Instant Messaging apps get bold and quirky

From using only digital media to Bollywood associations & feature-driven communication - the new set of Instant Messaging apps are betting high on attracting the youth

e4m by Priyanka Nair
Updated: Sep 2, 2013 8:41 AM
Instant Messaging apps get bold and quirky

Smartphones have changed the way people communicate today. With an array of applications available for Instant Messaging (IM), the players in this space are becoming highly competitive and are adopted different strategies to draw in the users.

One such player is WhatsApp, which claims that of its 300 million monthly active global users, more than 20 million are from India, which is considered its top market. Interestingly, it does not have any large scale marketing initiatives to promote its services; its availability across different app stores has brought it closer to the users.

Meanwhile, there have been reports that Blackberry’s once popular IM application, BBM, is looking to hive off into a separate subsidiary even as the company weighs options of a partial stake sale or a complete sell-out. The company has plans to launch the BBM cross-platform on Android and iOS, along with a social networking tool called BBM Channels.

Various other globally popular IM apps are now entering the Indian market after understanding the dynamics of the market. exchange4media takes a look at three IM apps that are making noise across various communication channels to gain market share.

hike pushes bold messages digitally
hike is a free cross-platform messaging application funded by Bharti SoftBank. Launched globally on 12/12/12, the app claims to have crossed 5 million hike users within just four months of its launch and is now handling almost a billion messages a month. hike enables seamless integration between instant messaging and SMS. With Stickers and Walkie-Talkie, the app aims to add a lot more character and fun to messaging, especially amongst the youth.

hike recently rolled out its first digital marketing initiative for India. With the tagline ‘Keep close friend close’, the comprehensive digital campaign is aimed at showcasing hike’s product features that enable today’s technology savvy youth to ‘keep close friends close’. The digital campaign consists of four ad films created by Taproot India.

The ads showcase how hike helps people stay connected with their close friends. Through the month-long activation, the campaign aims at driving awareness and encourages the Indian youth to download hike to stay connected to their close friends.

To know more about the campaign, watch the videos...

WeChat takes the Bollywood route
By roping Varun Dhawan and Parineeti Chopra as its brand ambassadors, WeChat has been using Bollywood as an important element in its communication.

The brand campaign highlights WeChat as being young, effervescent and instant. WeChat’s ‘Hold-To-Talk’ is the first application in the communication space that enables users to send voice messages at the touch of a button. ‘Moments’ is another key differentiating feature of WeChat, where users can post an image or text and share with their selected friends in a secure way.

WeChat has also introduced ‘Official Accounts’ on its platform, a feature that can be utilised by companies and merchants to build interactivity with their fans in a new and innovative way. Café Coffee Day, Big Bazaar, Yahoo! Cricket, Go ibibo, Santa Banta, and Tradus are among the earliest brands to start their official accounts on WeChat in India.

WeChat is also associating with various movies for promotions using their starcast, including ‘Lootera’, ‘Once Upon a Time in Mumbai Dobaara’, and the upcoming film ‘Shuddh Desi Romance’, which will be promoted via WeChat.

Watch the video to know more...

LINE rolls out feature-based communication
LINE launched its first TV campaign in India on June 30, 2013 highlighting two of its features – the ‘group voice chat’ and ‘sticker’. The primary thought behind the ads was to target the Indian youth by associating the key app features to their day-to-day activities.

LINE’s sticker function allows users to send large-sized character pictures with the tap of a finger, providing a way to express their emotions. The sticker characters include LINE’s original characters and a variety of popular Disney characters, Hello Kitty and Iron Man. The TVCs revolve around showcasing these features.

Watch the TVC...

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