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Introduction

2020 will be dominated by three key trends in communications apps and services: anti-trust investigations into Facebook and other tech giants, the spread of payments in chat apps globally, and telcos' continuing efforts to upgrade SMS to RCS.

Highlights

  • US anti-trust investigations into Facebook (alongside other technology companies) will cast a shadow over the company’s integration of the messaging capabilities of Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram.
  • In 2020 mobile commerce and payments will contribute more significantly to global messaging apps’ revenues and usage, following Facebook’s launch of Facebook Pay in late 2019, and Viber’s roll-out of person-to-person (P2P) payments in Eastern Europe.
  • Google is seeding the RCS market with its Guest service in countries where few or no telcos have launched RCS. Whether this strategy helps or harms the RCS industry will become clear in 2020.

Features and Benefits

  • Evaluates the key challenges for players in the consumer communications industry in 2020.
  • Analyzes the potential impact of anti-trust investigations on Facebook’s integration of its messaging apps.

Key questions answered

  • Should telcos be concerned about Google's Guest RCS service?
  • Will Facebook Pay have a significant impact on consumers' use of its messaging apps to buy goods and services online and in-store?

Table of contents

Summary

  • Catalyst
  • Ovum view
  • Key messages

Recommendations

  • Recommendations for service providers and platforms
  • Recommendations for technology vendors

Facebook's next regulatory battlefield is anti-trust

  • Anti-trust investigations could threaten Facebook's realization of messaging app integration
  • Anti-trust enforced divestment would weaken Facebook and create potent new competitors

Global messaging apps finally bed down commerce

  • Facebook Pay could be a gamechanger …
  • … Assuming consumers trust it

Google's growing impatience with telcos will either kill RCS, or cure it

  • Google will onboard more markets with Guest RCS in 2020
  • Google Guest gives RCS a much-needed leg-up, while CCMI shows the US is serious

Appendix

  • Methodology
  • Further reading
  • Author

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