Digital Communication News: Messaging & More
The world of technology is constantly in flux: social networks, messaging apps, smartphones, and software solutions are constantly changing, developing new features, gaining or losing popularity, performing better or worse financially. Each app update has the potential to show which direction an industry is heading in or which new features will rattle the digital landscape. Quarterly numbers and announcements from major players like Apple, Facebook, and Google spark articles, predictions, fears, and excitement all over the world. And it makes sense – these companies control how we communicate and the flow of information in daily life.
In this article, we’ll provide a quick and readable monthly overview of the most exciting changes in the digital communication world. In between, feel free to check out our series “Messaging Apps & Brands” for an overview of the most important messaging apps globally, and “Messaging App Usage Statistics” where we report statistics for various countries.
Apple: Down but Still #1
According to Apple’s own reporting, their 1st quarter numbers are just short of their goals and show revenue declines across different areas. On the plus side, Tim Cook highlighted that Apple has also “reached an all-time high of 1.4 billion” of active installed devices – which means a lot of users for Apple Business Chat, and means that Apple has almost as many users as WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger.
Device Report has released a listing of which smartphones are currently the most popular in each country, and iPhones are leading in the vast majority of countries, including the UK, USA, Germany, Singapore, Australia, and many more. For now, Apple doesn’t seem to be in trouble.
Google’s Business Messaging
According to The Next Web, Google is planning to challenge its competitors in consumer-to-business messaging – specifically, WhatsApp with the WhatsApp Business API and Apple with Apple Business Chat. Although Google has long hung behind in terms of messaging relevance, with various projects that failed to really take off, Google has now updated its My Business app to facilitate easy professional messaging.
Much like in Apple Business Chat, consumers who find companies online (in Safari, where Google remains the default search) or in maps will have a handy “message” button displayed. Since Google Maps is widely preferred over Apple Maps, Google’s business messaging may be able to gain some ground.
Facebook: Messenger Merger?
Facebook came out with what has been perhaps the first bombshell of 2019: Mark Zuckerberg broke the news that he is planning to integrate Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and Instagram messenger services sometime in 2020. The internet has already speculated at great length about the pitfalls and advantages of this possibility, with data protection worries and questions about differences between platform profiles coming to the forefront. However, Zuckerberg seems to consider this possible merger as an answer to the data protection woes: quoted in Mashable, he is excited about “moving more to end to end encryption by default in our products. People like this in WhatsApp. I think it’s the direction we should be going in.”
Although Zuckerberg says he wants Facebook to focus more on encryption, some people aren’t so sure. Forbes writer Kate O’Flaherty covered the topic with additional information about messaging apps with a clear focus on security, such as Viber, Signal, Telegram, and Wickr. Time will tell whether Facebook can clear its name, or whether more encrypted messaging apps will grow in popularity.