Amazon possibly working on new stand-alone messaging app called Anytime

Messaging apps dominate the top charts of the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store. Despite there being dozens of different apps in the category, many of them have managed to garner millions of users. It appears as though Amazon wants a piece of the action and is working on their own stand-alone messaging app called Anytime.

Amazon has begun surveying customers about a new messaging service to gauge which features are most important to users. It’s unclear how far along the new service is, but one customer said the survey seemed to imply it was a ready product.

Based on the images I’ve been provided, Anytime by Amazon seems to be an all-in-one feature rich service that could even rival social networks. The focus seems to be messaging, including voice and video calls, but there’s also mention of photo sharing with @mentions, as well as filters for photos and video with “special effects and masks.” Anytime will also provide tasks that can be done in groups, like playing games, listening to music, and ordering food.

The service claims to keep chats private and allows users to “encrypt important messages like bank account details.” That’s especially important because the service will also allow users to chat with businesses, make reservations, and of course, since this is from Amazon, allow users to shop.

The biggest hurdle of any new messaging service is getting people to use it when no one they know is using it. Anytime by Amazon will apparently let you “reach all your friends just using their name” without needing their phone numbers. It’s unclear what that means exactly, but it could mean the app hooks into existing social networks and other messaging services.

Amazon announced Chime earlier this year, which is a communication service for enterprise users. This new Anytime messaging service could use the same backend and technology as Chime, but for regular consumers.

Amazon also launched messaging and calling features for Alexa devices recently, which turned their Alexa app into a rival to services like Skype, WhatsApp, and Facebook Messenger overnight. With the Alexa app being primarily a companion to Amazon’s Echo hardware and voice assistant, it would make sense for Amazon to branch out the Alexa app’s messaging capabilities into a separate app, if they plan to incorporate additional features found on other messaging platforms.

As is to be expected, Anytime by Amazon would work across both desktop and mobile devices, including both Android and iPhone. There’s no indication how far along the service is or when we could expect it to launch.

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22 comments
  1. TechyChris says:

    Any indication that this service (or at least parts of it) would be compatible with fire tvs? I know they don’t have a camera built in but other features might function.

  2. Magister says:

    How funny if they fixed messaging on android instead of google. :)

    • Josh says:

      Great point. Messageing on Android right now is a huge mess, at least in the United States it is. I guess in most other places no one uses SMS do it’s not such a big deal. Most of my friends user i phones but I used Android so I only message them via SMS.

      • Seb says:

        And why don’t you use any messenger like Whatsapp?

        • Jon says:

          Because its not a powerful brand here. People in the US are brand zombies.

          Thats why facebook messenger is popular and whatsapp is not.

          Same reason why iMessage is popular here.

          • Seb says:

            Well, Whatsapp (it’s a Facebook brand) is extremely popular (i.e. used by millions of people) in the U.S. But it’s not the only messenger. IMessage is popular as well and also quite secure. The Facebook messenger might also be quite popular simply because it is well integrated into Facebook and very comfortable and easy to use.

        • berri says:

          yeah, I don’t get it either. The US is always so state of the art. And then 2 years ago I had a quite internet/computer savy client who was happy like a little kid because we could communicate over continents via Whatsapp, which he had never used. Here, if you don’t have Whatsapp, you will have a hardtime. I guess it is 90% of what smartphones are used here. Chat, Audio messages, Video calling, sending photos, sending contacts, etc.

  3. Paul Wigfield says:

    Bet it doesn’t come to the UK. We still don’t have the calling feature for the alexa.

  4. JoJetSki says:

    This idea was thought of. Ryan on the tv show The Office came up with WUPHF….

    WUPHF.com is a fictional website and social tool developed by Ryan Howard, but stolen from his then-girlfriend Kelly Kapoor. It is also part of the DogPack. It is first seen in the episode Whistleblower, but is referenced numerous times after that.
    If you send a Wuphf, the message goes to the recipients’ home phone, cell phone, email, Facebook, twitter, fax and homescreen at the same time, the idea being that if someone has a really important message they can send a Wuphf and know the recipient will receive it quickly.
    The site had a buyout offer from the Washington University Public Health Fund, who turned out to only be interested in the website domain name.

    The episode was hilarious.

  5. Captain America says:

    I see one issue reading between the lines. The new app will let users encrypt messages containing private data which means it’s an opt-in on-demand encryption and not always on by default.

  6. Richie says:

    Dear Americans!

    Please also look on the other side of the sea. In Germany for example, no one uses SMS anymore, there is nearly 100% using WhatsApp. If Amazon wants to get into the messaging market, there has to be a gateway or an interface to WhatsApp users. Otherwise the software will fail.

    • Seb says:

      A recent study showed that 90 % of all Germans are customers of Amazon. It is reasonable to believe that a high percentage of those 90 % has the Amazon app on their Android or iOS devices. That would be the perfect door opener for Amazon to introduce their new messenger.

  7. Seb says:

    The big question for – hopefully – many people will be whether or not chats with the Amazon messenger will be end-to-end encrypted. Many messengers support end-to-end encryption these days (iMessages and Whatsapp and many more). I cannot see any reason why I should switch from a secure online messenger to a non-secure one.

  8. Melvin Schultz says:

    You missed the part where the “app” isn’t actually “spyware” for the spammers or the NSA or the cops….you know….like the webpages we click with up to 25 trackers I have to block with Ghostery to keep them from downloading everything on my boxes.

    • Jeff says:

      Reading the article I don’t really see how Amazon fixes this.. They are ‘launching’ something that already exists under their brand, that’s all)

  9. James says:

    this is great, now, only if a company can come up with an idea to have free cellphone internet (via satellite, always free, 2GB or higher) then will stop paying these ridiculous high fees with phone companies.

  10. CKeene says:

    FYI, NBC just mentioned your site and this article! Keep up the good work!

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