The end of apps: Messaging is the new browser

Downloadable apps have given us as much as they can.

In any given month over 50% of mobile users don't download any apps, according to a study from comScore. Discovery, installation, upgrades, registration, and payments are still all too difficult.

People are fed up with the friction involved.

Apps offer convenience and utility, but the barriers to adoption are preventing us getting the most out of our phones. Gartner agrees, saying in a report on how the app market has matured: "Although usage remains high, users may not want or need more apps in the future."

Context is now the most important factor in how we use our devices. We want to be able to do things in the moment. It's a massive drag to interrupt what you're doing and fire up an app to perform a single function or get a piece of information.

We spend most of our time in chat and messaging apps; so why not complete tasks and actions from there also?

Bots let you perform a specific action within an app without having to interrupt what you're doing.

What's more, when you adopt a bot you don't need to download or register for it. It's ready to go in one click because the messaging app takes care of the details.

A good example is Cleo, a personal finance assistant that you interact with from within Facebook Messenger. You can ask Cleo to tell you your bank balance and spending trends or present your financial situation on a dashboard, all without leaving Messenger.

Chatbots can be used just as easily to make travel bookings, restaurant reservations, manage your calendar schedule, send an email, buy things, you name it.

But conversational based bots are only suitable for a subset of interactions - the easiest way to interact with our phones is still via the rich screen. So how can messaging and bots help here?

'Official Accounts' in WeChatFor WeChat's 900 million messaging users, everything happens in one place. But many services don't use the conversational interface, instead they load full-screen Webviews via Official Accounts.

This is the best of both worlds; it's as fast and easy as visiting a website, but registration, identity, payments, preferences and everything else is handled by the messaging platform.

The power of messaging platforms isn't the conversational interface; it's the convenience of everything being in one place.

Webviews (sometimes called Micro-Apps) in messaging is a game changer - it's the new browser. People can adopt new services in one click and complete a transaction with another. Compare that to your experience of adopting a new mobile app or trying to purchase something in a traditional mobile browser.

This started in Asia with WeChat but it's fast coming to the West. Facebook Messenger recently introduced webviews - allowing web sites to be launched from within Messenger, benefiting from identity, security and payments functionality that the Facebook platform can provide.

Today we're so powerful as consumers, and yet using our corporate IT is like stepping back 20 years.

A workplace Webview inside of Blink Messaging, getting data from JiraBots and Webviews inside of workplace messaging apps have the power to enable enterprises to leapfrog a whole generation of technology. Messaging at work will become the 'super-app' for getting stuff done.

Connecting our existing IT systems to a single convenient intelligent interface. Messaging makes it fast and easy to submit expenses, book meeting rooms, locate information, get briefed on a customer issue or update your personal objectives. All from one place.

Bots and Webviews can be deployed without big, slow IT projects. They're fast, easy and they're coming to an office near you.

This is what we're doing at Blink. One interface for doing everything, including interacting with bots to automate workflows and perform tasks. Blink has bots and webviews that work for you straight out of the box but we also make it simple to create your own.

Connect to your existing systems and get ready for a better way to work. Your Blink can perform tasks with other applications and surface data without you having to go into those systems yourself. A Blink bot becomes a valuable part of your team.

Give it a name and you might even forget it's a bot!

Blink helps you inform, connect and enable everyone in your workforce through it's unique personalised feed. We are not another intranet. Enter your email address on joinblink.com to get started today.