Amazon is working on a new “Anytime” service that plans to take on the likes of Apple iMessage. The retail giant has begun asking customers what they would like to see from a new messaging app, which promises to incorporate texts, video chat, and “a whole lot more.”
AFTVNews was first to report on the survey, which Amazon has been distributing to existing customers alongside slides that explain what Anytime will bring. The all-in-one service claims to deliver “everything you’ve always wanted in a messaging app,” including secure conversations, cross-platform support, voice and videos calls, and filters for your photos.
Other features will include support for GIFs and other media, group chats, the ability to challenge friends to games, chat customization with color themes and nicknames, “new ways to hang out,” and the option to connect with businesses in much the same way you can through Facebook Messenger. Anytime will support desktop and mobile, with apps for Android and iOS.
One of its most unique attributes will be its easy setup. Amazon says you’ll be able to reach friends using only their name — no phone numbers are needed — but it’s not yet clear how that will work. Amazon will be hoping that by making Anytime simple to use, it will attract more customers. It’s incredibly difficult to build a new messaging service today when rivals are already so popular.
“It’s unclear how far along the new service is, but one customer said the survey seemed to imply it was a ready product,” the report adds. It’s thought Amazon could be building upon existing technology it already has for Chime, its communication service for enterprise users. The retail giant also added messaging and calling features to Alexa back in May.
Amazon is yet to officially announce Anytime, so its plans could well change — or be scrapped altogether. But it seems as though its launch preparations are already well underway, so we will likely hear something soon.