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.