This story was delivered to BI Intelligence Apps and Platforms Briefing subscribers. To learn more and subscribe, please click here.
Apple’s native over-the-top (OTT) messaging app, iMessage, could be the most-used messaging platform for US teens, according to a comparative analysis by Fam messaging app CEO Giuseppe Stuto.
Using a collection of sources from the same period — April 2016 — the analysis estimates that US youth between the ages of 10 and 19 average 25 iMessages each day.
That’s compared to 14 messages over Facebook Messenger, and 8 snaps on Snapchat. The estimates propose that while Apple is often left out of the chat app ecosystem, it could be the most used platform and one of the best for brands and developers to reach US consumers.
iMessage is a long-term strategic play by Apple to prevent chat apps from taking away important user time and activity. Messaging apps are grabbing more and more of smartphone users’ attention, eating into mobile time spend. The increasingly functional platforms are also making it less necessary for users to spend time in other apps, which could begin cutting into revenue derived from the App Store.
Apple’s working on developing iMessage into a functional and multipurpose platform that consumers can use to conduct a range of activities. The company introduced iMessage apps in September 2016 as a way for developers to get the most important parts of their apps in front of iMessage users. For instance, Fandango’s iMessage app lets users look up movie times and locations from within the iMessage window. Here are a few more ways Apple is making iMessage more functional:
- Peer-to-peer (P2P) payments via iMessage with Apple Pay. The introduction of P2P will let users send each other money via iMessage, a move that will help Apple’s messaging platform compete against Venmo, Facebook Messenger, and other apps touting P2P functionality.
- Making iMessage a go-to interface for business-consumer interaction. An upcoming update to iMessage includes iOS Business Chat, a “powerful new way for businesses to connect with customers directly from within Messages,” according to Apple.
- More seamless iMessage access across all Apple products. Apple’s officially integrating iMessage with its iCloud platform, which will enable consumers to communicate on any device they log into with their iCloud credentials.
So far, Apple has failed to hold the attention of developers. Following initial hype in the first month of launch, the number of iMessage-enabled apps added to the store grew 116%, reaching 1,100 apps, according to SensorTower. However, within six months, the month-over-month growth rate slowed to 9%. If Apple plans on making iMessage an entity that can contend with competing chat apps like Messenger, it’ll have to make it an alluring place for developers and consumers alike.
BI Intelligence, Business Insider’s premium research service, has written a report on the end of apps that assesses the evolving app landscape, examines how the existing app model is threatened by the decline of broad app usage, profiles the promising new tech in the space across Apple, Facebook, and Google, and explores barriers standing in the way of user adoption.
You can also purchase and download the full report from our research store.