Chat apps talk shop

Bhakti Makwana Mumbai | Updated on January 20, 2018


In a crowded market, new players look for niche users

Even though there is a plethora of mobile chat applications with several players such as WhatsApp, Hike and Snapchat, newer chat apps with niche focus are being launched.

For instance, Mumbai-based chat app Flock, which is a part of the Directi Group, is trying to create its niche by focusing on the enterprise segment. Launched two years ago, the free app has seen over 2,00,000 downloads across mobile phones and desktops. The app aims at boosting organisational productivity and simplifying communication. It comes with advanced features such as ability to share more than 100 files in a month at a cost of $3 per user per month.

“Instant messaging services such as WhatsApp or Skype are not meant for workplace communication. The need of the hour is to educate people, make them aware of the benefits of enterprise messaging apps,” said Ninad Raval, Director, Flock.

The company has also introduced a feature which allows users to access apps such as Trello, GitHub, Jira, Bitbucket and Twitter to get direct notifications and converse directly within Flock.

Sharing revenue

Similarly, another chat app called Tengi has launched its services in India with a unique proposition of sharing half of its ad revenues with users every week in the form of cash prizes.

“A key element of Tengi that makes it a better app is that it shares its benefits with users every week,” a Tengi spokesperson told BusinessLine.

Tengi earns its revenues through in-app advertisements that sit on the chat list within the app, making it unobtrusive. It gives away prizes ranging from ₹450 to ₹9,40,000 every week. The app crossed 20,000 downloads in India in last three weeks alone, while in its home market in the UK, it has about 30,000 users.

With targeted offerings such as these, newer players see India as a big opportunity even though many may argue it’s a crowded market.

 Vishal Tripathi, Analyst at Gartner, said, “The newer apps should have something innovative and compelling that the competition does not have, for people to download. At the end, there should be more usage of the app among customers to sustain in the market.”

The writer is interning with BusinessLine

Published on May 13, 2016

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