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Amazon testing its own instant messaging app ‘Anytime’: report

Amazon is working on a native instant messaging app called ‘Anytime’ that will take on companies like Facebook, Google, Snapchat, etc., reports AFTVnews. The company has been reportedly surveying its users about the potential of the new service and for adding new features to the app. It isn’t clear what the app looks like, but according to the Amazon survey, it seems like the app is already a finished product.

The app will look at providing features like encrypted private messaging, photo sharing, video and voice chat, group chat, location sharing, GIF, stickers, emojis, multiplayer games, check status of Amazon orders, among others. Amazon Anytime will also look to compete with Snapchat with camera filters for photos and videos. The app also brings a social media approach with the @mention tags support and will run on desktops, iPhone and Android devices.

The app might target Amazon’s core e-commerce business and B2B services audience: the report says that Amazon Anytime will help users order food, and chat with businesses to make reservations and make orders online. Another feature allows users to look up other Anytime users using name details without the need to reveal their phone numbers. One reason why Amazon is doing this could be because the e-commerce giant might be looking at tapping its own user base across all its business verticals, instead of using phone numbers as the key user identifier.

Amazon isn’t new to software and apps

Amazon isn’t new to the apps and software space. In February, the company launched Chime, a managed communications service for corporates to make video and voice call as well as for private chats. The service is a natural extension of Amazon’s cloud platform, which offers various products like AWS IoT, load balancing, storage, data warehousing, push messaging services, etc.

Amazon is also using AI to learn user behaviour and build custom suggestions for its Echo range of smart home devices. All of Amazon’s smart home devices support Alexa, the company’s proprietary voice-based AI assistant. We can expect Amazon’s new messaging app to come integrated with Alexa. Note that Amazon had also launched a smartphone under its Fire brand in 2014, but failed to take off. The company is also rumoured to be working on a new smartphone; so the plan might be to launch the ‘Anytime’ messaging app and natively integrate Alexa into its upcoming phones.

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