The leading online retail company might take on Facebook's WhatsApp with its own messaging app. Amazon is allegedly working on a new messaging platform called Anytime, with reports suggesting the company has already started surveying its customers about potential features.
Still, it remains a question what Anytime will look like, how it'll function, and most importantly, how it'll differ from other messaging platforms.
As AFTV News reports, Amazon will make Anytime as an "all-in-one feature rich service that could even rival social networks." The app will focus on video calls, text and voice messaging, and photo sharing. Anytime users can put filters to photos and videos they share, mention other users using "@," send stickers and GIFs, and play games.
Images taken from the survey suggest Anytime will use secure encryption and work on a number of desktop and mobile platforms. By contrast, WhatsApp features end-to-end encryption, which makes sure only the sender and the recipient can read messages going in and out — not anybody in between.
Right now, encryption looks to be one of the more stellar features of Anytime, if true. All features mentioned above can already be found on Facebook's Messenger app, but it's easy to see encryption as something users will be attracted to.
Case in point: the service claims it will keep chat privates and even allow users to "encrypt important messages like bank account details." Sharing such details would be important in this kind of app, especially because since it's from Amazon. The report adds that users will be able to message businesses, make reservations, and — of course — shop.
For all its promise, Amazon could struggle convincing users to use another messaging app on top of leading messaging platforms already hugely popular today. Again, encryption could help convince a great number of folks to use Anytime, though it's hard to imagine how far that feature alone can reach others who don't really care — or aren't sure — about encryption.
That being said, growing the service's user base might not be as difficult as one thinks. Amazon Anytime will apparently let users "reach all your friends just using their name" even without their phone numbers. It's not clear how exactly this will work, but it's safe to assume the app could somehow integrate with other social networks and messaging platforms to get contacts.
Amazon is no stranger to messaging platforms, having introduced video-conferencing tool Chime to its business users earlier this year. Amazon appears to be positioning Anytime as a true rival to Messenger, however. An ambitious goal, surely, though time will tell if Amazon succeeds in its messaging inroads.