’s play in the messaging space is an intriguing one and certainly something that taps into the psyche of the 21st century eclectic communicator. Three quarters of all smartphone owners today use multiple messaging services simultaneously, alongside SMS, a subconscious strategy that allows them to communicate cheaply and efficiently, all the while fully benefitting from rich features and service quality. Google’s unified approach, enabling interworking across multiple services is a powerful move, in line with an increasing user demand for a experience.
Directly competing with Facebook Home and iChat, the key application of Google ‘Hangout’ is the “Follow Me” tool, whereby your presence is recognised and your messages and notifications are updated according to the device/application you are using. Acision’s own consumer research indicated that 62% of users were in favour of a messaging service which allowed them to receive a message on any device, with a further 44% confirming that a presence feature, capable of directing notifications to the device in use, were an attractive concept. This is a mantra that Google’s move into the cross platform messaging space clearly recognises.
However, the reality today is that operators continue to stand in a far superior position than any other OTT provider as their networks offer the only ubiquitous messaging service, capable of reaching over 6 billion mobile devices. Our research also revealed that 78% of participants surveyed are interested in an operator-led cross platform messaging service which would allow them to send SMS, MMS and IP messages from one single consolidated messaging application, working across multiple devices and interworking across all messaging services and social network applications. Launches like this only serve to highlight the opportunity for carriers to launch one consolidated messaging app – via (RCS) or other rich messaging apps – which combines all the requirements consumers expect today.