The messaging landscape continues to grow with new apps, features, uses, and a new direction as bots attempt to take center stage. If it has you a bit confused, intimidated, or even worried about how the future of messaging will look like, you are not alone.
To prepare for this fast-paced and innovative time, we must understand how messaging apps are structured, where bots come in (not taking over the world), and what to develop for.
Messaging protocols in a nutshell
All messaging apps, platforms and the sort arrive with similar characteristics while the color, shape, and size may differ.
- Synchronization type: Sync (IM, phone), Semi-sync (group chat, sms) or Asynchronous (email, social messengers and the sort)
- Casting: 1 to 1 (SMS, social messengers), 1 to many (group chat, email) and broadcast (social platforms).
- Technology: P2P (IMs), cloud supported (groups chats, social messengers)
- Mailing protocols: SMTP, POP3, IMPAP
Check the various messaging and social apps on your smartphone and you will realize they fall under one of these protocols. They may be packaged differently, push a different feature or vary restrictions, but the characteristics are similar.
Those lovely Bots
By now, you’ve realized the popularity and offering of bots: social, companies, products, and services. There is no doubting the potential, as these lovely bots will help delegate, manage, and operate day-to-day tasks, reduce our cognitive overload…and more; as we get busier, overloaded and seek quick-fixes, bots can potentially aid. Along with the ease of development, new bots are spreading like wildfire, granting many options.
Of course, we need to know the difference between workflows and bots, where the intelligence lies, and how much they can really do, but all in all, there is hope that bots will help us with email, fitness, work, and other tedious tasks we’re hoping to avoid .
The hope mainly lies in the modularity of bots; the ability to pick and choose just what you need and want. Just look at the recently announced Cortana Skills Kit or Amazon’s Alexa which offer the capabilities as skills to install, thus creating your unique virtual assistant. The assistant will only work on things most important to you and avoid irrelevant and unnecessary distractions…the productivity bot we’ve been hoping for?
Is there a bot for that?
Like our queries about apps, such a statement is more relevant when referring to bots. The landscape is quickly expanding and will include (or already is) bot recommendation engines, bot consultants, strategists, trainers, build-your-own bot sites/apps and more.
It isn’t far-fetched to see our search for a pizza bot will be quick, but our decision won’t be. We’ll receive 100s and 1000s of immediate results ranging from regular to custom order, event planning, multi-delivery, allergic focused and more.
This is already the case with messaging apps and will get crazier as more bots are released to help us with all such apps. Don’t agree? just open your phone and count your messaging apps: email (personal/work), social messaging apps such as Facebook, Twitter, Snap, LinkedIn, and SMS, Telegram, Whatsapp…
Technology advanced, but we may not be at a better spot than when email was introduced. In fact, we may be far worse.
So where do we humans stand?
The market will be overly crowded…quickly, and we’re stuck in-between.
The same difficulty at finding the right app is coming with choosing the right bot…to do your task, send that message, remind you of…
Take our different messaging apps and each with its own plethora of bots…it will be a whole new definition to information overload…Bot overload.
If we don’t learn from history, we are doomed to repeat it
Remember the world of WordPress plugins? Search for any by category, and tons of options will flood your screen.
It is worse with messaging apps and becoming worst with bots.
We will need a bot to manage a bot, a Bot Management System (BMS) or framework, and more solutions.
The only way to avoid it is by personalization and customization within VPAs, which will require artificial intelligence within bots (AI) and modularity for personalized customization. The platform must be a virtual personal assistant, as it will combine data, capabilities and needs into one solution…completely personalized for YOU. And let’s not forget…it must be absolutely trustworthy.