- March 8, 2016
- Posted by: Lantre Barr
- Category: Industry Innovation
Industry Innovation: Utilizing WebRTC in the Messaging Industry
“Industry Innovation” is a monthly series that highlights the benefits of implementing Web Real-Time Communications (WebRTC) solutions across different industries. In this article we will focus on the messaging industry.
In today’s technically advanced world we communicate everyday in both verbal and nonverbal ways. Messaging plays an enormous role in our nonverbal communication. Whether you are chatting with friends on your favorite social media network or working hand in hand with colleagues on a project, effective communication is key. The messaging industry has exploded with many new forms of communication tools and apps for business and personal use. According to a report posted by Business Insider, “Messaging apps are now bigger than social networks”. Shockingly, research shows that we are only at the beginning stages of how messaging will play a role in our lives. As humans, we communicate with each other without a second thought. However, we are now starting to communicate with our cars, homes, appliances, watches and the list goes on. Communication between inanimate objects and animate beings will be another topic covered in a future article focusing on the role of The Internet of Things (IoT) in our lives.
As of February 2016, WhatsApp officially passed the 1 billion mark for monthly active users which was communicated in their blog post, “One billion”. WhatsApp is a household name and touches all facets of life to help people communicate more effectively. Moving beyond messaging alone, WhatsApp uses WebRTC to allow its users the ability to make audio calls directly within their app. These Over the Top (OTT) strategies are leaving carriers scrambling to figure out how to regain market share with the downward spiral of their calling plan subscribers. It will be interesting to see how things will shake out in the coming years. Will WhatsApp turn into a new type of global carrier? Probably not, but they have the subscriber base that can push change into the industry.
Slack is a communication tool that we use to interface with clients, colleagues and our own team members everyday. It is an effective way for us to stay abreast of project statuses and to minimize the flooding of email boxes with questions and answers about specific topics. Slack has enhanced their communication beyond text alone by incorporating a new voice calling feature. As part of their strategy with the acquisition of Screenhero earlier last year, Slack uses WebRTC to connect users with real-time audio calls. Video calls will soon be added to their arsenal of communication tools. This functionality provides users with a more efficient way to escalate to a real-time calls directly within the app. In many cases, questions can not be handled via messaging alone and this feature helps users connect quickly. It eliminates the effort required to search for phone numbers, contact information, and scheduling a call. This an awesome feature they have added to their service thanks to WebRTC.
Communication is evolving rapidly and the ways we communicate are changing everyday. It’s human nature to lean towards forms of communication that lead to the path of least resistance. In the old days (4-5 years ago), if we wanted to ask a colleague a question, we had to pick up a phone and dial their number or send an email and wait for a response. Today, tools such as Slack and WhatsApp make communicating much simpler. As users of communications tools, the most annoying situation is using an app that requires you to contact the person you are communicating with outside of the current experience. We are excited to see this move towards enhanced communications led by WebRTC.
About Blacc Spot Media, Inc.
Blacc Spot Media focuses on Web Real-Time Communications (WebRTC) development across web, mobile, native desktop and telephony implementations. Our team works on strategic projects developing custom applications, enterprise platforms and mobile applications for a wide array of clients. If you are interested developing your own WebRTC product or service, let us know how we can help you.