Hard chat asia

Businesses are already investing a notable portion of their marketing budgets in maintaining personable and engaging Facebook pages to complement their brands and drive traffic to their website, it is a logical transition for them to also adopt a chatbot within Facebook’s native messaging app.

Kik is another social media platform that has become increasingly popular in the US with more than 270 million users.

Nguyen Tung Lam, a 16-year-old high school student in Hanoi, uses Japanese mobile messaging service Line to chat with his girlfriend because she "likes the cute icons such as the teddy bear and bunny".

Doan Nguyen Trang, another Vietnamese teenager, prefers South Korea's Kakao Talk app because it is promoted by a wildly popular Korean boy band.

"Facebook and Google definitely see these mobile messaging apps as a threat," says Mark Ranson, an analyst at technology research company Ovum.

Black Berry, long dominant in Indonesia because of its free Messenger service, is losing ground because of growing competition from the Asian chat apps that can be downloaded on to any smartphone.

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We Chat has struggled in India (a smartphone market growing at breakneck speed), as well as Indonesian and other Southeast Asian countries.

With Facebook now trialing their new messenger-based payment system in Thailand, the Southeast Asian region is rapidly growing into its social commerce potential.

As messaging begins to dominate social interactivity, it is no surprise that businesses are now turning to this platform to inform, understand and sell to their customers.

While Facebook Messenger and the Facebook owned Whats App are still dominant globally, the picture changes significantly when you look at countries in East Asia, and Asia as a whole.

And since messaging app use has now surpassed traditional social media use in many ways, app companies that succeed in this rapidly changing part of the world could very well shape how information, and digital communication platforms, are disseminated among widely varying populations (and ultimately controlled) in Asia, and beyond.