- The Interactive Advertising Bureau released a report disclosing its plans to help marketers better understand the marketing opportunities available with messaging apps and chatbots through education, identifying targeting and measurement needs as well as providing best-practice guidance on native ad units.
- The industry focus on pure-play messaging apps such as Facebook Messenger is limiting from a consumer and advertising standpoint, as many hybrid apps like Instagram, Tinder and Tumblr also play a role in messaging, per the group.
- The number of messaging options is increasing at a rapid pace to include chatbots, music, stickers and games. This year, more than 2 trillion emojis will be used in the U.S. alone, per the report.
Messaging's importance for marketing continues to increase, and such attention by one of the leading digital advertising organizations underscores just how important this area is heading into 2017. As messaging apps take on a larger role in consumers' lives, the group is looking at accelerating advertiser interest in the messaging space.
Messaging engagements are a unique and new way to reach consumers, which is way many marketers are moving carefully. A key takeaway from the report is that the time is now to start planning a messaging strategy. Messaging also continues to expand to new platforms and with new features, and as the focus intensifies, additional innovation is likely. The big platforms like Messenger, WhatsApp and others are looking at ways to keep users within the app and still be able to accomplish things like finding a restaurant, purchasing movie tickets and more.
"Messaging today is very similar to where traditional social media was in 2007/08," said Evan Wray, co-founder and VP at Swyft Media, in the IAB report. "Brands know that there are hundreds of millions/billions of highly engaged users, but these brands are still trying to figure out exactly how to engage these users effectively. This is a massive opportunity for first movers in the message, just like there was in 2007/08 for those brands that took advantage of social."