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A Guide to the Top Messaging Apps & Why Marketers Should Take Note

Posted 23 March 2016 9:00 AM by Nisha Contractor, @MoxieUSA, @nishdish

A standard text message is so last year. Consumers are ditching the typical SMS text for more functional messaging apps and it’s easy to see why. Apps offer more seamless communication, location sharing, free international calling, and don’t require the need for a cell connection. Plus, who can resist a good emoticon or sticker for communicating?

Marketers are getting behind the trend too, especially when trying to reach a younger audience. Millenials dominate the use of messaging apps due to their desire to chat and share visual content within a more private format. Additionally, the majority of app users are open to engage with brands in-app. It will be important for marketers to keep their efforts within messaging apps valuable and authentic to the user, making sure not to disrupt the conversation.

Here’s an easy guide to some of the most popular messaging apps. Download, explore and uncover ways to meaningfully engage with an always-connected consumer.

  1. WeChat: Includes all standard forms of communication, but also offers video calls and can connect users with people outside of their own contacts based on geo-location functionality.
  2. WhatsApp: Users can send text, photos, voice and video through this simple interface. The first year is free, with a cost of $0.99 a year following the trial.
  3. Group Me: Focuses on seamless group messaging and has become a leader for small businesses to save on conferencing and texting costs.
  4. Kik: The key differentiator is a way to summon a full browser inside the user’s chat with friends, allowing for quick sharing of music, videos and memes. The app also offers one of the most robust opportunities for integrated brand content.
  5. Facebook Messenger: Call it old school, but Messenger was the fastest growing app in the US in 2015 according to Nielsen research. Facebook is pushing to make the app the go-to platform for everyday interactions in 2016.
  6. Viber: This app syncs with your phone to find contacts and is wildly popular for sending stickers, emoticons and photos. Users can also call non-Viber numbers worldwide for a small fee.

Let us know which messaging apps you use (personally or for your clients) in the comments!

About the Author:

Nisha Contractor is Director of Strategy in the Moxie Pittsburgh office. Outside of work, she keeps busy with yoga, her DVR and her favorite past time: people watching. You can find her on Twitter @NishDish. Be sure to ask about the time she did karaoke with Jimmy Fallon. 


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