Real Time Communications Featured Article

New Report Examines OTT Messaging Plays

April 08, 2016

The telcos took a big hit when over-the-top players like Facebook, Google, and a variety of other companies (some of which these OTT giants now own), got into messaging services. More recent moves by Amazon, Facebook, and Google indicate that will be just the tip of the iceberg in their efforts to rule the real-time communications roost. A new report from revisits all this, looks at the advances OTT types are making on this front, and comments on how the telcos might ultimately benefit.

Interestingly, the report indicates that OTT communications providers will need to partner with carriers to scale and differentiate their offerings in the marketplace. (That’s about all the detail the company provides on this topic in its executive summary.)

If the telcos can somehow benefit from the success of OTT types as they increasingly get into the real-time communications game that would be a real shift in the marketplace. That’s because companies like Facebook (which acquired WhatApps for $19 billion), fring (which network infrastructure provider GENBAND now owns), and others have been eating away at the SMS and voice revenues of telcos for several years now.

The report noted above also talks about how the OTT players are first focused on scaling their messaging solutions and then monetizing them. And it adds that LINE Messenger and WeChat are among the few OTT players to demonstrate revenue for messaging.

Facebook has also had great success with its Messenger feature, which 900 million users enjoy every month. The company continues to expand the applications of Messenger. Just yesterday Facebook blogged about how messaging is a good way for customers and businesses to interact about appointments, customer service issues and product and services questions. It also enables businesses to connect in new ways with their customers and prospects, Facebook noted.

As standing INTERNET TELEPHONY columnist Phil Edholm wrote in our March issue, Facebook Messenger is becoming a major communications solution, as evidenced in another recent Facebook blog in which David Marcus, vice president of messaging products at the company, talks about how communications from within Facebook is easier than making a phone call, works across a range of devices, and can be seen as a simple continuum of capabilities, replacing the phone number with your Facebook identity.

By the way, Facebook is attacking real-time video communications as well, rolling out a mobile video discovery tab called Facebook Live, which users can leverage to watch live and recorded videos. So not only is Facebook taking on the telcos with Messenger, it’s also taking on YouTube.

Edited by Maurice Nagle

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