Tech giants like Facebook, Google, and Baidu know that people aren’t filling their devices with apps anymore. Just 35 percent of smartphone users download a single app in an average month, and the average app loses 90 percent of its daily active users within 30 days of release.
While it might be fun to slice fruit or slingshot cartoon birds while waiting for the bus, these apps can’t offer the frictionless experience users crave. Consumers want a new, on-demand kind of app: one clad in a conversational interface, ready to serve, and capable of complex actions.
Want to check your flight status, book an Uber for when you land, and schedule your meetings for that afternoon? You could download and learn to navigate three new apps — or you could type your request to an app using Facebook’s new virtual assistant, M, and be greeted by a familiar, intuitive interface. From within Facebook Messenger — an app that 900 million people already use — M promises nearly wide-open functionality. By choosing M, you avoid toggling among apps and have a single transaction record for purchases. Furthermore, there’s no need to download a new app if you fly with another carrier in the future.