Amazon is reportedly working on a new messaging service called Anytime which will support video and voice calls, text messages, encryption, group chats and much more. Amazon already has calling and messaging features in Alexa so Anytime might be their step into making it cross-platform and reach a larger user base. According to AFTVnews, Amazon is surveying customers for Anytime to see which features they would like the service to have. As per the artwork in the image background, it seems that Anytime will be a cross-platform service and will be available on smartphones, computers and smartwatches. If I were to guess, the smartwatch in the artwork is an Apple Watch.
Anytime seems to be a full featured messaging service as per the feature list shared by AFTVnews. The list of features is on par with modern messaging apps like Messenger, iMessage, WhatsApp and more. Anytime is expected to include the following:
- Add contacts using their name, no phone numbers needed
- Chat encryption
- Will work on desktop or mobile, iPhone and Android
- Group chats with support for @mentions, photo sharing, video chat and more
- High quality voice and video calls for one-on-one or group calls
- Support for GIFs, stickers and emojis
- Filters for photos and videos. Every app has them nowadays!
- Gaming for one-on-one or group challenges
- Chat customization with color coding and nicknames
- Support for food ordering, location sharing, music listening, bill splitting and much more. Similar to Messenger, this seems like an API for third party developers will be available.
- Chat with businesses for quick services and shopping
Since Amazon already has a communication service for enterprise users and messaging service for Alexa users, it will be interesting to see if they are all integrated into one platform down the road. Instant Messaging is a huge market and even apps like Instagram and Twitter have their own direct messaging features. Google has also been trying to create a successful messaging app since ages with apps like Duo and Allo. Perhaps Amazon might be have more success if they allow Alexa and Echo users to contact with Anytime users.