Last week, I invited readers of this newsletter to ask me anything tech industry, media or career-related, and promised that if I had a decent answer I’d publish a reply.
One reader asks:
Do you think media companies will focus more on messaging apps to distribute their content in 2017? Why and how?
Admittedly, it is not something I’ve thought that much about. Instead, I put the same question to Travis Bernard
, TechCrunch’s Director of Audience Development. Here’s what he had to say:
Yes - media companies will be focusing more on messaging apps to distribute content in 2017.
Messaging apps are the portal to mobile. We use messaging apps more than any other apps on our phones, and all the top apps in the App Store have a messaging component.
These apps are where people spend most other time on mobile, making them a huge potential opportunity for advertising, commerce, and overall media consumption.
Tons of messages are already being sent to and from businesses on WeChat, Messenger, and Line. Users are familiar with interacting with businesses and brands through messaging apps, and younger generations will go to web chat, messaging, and social media first when they interact with a business.
The ball is already rolling on this trend, and there’s no reason to think it’s going to reverse.
If you are a media brand, why wouldn’t you take advantage of a place where users are spending most of their time on mobile?
Simply put, bots.
Messaging apps are evolving into service platforms powered by artificial intelligence (bots).
If messaging apps are the portal to mobile, then they are becoming the new home screen or browser on your phone. If the first thing you do on your phone is open a messaging app, it is like a new browser.
TechCrunch currently uses bots to distribute its content on Messenger. It’s similar to a newsletter digest, but you can personalize which types of content you receive. The ability to personalize which content you receive creates a much better experience for the user.
We’ve seen massive growth over the past year with our bot, and we will continue to make improvements and upgrades to it in 2017.
You can read more about the TechCrunch Facebook Messenger bot here
. And keep the questions coming.