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Social messaging is the future (probably), says Ovum

Ovum has just completed its ‘Social Messaging 2014 Trends to Watch report’ on the likely rise of the social messaging market. This, it claims, is rapidly evolving and expanding as messaging players fold in hundreds of millions of users. Next year we’ll see more growth and a widening of the scope of social messaging services to give Facebook, LinkedIn and so on a bit of a fright.

Which makes all sorts of sense. As we’ve already seen with the rise, fall and subsequent (slight) rise of MySpace and the almost complete demise of others, all social sites are very much at the mercy of whim and fashion.

A bout of stellar success pretty-much guarrantees that those who like their social networks new and exclusive are going to turn their attention elsewhere as soon as the excitement dies down. It’s not that users tear down their pictures and flounce off. Rather, they keep an eye on their old haunts just to make sure they’re not missing anything and spend more time on the trendier replacement.

Ovum suggests that trendier social messaging players such as WhatsApp and Line and other so-called ‘mobile first’ messaging players are going to make the running in 2014. The mobile first set should win because their services are build around the idea of device (and user) mobility, rather than shoe-horning the mobile side of things into an existing Web site.

These new services are “changing the way the consumer interacts with social media – be it messaging, voice, games or utilities and widening the possibilities of the type of social services that can be accessed on mobile,” claims Ovum.

So expect a new wave of OTT players to hit the market in 2014 with messaging that has evolved beyond simple old text and a resulting recipe that begins to generate some real revenue.

In 2014 the analysts say they “expect to see social messaging players challenging the status quo of mobile social networking and media and creating a paradigm shift in social media that will impact several OTT giants.” Amen to that.

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