Ben Eidelson published a very interesting article on Medium last week called The Messaging Landscape in 2016. Eidelson provides a great overview of why messaging has become the world’s most popular form of communication. He also offers insights into the expansion of messaging beyond person-to-person communication, as well as a look at the platforms and technologies poised to support this growth.
After reading Eidelson’s observations on what’s so great about messaging, his insights seem obvious. But I’d never connected the dots the way that Eidelson does to really understand why messaging is such a compelling form of communication.
Here’s my summary of Eidelson’s key points on the beauty of messaging:
- Messaging is essentially asynchronous, but it can be synchronous when needed. There so many benefits to reaching out to someone in an asynchronous manner. It takes lots of pressure off, it feels more polite and respectful of the other person’s time and space, and it requires so much less commitment than making a voice call.
- The messaging interactions we have with acquaintances and loved ones linger in our messaging apps as long-lived conversations. You can always refer back to previous conversations, so you have the whole history of your interactions with that person all in one convenient place.
- The conversation list in your messaging app becomes your default interface into the people most important in your life. The messaging app intuitively shows the people you’re currently or recently interacting with at the top. This native ordering makes messaging apps the most natural social platform of all.
Eidelson also looks at the hype around the potential for messaging to expand into business-to-consumer interactions. He’s a believer in the many benefits that messaging-based interactions can have for both businesses and the customers they serve.
The article also provides a good overview of the messaging landscape. Eidelson puts the players in this space into three main categories: end-user messaging apps, platform APIs, and assistants for “X.” His index of companies at the end of the post is a good guide.
If you’re interested in the world of messaging, the supporting vendors, and the potential for market opportunities, Eidelson’s post is definitely worth a read.