Amazon’s Anytime messaging app could be the West’s answer to WeChat

17 Jul 2017

Amazon login details on a phone. Image: Pe3k/Shutterstock

Amazon is aiming to move in on the turf of Apple and others with a new all-in-one messaging app called Anytime.

Despite messaging apps being an incredibly tested space for newcomers, Amazon believes it has enough clout to rival even the likes of Apple Messages and WhatsApp.

According to AFTV News, the e-commerce giant has begun testing the water with customers through surveys, asking if they would be interested in its new product, Anytime.

While not officially announced, Amazon has revealed a few details on Anytime, with a focus on an all-in-one messaging app that would supposedly take away the hassle of other apps.

Familiar features

In its description, Anytime would do much of what we expect – such as messaging, calls and video calls – along with photo sharing, @ mentions and a few games thrown in as well.

It also has a number of other features, including being able to order food, listen to music and split a bill.

What seems to be its biggest selling point is that it would remove the major obstacle of needing to get other people to sign up for the app, as all that would be needed is a person’s name.

Amazon has not revealed how exactly it plans to do that, but it has stated that all messages would be encrypted to prevent a person’s bank details being accessed by a hacker.

Replicating success of WeChat

All of these features in a single app appears to suggest that Amazon want to replicate the success of WeChat in China, where more than 850m active monthly users complete most of their online activities through the app.

While a multitude of different apps cater to different needs – with the likes of Uber, WhatsApp and Deliveroo – WeChat has managed to reduce all of these services into a single app that simply doesn’t exist outside of China.

The launch of Anytime wouldn’t be Amazon’s first messaging app – it released Chime earlier this year, attempting to rival Slack in the work-messaging stakes.

There has been no indication as to when Anytime will launch, but Amazon said it will work across both Android and iOS mobile platforms, as well as desktop.

Amazon login details on a phone. Image: Pe3k/Shutterstock

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic