Messaging Matters

Since launching Magnet Message a few months ago, we’ve had some interesting discussions with customers and developers. One of the fascinating discoveries is how differently people interpret the term “messaging”. For some, messaging just means chat. It is simply another word for IM or SMS. For others, it is a little broader and includes the multitude of newer chat apps including WhatsApp, iMessage, Facebook Messenger, WeChat, SnapChat, Instagram, etc. This brings with it the notion of sending richer payloads including images, videos, audio, stickers, emoticons and other media. For both these groups, messaging conveys the notion of people communicating with each other via their mobile phones.

Some people also include push notifications or alerts in their understanding of messaging. Most realize that these messages are usually sent via a computer or server deployed somewhere to mobile phones. These messages are often promotional such as “30% Off Weekend Sale”, but they can also contain time sensitive information such as “Samantha Beat Your High Score” or “Fraud Alert: Your credit card has just been used in Orlando”.

Few people, including highly technical mobile developers, think beyond these initial concepts. We all think we know messaging because we use it every day. These use cases are so pervasive that they stay top of mind. Yet messaging is much broader than chat and push notifications. In a computing context, messaging is at the very core of communications – between people, devices, systems and software. Use cases literally explode when you enable apps to simply and reliably pass data payloads between sender and recipient. It powers everything from phone systems to networks to games and apps. It can be used for signaling and control. It can be used for handling events. Information can be shared with a single endpoint or broadcast to many. Developers can use streaming or feeds to deliver data or events in near real time. Two way exchanges of data form the basis for interactions and engagement. One or more of these can be chained together to form completely new scenarios or services. It is no wonder that Mary Meeker claims that messaging will form the basis of every meaningful mobile app in her latest Internet Trends 2015 report. Messaging is truly versatile and ubiquitous.

At Magnet, we think about messaging in this broader sense. We do not see messaging as a discrete feature or as an app, but as an enabler. Messaging serves as the heartbeat inside apps — delivering better, more engaging, more connected, more personalized and lively experiences. Messaging is at the core of what makes using mobile apps different from browsing the web. It is inherently active rather than passive. It puts data, content and communications in motion. Messaging literally wakes up an app and forces the user or app to take notice. All mobile first apps will become messaging apps. Any app that does not use messaging today can be improved by adding messaging. We’re interested in hearing what you think about messaging. Join us on our forums and share how you want to use messaging in your apps today.