"Market your brand and monetize & engage your
users” Marketers, Dev Friendly
Layer “Let your apps users talk to each other” Developers
"The cross platform app for instant messaging, video
and voice calling." Developers
"Build Realtime Apps. A powerful API to store and sync
data in realtime" Developers
"Build and Scale Realtime Apps for Connected
Facebook Messenger API
Depreciating. Nothing announced to replace. Not
available for use after April 30th 2015. “Developers”, Marketers
“Let your app’s users talk to each other.”
CTO: Recent: Sean Cook, head of product (from Twitter) Andrew Vyrros, the lead dev
for iMessage, Apple’s push notifications, and iTunes Genius. Jeremie Miller, inventor of
Jabber. George Patterson, former director of operations at OpenDNS. (2014
Layer is trying to build an open communications layer that allows app makers to
easily make communications a native part of their creations and “delight
• Layer provides push notification services, cloud sync, offline storage, and most other services a
message app would need.
• Out of the box + Enterprise options
• Lots of experience creating scalable infrastructures.
• Atlas employs UI patterns similar to iMessage, making it intuitive for the user to navigate and use.
Easy to implement and customize.
• Pieces of the SDK can be used to power individual needs (e.g., push notification)
• Analytics dashboard.
• Working toward single sign-in across apps.
• Standard messaging patterns, lacking in creativity.
• No moderation tools.
• Focused on user-user messaging, not brand-user. Marketing not a clear value prop.
• No native advertising. No native goods.
• No white label app.
• No interest-based community chats.
• NO STORY.
Production Ready Plans
Atlas: Turnkey UI
• A searchable, selectable address input bar like found in the most popular messaging apps.
• A Conversation List that displays all the Conversations in which the user is participating.
Changes in the latest message or the unread state of the Conversation are automatically
updated in the UI.
• A scrollable, auto-paginating message display experience that manages unread state,
optionally displays delivery & read receipts, and overlays a typing indicator as others are
• A flexible, auto-sizing message input bar that handles text, images, and location updates.
• A detail view for managing conversations by adding, removing, or blocking participants and
deleting or resigning from a conversation.
• A library of accessory views such as incoming and outgoing bubble cells and a dynamically
rendered placeholder image that displays user initials.
Layer’s Atlas (UX/UI)
• Zongo tennis
• Web Summit
Why we’re keeping an eye on them:
Recently received 14M in funding. Interesting minds are starting to work for them.
A good example of how to delight developers and manage scalability.
They have a bigger plan.
"The cross platform app for instant messaging, video and voice calling.“
QuickBlox is a cloud communication backend that allows to add Chat,
Video calling, Push Notifications, Cloud Sync into mobile and web apps.
• Handles all login and registration, can use social for the login
• Ratings, 'like‘, and voting capabilities
• General chat capabilities with text, video, also calling, file sharing, location sharing
• Push notifications to engage users
• All aspects are customizable and you can pick and choose features
• Analytics dashboard: User statistics, api calls, data usage, sent messages, pull your
• Online indicator
• Can develop an app for you
• Developer documentation easily accessible
• No moderation tools, from user perspective
• Advertising options not a value prop
• No marketing options outlined
Why we’re keeping an eye on them:
Frequently suggest amongst developers as a messaging solution.
"Build Realtime Apps. A powerful API to store and sync data in realtime"
Store and Sync Data Instantly - cloud storage provider and BAAS.
Chat, push notification, info display, comments, LIVE INTERACTIONS
"Build realtime mobile and web apps in minutes using client-side code and our powerful API. Save
time. Delight your users.“
Owned by Google (acquired 10/21/14) **why we want to keep an eye
• Scalability - now backed by Google
• Easy/quick front-end integration
• Works for all major web and mobile platforms - easy to mesh
• Easy authentication - Can integrate so existing users can participate immediately without a
second auth process
• Can use features independently
• Security: Firebase Security API (used by moderators)
• Used by over 50,000+ engineers
• Accessible documentation
• Chat without connectivity
• When data changes, apps (web/mobile) update automatically
• Platform agnostic, backend flexibility
• Case studies that display multiple use cases (including chat)
• Not focused solely on chat
• One-offs for big partners (chat) - not their major goal
• UI not provided
• Reasons for building chat in an app is not clear
• CBS’s Big Brother (27M chat entries were logged)
• Coffee Meets Bagel
• Live Minutes
• Twitch (alert users of live chat sessions)
“Build and Scale Realtime Apps for Connected Devices.”
PubNub creates and supports over 50 languages and development platforms with our SDKs.
Build apps for Mobile, Browser, Desktop, Server, or the Internet of Things. PubNub will
automatically broker your connections from the web to phones to tablets to everywhere!
• Can use on any platform
• Scalable backend
• Online notification
• Ephemeral message capabilities
• History of recent messages
• Users can be assigned different rights and roles
• Simple and fast to integrate
• Push notifications
• Analytical tools of traffic, usage and peaks by region
• 1:1, 1:many, group chats
• Developer community forum
• AngularJS one-to-many broadcast API
• No packaged UI
• No flagging or additional moderation tools
• Marketing/branding feed not a value prop
• No advertising or native goods opportunities
• No network effect
Messaging What it is Target Market
Affinity Networks (TalkChain) “Monetize and engage your users”
Networked chat platform with native ad
UrbanAirship “Engage your audience”
Mobile marketing platform built around
push notifications, automated
messaging, and market segmentation.
“Design and produce live highly
interactive social experiences”
Social platform Sports, Brands
“Build and cultivate your own
Social platform Brands
“The engagement layer for the
Celly “Create your own social network” TBD Brands
“Monetize and engage your users.”
“Integrating is literally, dropping in the library, picking a button, and
pointing to a URL schema.” - Jeff Solomon, Founder (also founder of
@Velocify + @Amplify… )
• Packaged UI, ready to go.
• Monetization (?) is a buzz word re: chat
• Robust feature set geared toward community building.
• Moderation: They host and maintain the backend of custom-built apps and they
handle all moderation and community management.
• Native ads (rev share 50/50)
• Can build, launch, host and maintain a white-label app
• Clear messaging about their value proposition
• Possible issues with networking and scalability. (confusion with sign-in + TalkChain site
not very engaging.)
• Founder involved in two other sales-focused companies.
• Not clear if they offer analytics.
• No high profile partners or brands. Hard to tell if it’s successful.
• No web presence. “We will probably start with a web plugin so people can add the chat
feeds on web and let web users interact with mobile users. Eventually may offer the
engine as an alternative to web commenting solutions like Disqus or Livefyre.”
Target: Marketers, CEOs
• Pokemonfans Unite
• Hunger Games Chat
Why we’re keeping an eye on
Although they do not have high profile partners,
they are very similar to us in product profile. They
were recently featured in Product Hunt (Jan 2015)
• Known for push notifications and inbox messaging
Recently introduced in-app messaging campaigns
• The messages can deep-link within the app, provide
tags to help marketers segment users into groups,
and be linked to landing pages created from
• Lifecycle Lists - ability to automate messaging or
other mobile marketing (based on triggers)
• Location based triggers made possible via Gimbal
“in-app messages, interactive notification buttons,
landing page authoring, deep linking, dynamic
segment tag collection, and native social-sharing
capabilities built in, [making it easy] for a marketer to
build a campaign in minutes, not hours or even
“Hull is a platform that offers identity management,
user engagement, segmentation and targeted
messaging so you can finally build your entire user
engagement strategy with one single, unified
• Easy, flexible OAuth
• Collects user profile information across multiple platforms for target
• Public/private messaging, comments, likes, votes, followers,
gamification, badges, credits and counters (easy to implement)
• Auto event tracking, multi-channel distribution
• Not clear
Not sure exactly what they are, but their messaging is similar to ours.
Target: Marketers, CEOs
Chat in the Marketplace
Messaging What it is Market Vertical
“Connect with your followers in real
Gaming community via live broadcasts.
Developer solution for general market.
Intercom & Hipmob
“Turn your audience into paying
Customer service platform with chat
“A single, secure place for all of your
Cloud-based, compliant platform for instant
communication and content sharing that
connects market participants securely
FireChat “Chat without Internet”
An app that allows users to chat within
groups connected to those close by.
“Discuss content across the web in one
Comment platform - now connecting into
own social media space Reddit style
Snapchat’s “Our Story” “Get a richer perspective”
Social app that uses photos/video to tell
Brands, Editorial, Entertainment
Kik “A more brand friendly Snapchat”
Messaging app - targeting geo, gender,
“View your favorite celebs social
feeds all in one place”
App dev company, offering to build
Wizard World’s event app for free.
ChatRoll “Bring chat to your website” Chat widget Websites
“Let your friends know when
you’ll be there”
It’s like Whatsapp + Apple FindMyFriends.
The replacement for Twist. ?
NearUs “Talk with people around you” Geolocation based chat app ?
Swarm “Talk to your friends around you”
Foursquare owned app that shows
where your friends are
Facebook Messenger Payment
“Quickly pay your friends in a place
you’re already talking in”
Payment functionality added to FB
Slack “A platform for team communication” A group chat platform
Target: Gaming, Broadcasters
• A place where gamers broadcast themselves playing
games and other gamers come watch and chat.
• Web/Mobile App
• A broadcaster has a channel - HTML friendly profile
space to put schedule, donation buttons, custom bits,
etc. (Reminds me of MySpace)
• Customizable, interesting backend
• Subscribe for custom emojis
• type “!weather” and your message will say the
weather, etc. or “!love” and will tell you who the
Gamers are not the only ones who use Twitch.
• The platform is built to broadcast to thousands at a time,
all of which are able to chime into the chat.
• You don't have to download anything to use it. (ahem,
• Leap Motion uses it for their keynotes.
• Make it easy for developers to integrate the platform.
• Auto highlight feature - identify key parts of a game and
allow you to share it. “I killed Reggie134!”
Intercom & HipMob
Target: E-commerce sales + support teams
• Connect sales/support to customers at crucial
moments (e.g., abandoned shopping cart, trigger
• Goal is to reduce reactionary actions/phone calls and
convert into a proactive strategy.
• Watch customer behavior and communicate in real
• A/B testing
• Automated messaging
“Symphony” by Goldman Sachs
A group of leading buy- and sell-side financial institutions have invested $66 million in Symphony to fund the build-out of the
platform and to acquire Perzo Inc., a privately held secure messaging platform.
• 19,000 users at Goldman alone — about two-thirds of the
• BofA Merrill Lynch, BNY Mellon, BlackRock, Citadel, Citi,
Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, Jefferies,
JPMorgan, Maverick, Morgan Stanley, Nomura and Wells
• Symphony has attracted interest from banks in part
because it allows internal compliance officers to police
any talk among traders that could end up in
embarrassing court documents, among other reasons.
• open-source and open architecture philosophy that will
allow for both integration of its components to third party
applications and interoperability with other networks. (other
model is a commercial company in consortium with
aforementioned banking institutes)
Symphony, will allow workers across Wall Street to communicate with one another, and
incorporates instant messaging, chat forums, Twitter and internal feeds.
By Open Garden
• No Internet needed - network communications with devices that are 40-70 yards away. Limited only by the number of users.
• Campaigners on a plane that need to speak with one another
• Organizers rallying supporters at an event
• In areas where the government limits Internet access
• At events where the vast number of people takes a toll on wireless networks
Just need a link to access a room and you’re in.
Chat without internet.
Target: Marketers, Bloggers, Web Content Providers
• Traditionally a website plug-in for hosting
• 3M websites, 2 Billion impressions a month.
• Makes money selling ads - suggested articles
• Social site to collect everything you follow/
commented on in one place.
• Connects users to similar users.
• View comments on your own site.
• Push Notifications:
• upvotes your comments
• invite to group
New stand alone forums - similar to Reddit.
Focused on supporting channel infrastructure.
Will be coming out with an app.
Target: Brands, Editorial, Entertainment
People want to see exclusive
behind the scenes, and it feels
more personal, less “manicured”
• Discover channels – CNN, Nat Geo, People, etc. Daily
• Our Stories – photos/videos curated by multiple users
around a single event.
• American Music Awards featured their content
interspersed with multiple users’.
• Ouiji, Girls, Pretty Little Liars, etc.
People are warming to the change in traditional story
telling. They want to feel like they’re getting the inside
scoop and that they’re not eating “fluff”.
Target: Brands, Editorial
In August, Kik gave users the ability to follow and communicate with brands via Promoted Chats. Then in
November, it enhanced that chat product by enabled brands to customize automated responses based on
keywords in messages from fans.
More than 10 million users have opted
into a conversation with a brand and
exchanged more than 250 million
total messages. Users have sent more
than 1.7 million messages to
Seventeen Magazine since September.