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Kibo and the New World of Communication

The world of mobile communication has undergone a revolution. Gone are the days where simple texting messaging is enough- today conversations consist of emoji’s, voice notes, animated gifs, stickers, and a whole lot more.

In fact, it’s not uncommon to see a long conversation between two fifteen-year olds without a word being typed.

 

Super successful platforms such as Snapchat have built a billion dollar business based on this trend. People are snapping, sending, recording, livestreaming, significantly affecting the “traditional” text-based messaging ecosystem.

We all feel it. As we spend more time on our mobile devices, both for work and leisure, we can’t always express exactly what we want to say- especially if it’s a feeling or emotion- in full sentences. So arose the the first emoticons and text slang; for example the classic “:)” and even the “lol”.

Consider too, that more and more people are feeling uncomfortable with limits placed on their available communication tools. Facebook’s Whatsapp recently expanded their set of offered emoji’s, in a direct response to this. While other interactive platforms such as Tumblr have embraced various forms of communication, the mobile world has been slower on the uptake- until now.

People are snapping, sending, recording, livestreaming, significantly affecting the “traditional” text-based messaging ecosystem

The world of Stickers for example, is exploding. Boosted by huge interest from Asia, this method of communicating is catching on like wildfire in the West as well. Today, the top messaging platforms all have a Sticker offering, including LINE, Viber, BBM, KakaoTalk, Wechat, Facebook’s Messenger- and even LinkedIn. LINE’s financial report shows the importance- and expansion- of their sticker market: “In the Sticker business—the main pillar of LINE’s communication business—sales continue to grow steadily in and outside Japan for official stickers showcasing popular mascot characters and other intellectual properties, as well as creators stickers created and sold by users on the LINE Creators Market.”

It is estimated that Stickers comprise a $2 billion a year market. While official stats are closely guarded, LINE’s stickers alone made $30 million in its first six months, and $75 million in its first year. Recently, Kim Kardashian’s emoji-based “Kimoji” keyboard became Apple’s highest grossing app, with some estimates putting revenues at a whopping $1m a minute.

a more personalized experience

Our take at Kibo, is that as the world becomes more mobile-focused, consumers are demanding a more personalized experience. This means the pursuit of almost limitless communication options, which will result in a race to become a truly holistic platform that offers all the different options, and an advanced, intelligent experience.

In the current “Messaging Wars”, all platforms are aggressively expanding their offering to match consumer demand, each trying to offer the full bouquet in one seamless, user-friendly application. The “Big guns” are leading the charge, but keep an eye out for disruptors- like the next Snapchat- to change the game again.

 

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