There are rumours that Amazon are about to launch their own chat client to compete with the links of Skype, Facebook Messenger and Google.
Amazon Anytime screen shots have been leaked by AFTV which suggest a platform agnostic chat client for desktop and mobile including Android and iOS. As well as voice and video calls, there’s Snapchat like filters for photos and video, group chats, encryption options, and gaming.
It shouldn’t be a surprise to see Amazon exploring the chat market, Japan’s Rakuten acquired Viber three years ago and have integrated it for shopping recommendations and other services and WeChat is well known in China for it’s us as a shopping tool.
That’s where the killer feature of Amazon Anytime comes in with “Chat with businesses” which aims to enable you to ‘Get super service on your terms, make reservations, check on your orders and even shop!”. No prizes for guessing that Amazon will be the first retailer who is fully integrated with Amazon Anytime when it launches.
Amazon Anytime is effectively an extension of the work that they’ve been doing with their Echo and Alexa range of products. A version of Echo already has phone and screen features and calling (including video calling) is already built in. Amazon Anytime is simply taking the phone and video chat features from Alexa and making them more broadly available on just about any device a consumer may own.
Will you be happy to give up Skype, Google, Messenger, Whatsapp and Snapchat in favour of Amazon Anytime? Amazon certainly hope you will, but the reality is that if you sign up it’ll probably just become another chat app on your mobile. It might be one that you start to use more frequently if you find it quicker to chat to Amazon support with Anytime than make a traditional phone call to them and if they can get enough large companies signed up to the service (think utility companies and banks that everyone has to call sooner or later) then it could soon become your chat utility of choice.