From pure-play messaging apps to hybrid apps with messaging functionality, IAB explores this exciting new marketing medium.
IAB Definition of Messaging
Messaging enables and empowers real-time connection and communication with other contacts in a permission-based, predominantly mobile environment.
Compared to traditional social media platforms, messaging is typically on a more one-to-one or one-to-few basis, a narrowcast versus a broadcast.
Compared to traditional email or SMS text messages, messaging can afford interaction with rich media in a more instantaneous way due to the real-time push notification nature of apps.
The industry has typically defined “messaging apps” to mean primarily pure-play messaging apps, not taking into account many hybrid apps where there is messaging functionality, but where messaging may not play the primary role. IAB suggests that focusing solely on pure-play messaging apps is a limited view, from both consumer and advertiser standpoints. The IAB definition of the messaging includes:
Pure-play messaging apps such as Facebook’s Messenger, Kik, and Viber
Other hybrid messaging apps where there is messaging functionality, but where messaging may not necessarily be the primary function, such as Instagram, Tinder, Tumblr, etc.
These messaging apps are all primarily—though not exclusively—mobile-focused.
The number of messaging options in the U.S. are increasing at a rapid pace, with numerous functions beyond chat being offered to enhance the consumer experience, including chatbots, music, stickers, games, and more. According to David Kalmar, Ph.D., Vice President of Consumer Science at Emogi, “This can be seen in the explosion in the use of emoji in messaging: This year, over two trillion emoji will be used in the U.S. alone.”
Frequently Asked Questions About Messaging Apps and Hybrid Apps with Chat Functions
We surveyed a number of leading players in the U.S. messaging space to determine the most common questions they receive from both publishers and advertisers/marketers. With a few exceptions, publisher and brand/agency questions generally focus on the same areas.
The questions being asked from the buy-side strongly suggest the need for broad “Messaging 101” education and case studies to help the U.S. market navigate this rapidly evolving space.
Messaging Takes Place Between People, Not Bewteen Bots. So Where do Chatbots Fit in the Messaging Space?
Chatbots as a component of messaging are important and will become increasingly more so as technology evolves and bot capabilities expand.
Bots offer to publishers and brands a personal way to engage with consumers through a channel they already likely use—messaging. While much of the industry conversation about chatbots has focused on e-commerce and customer service, chatbots offer functionality to forge increasingly personal connections with consumers on multiple levels. Bots can run the gamut from “conversational” to “experiential,” leveraging other forms of interaction that consumers are accustomed to from the app world. Convincing consumers to use a chatbot within the messaging space is a win-win-win: The app gains desired stickiness, the brand benefits from enhanced communication with the user, and the consumer benefits from real-time interactions in a space where they are already active.
As a starting point for understanding chatbots on messaging platforms, IAB identified the top five chatbot capabilities most likely to be found within messaging apps:
What’s Next for IAB in the Messaging Space?
IAB is grateful to the following individuals representing companies in the messaging space for generously taking the time to share their invaluable insights in this survey.
Product Marketing Communications Lead, Messenger
Senior Partnership Manager
Head of Global Sales
Match Media Group
Head of Audience Development
Head of North America
This paper was prepared by the IAB Messaging Working Group, listed below, that was Co-Chaired by David Kalmar of Emogi, Mickey Mantas of LinkedIn, and Yinon Horwitz of StartApp, and under the lead of IAB’s Susan Borst.
SVP, Product Management
Co-Founder & CEO
Alliance for Audited Media (AAM)
Manager, Digital Auditing Services
Manager Social Distribution
Sr. Director, Product
The Atlanta Journal-Consitution/Cox Media Group
Senior Director/Digital Products
Todd S Richards
VP Account Management
VP Product Management
Sr. Product Manager
Principle Analyst, Mobile
VP of Consumer Science
Product Marketing Communications Lead
VP Advertising Strategy
Director, Ad Product
Head of Global Advertising Operations
Practice Lead, Connected Life
Senior Technology Strategist at Monotype Imaging
SVP, Digital & Editorial Director
Senior Sales Executive
Eddie de Guia
Co-Founder & Managing Director
Senior Marketing Manager
Head of Business Development EMEA
Sr. Director, R&D Business Strategy
Sales Athlete Media Network
Director of Marketing
Director of Business Development
Head of Product Marketing
Business Development Manager
VP and Co-Founder
Director of Mobile Development
Chief Strategy Officer
Head of Audience Development
VP, Social Media
For any questions about the IAB Messaging App Working Group, please email Susan Borst, Deputy Director – Mobile, [email protected]