The battle for our attention has once again shifted to a new technological plane within the mobile space. The industry now is starting to turn its attention away from apps and instead focusing on a new interface to drive “conversational commerce,” a concept first named by social designer Chris Messina. It’s centered around “delivering convenience, personalization, and decision support while people are on the go, with only partial attention to spare,” Messina wrote.
Already there are quite a few services lined up to capitalize on this opportunity, including Path’s Talk, Kik, Telegram, Skype, WeChat, and Line. However, nobody appeared to be a market leader — at least until Facebook entered the scene.
At this year’s F8 developer conference, the social networking companyannounced it was investing more into the messaging platform it launched in 2014. This means we’ll start to see more businesses using Facebook Messenger to communicate with their customers and the introduction of bots to the platform. So with all of the fanfare heaped on the company this week, has Facebook’s entry resulted in a significant impact on this conversational commerce industry?
“It’s a once-in-a-decade paradigm shift,” said Beerud Sheth, CEO of the bot development firm Gupshup, when asked about the technological trend towards engagement in messaging. He believes it could be as significant as when Apple cofounder Steve Jobs introduced the world to the App Store. Mike Roberts, Kik’s head of messaging and bot experience, described it this way: Messaging is the new browser and bots are the websites.