recentpopularlog in

jerryking : lightweight_interactions   1

What Comes After Apps - WSJ
By CHRISTOPHER MIMS
Updated Feb. 22, 2016

The first and most intriguing alternative to apps is chat. This is hard to understand for anyone who hasn’t spent time in Asia or at least read about the dominance of WeChat and its competitors, but in China chat apps are used for everything from hailing a car to paying for your Coke at a vending machine.

Kik, a chat app that doesn’t get as much attention as rivals but for U.S. teens is on par with Facebook Messenger and Snapchat in terms of users and importance, will roll out similar functionality within six months, says Chief Executive Ted Livingston.

A growing share of these commercial chats take place with so-called chat bots—interactive computer programs that prompt users to select from among several options, for example. Imagine scanning a chat code on the back of the seat in front of you at a ballpark and having a brief conversation with a chat bot about how many and what kind of beers you want to order.

Chat, says Mr. Livingston, could manage most of the real-world interactions that previously would have required us to visit a mobile Web page, download an app, or—in some cases—give up in frustration with a phone’s constraints. Chat apps won’t solve the walled-garden problem of apps, but they could at least create lightweight interactions with services that happen in seconds and don’t require us to spend time downloading or loading anything.

A TechCrunch article in January indicated that Facebook will soon reveal similar technology within its Messenger app. At least at first, building chat bots that work on any chat app should be easier for developers, because they have similar interfaces. Chat, in other words, could become the new Web browser.
bots  chat  chatbots  Christopher_Mims  conversational_commerce  Facebook  Kik  lightweight_interactions  messaging  mobile_applications  walled_gardens  WeChat 
february 2016 by jerryking

Copy this bookmark:





to read