Messaging, meetup and the future of RTC as a Service

August 19, 2014

Messaging as a service or messaging as a feature?

I am one who believes that vendors utilizing WebRTC can end up killing Skype. Not in the literal sense of the word, but rather in the notion that they can dilute Skype from its value. The way this will happen? By taking communications elsewhere in a specific context – each service with its own context – leaving Skype with less interactions.

This same thing may be happening in the broader messaging market as well. For those not from around here, messaging is something I look at occasionally. Messaging is evolving rapidly.

A couple of items that have caught my eyes recently are the following news items:

  1. Meetup adds messaging, which makes a lot of sense
  2. WeChat’s monetization schemes, essentially – anything but the comms service itself
  3. And then there’s facebook splitting its messaging from the social network app and having too many messaging strategies

These are 3 distinct types of players:

  1. Service that adds messaging as a feature
  2. A messaging service
  3. A social network

If I had to plot this out somehow, it would be something like this:

Messaging Market Landscape

Now, feel free to add here anyone that might fit in: Facebook, LinkedIn, LINE, Viber, Whatsapp, Snapchat, Pinterest, Instagram, …

One thing that is apparent: messaging as a service is a commodity. The money to be made here is either by increasing the user base and then either selling it downstream as analytics or building a service (current fad is ecommerce).

The previous fight of messaging was against Telcos – and the end result of SMS’s value declining rapidly.

The next battle will be between messaging and other services who rely on communications. I don’t see any single distinct winner there.

And as with WebRTC, money is to be made from context.


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