Bloomberg Intelligence: Chat apps and bots are changing the face of mobile

Bloomberg Media is at CES this week, living the mobile life. Now, there’s a new frontier in mobile, as chat apps and bots change how individuals interact with groups and businesses. Bloomberg Intelligence tracks how that’s creating opportunities for marketers and entrepreneurs in 2017. 

This analysis is by Bloomberg Intelligence analysts Anthea Lai and Jitendra Waral. It first appeared on the Bloomberg Terminal.

Chat apps will reign over the mobile world via tailored content, services

Chat apps and bots may increasingly dominate interaction in the mobile world, opening new avenues for brand names, marketers and game developers to connect with customers.

Chat apps’ one-on-one features help individuals feel more personally engaged than social networking sites, which usually involve a larger community. Billions of active users globally probably tap mobile messengers as a first go-to place over other apps.


Chat apps may outperform social networks on privacy, engagement

Mobile messaging apps may continue to outpace social networks in user growth as the former offer better privacy protection and user loyalty. People likely spend more chat time on a mobile messenger than on a social-networking site, with growth in monthly active users surpassing social networking sites until at least 2019, according to eMarketer. The number of messaging app users may exceed 2 billion globally by 2018.

Chat apps lead ad format creativity, enhance customer conversion

Advertisers can enrich content by enabling target audiences to chat with spokespersons and view live marketing events, rather than simply sending plain text messages.

Chat apps, such as Japan’s Line, reward users for viewing video ads, adding official accounts as their friends or downloading apps using virtual currency. Line also helps brands design cute electronics stickers to lure customers. 


Bots may boost Facebook and Line’s bots to copy WeChat’s all-in-one

Users’ chat records with bots let companies study consumer behavior and make purchase recommendations accordingly. Providers of chat apps like Facebook and Line Corp. haven’t replicated Tencent’s WeChat monetization success in areas like e-commerce and electronic payment since users are probably rooted in too many other online services. China’s mobile-first internet adoption empowered WeChat’s service integration.

Google, Facebook chat bots raise stakes in online travel bookings

OTA vendors are in the process of experimenting with voice and chat-based assistants to augment their bookings platforms. In an optimistic scenario, chatbots on popular messaging platforms, such as Facebook, WhatsApp and WeChat, may influence all steps for booking online travel from search to payments.


Chatbot technology is still at a nascent stage and is likely to evolve before it’s in a position to replace manual searches and human conversation. Millennials (ages 17-34) are likely to be the early adopters of these new technologies. 

Facebook messenger update paves way to monetize a billion users

Facebook updating Messenger to allow business-to-consumer interactions and payment-processing capabilities may pave the way for the social media giant to monetize its billion-plus users longer-term.


Consumers can use the service on an opt-in basis for customer service interactions and also choose to get non-advertising messages, such as health monitoring and bills.

A survey conducted by Twilio suggests consumers prefer messaging services as the primary communication platform with businesses. Facebook has 34,000 developers for its Messenger platform, along with 30,000 active chat bots. 

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– Compiled by Jen Robinson | December 30, 2016