Messaging Battle Heats Up Between Apple, Facebook and Google: Enterprises Should Pay Attention
by Jim Lundy
Messaging trends in the consumer space are often a precursor to what will happen in the enterprise once critical mass is reached. Instant messaging was a consumer messaging application that became so entrenched in organizations, it led to the emergence of dedicated IM security tools to manage it. Now enterprise IM and presence offerings are commonplace and have become a pivotal part of unified communications and collaboration platforms.
Cross-Platform Messaging Trend Emerges
What is most interesting with the newest consumer messaging trend is that mobile and web communications are synching for a unified cross-platform messaging paradigm. In fact this is at the heart of the messaging war between Apple, Facebook and Google. Apple and Google own dual mobile OS and web strategies with iOS/Safari and Android/Chrome, respectively. Facebook’s play is solely with the web and apps on mobile devices. Also, Facebook owns the conversations of millions with the largest social network across web and mobile devices.
Google has dropped a major gauntlet here and unified communications and messaging under Hangouts while Facebook has recently been rumored to soon start allowing users to send private messages from the status box instead of the messaging panel. This would clearly be a counter move to Google’s cross-platform messaging strategy under Hangouts, which allows Gmail and Google+ users to communicate across mobile devices and desktops.
The major caveat with Hangouts though is that users will need to be signed into Hangouts to communicate. It doesn’t allow SMS texts with users who don’t have the Hangouts app installed. This means users who do not have the Hangouts app installed won’t be able to communicate with those that do. This is where Apple shines with allowing more universal SMS texting with users not using iMessage. We believe Apple will make a similar move as Google here to unify messaging with a FaceTime and iMessage merge.
The battle is clearly underway between Google, Apple and Facebook with enterprises sure to be impacted. The underline pulse of this new cross-platform messaging paradigm is a connected social networking and engagement platform that can allow customers and businesses to connect in new ways and in different channels and groups. Business to business communications will be impacted as well. We also believe that ultimately, enterprise mobility management initiatives will have to be adjusted in light of mobile app design moves to cross-platform messaging.
This is an exciting space to keep an eye on as the battle heats up around cross-platform messaging.