questioned.

“If we look at Uber, for example, it’s really trying to diversify and add other lifestyles services to its original application, like Uber Eats and Uber Beats, and is ultimately providing a richer experience for users.”

Brindley said Facebook Messenger is another example of an app with in an app, noting that the amount of time consumers spend in direct communication apps such as this completely outstrips the amount of time spent in music streaming and gaming apps, “which previously dominated the market”.

“Not only that, we’re really engaged with these direct communication apps – we’re sending over 11 times more messages through these apps than SMS, and the prediction is that 75 per cent of mobile messaging traffic is going to go through these apps by 2018,” she added.

“Moving a little bit further into the future, we’re seeing intelligent bots and Facebook M. This is again about bringing together recommendations based on your previous behaviour, but using a mixture of artificial intelligence to ask some of your queries, which is fantastic.

“So the question is, because messaging apps are the new platforms for companies to provide information directly to customers, do these AI bots become the new apps?

“[Mobile analyst] Benedict Evans hit the nail on the head when he said that the old concept is that software expands until it includes messaging, but the new concept is that messaging expands until it includes software.”