Mobile IM: Who Moved Whose Cheese

Mobile IM: Who Moved Whose Cheese The rapid development of domestic Kik applications has brought new variables to the mobile IM field.

Wechat, rice chat, push letters, and chats... There is an endless stream of domestic Kik applications. The Kik application known as the "message killer" is under the banner of "free, provincial traffic". It is reported that the number of users of Tencent WeChat has reached 15 million, and Miller Technology's Mi chat also captured 5 million users.

The mobile IM field has always been a hotly contested field. Both Internet companies and telecom operators hope to make a difference in this area. Tencent's mobile QQ and China Mobile's flying letters are among the best. The Kik-like application, with its unique voice intercom function, has become the new darling of the younger generation.

What kind of growth logic does the Kik-like application appear to be caught in a melee? Who will become the ruler and who will be eliminated? In the war, who moved the cheese?

Why Kik is popular

Kik is also an imported product. On October 19 last year, Kik Messenger officially landed in the App Store and Android Market. It is a cross-platform instant messaging software with simple functions. This software uses more memory than Tencent Mobile QQ or Fetion. Small, simpler interface, more convenient operation. Although there are deficiencies in functionality, such as the inability to send photos and attachments, it is still gathering a large number of users in extreme time, which has attracted the attention of a large number of Internet entrepreneurs.

Moreover, Kik Messenger has a distinct advantage over mobile QQ or Fetion, which is that it can use the mobile phone address book to automatically search for people who use the Kik app in the user's mobile phone address book, and automatically remind the user whether to add it as a friend. . It is the excavation of this social resource for mobile phone contacts that Kik has become the new favorite of social applications.

After Kik received a $8 million venture capital investment, domestic imitators quickly emerged. Rice chat, Tencent WeChat, and Shanda Kiki appeared one after another. Telecom operators were not far behind. China Mobile launched a chat and promised to use it for free. cost. And allow users of China Telecom and China Unicom to register.

Some people compared the SMS and Kik-like application fees. Taking China Mobile as an example, regardless of the package factor, each SMS charges 0.1 yuan, and 1M data traffic costs about 10 yuan. After the conversion of data traffic and Chinese character information, it was concluded that 1M data traffic can send 1024×1024÷2=524288 Chinese characters. Considering data encryption and other situations, "the most conservative estimate is that 200 Chinese characters can be sent every 1KB." Therefore, the amount of Chinese characters sent by 1M data can reach 200,000. Half of the 200,000 digits are sent by users themselves, which is 100,000 words. If they are sent by text messages, they cost 140 yuan, while those using Kik-like applications only cost 10 yuan. Therefore, applying the Kik class as a "text killer" is a veritable fact.

And Kik-like applications, compared to text messages, have an advantage that they have a client and business expansion is better. The size of SMS users of telecom operators is indeed very large, but unfortunately, telecom operators have not used SMS as a platform to develop other services, which is also limited by their lack of business expansion.

The voice intercom function is already very close to the normal voice call function. Although there are deficiencies in the fluency of the call, it is different from the traditional voice service in the service mode: the voice call follows the traditional voice channel. Kik-like applications take the data traffic channel and are therefore very different in the charging model. The use of Kik-like applications costs far less than traditional voice calls.

The cost of voice calls in China has remained high, which leaves a lot of room for the development of mobile IM services for Internet companies. Tencent Mobile QQ is relying on the advantages of its traffic charges to quickly advance into the mobile IM market, which has greatly impacted the SMS business of telecom operators. China Mobile was forced to launch a Fetion response, but it only played the role of “splitting” and did not Tencent mobile phone QQ kill.

However, the emergence of Kik-like applications not only challenged the interests of telecom operators, even Tencent, but also felt the pressure.

Tencent: Active Challenge

Compared with mobile QQ, Kik-like applications use less memory, have a simpler interface, and have voice intercom functions, which also has an impact on Tencent. Therefore, after the emergence of Kik-like applications, Tencent quickly followed up and launched the WeChat function with the intention of occupying market opportunities and killing other competitors.

Compared to Kik Messenger, Tencent WeChat has also expanded its capabilities, such as supporting the sending of pictures. And like all other applications, WeChat's important advantage lies in its binding with the QQ client, users can directly log in with their own QQ account, support to find micro signal, QQ friends to add friends, see QQ friends to add friends, view the phone address book And share micro signals to add friends in 4 ways. And Tencent WeChat and Tencent microblogging private communication, on the phone with the web page of microblogging friends and private letters, and can send pictures in private letters. When the user QQ is offline, WeChat can also help the user automatically receive offline messages.

If we simply look at the Kik application itself, Tencent's WeChat and Xiaomi's Michao are not much different. However, WeChat, as a member of Tencent's entire business system, can bind or interact with other functions to the user. It's very convenient. Therefore, Tencent WeChat users quickly reached 15 million, far more than meters chat.

However, Xiaomi Technology is actively marching into the hardware and launches the Xiaomi mobile phone. It intends to use hardware to consolidate its advantages in the mobile Internet software field. Whether this kind of path can be passed or not is still in doubt. Xiaomi's mobile phone positioning "fancier" market, there is no large-scale advertising, and lack of support from telecom operators, it is difficult to quickly spread in a short period of time. Tencent has a huge user base, which is beyond the reach of Xiaomi Technology.

Tencent’s real competitor is a telecommunications operator, who, with the advantage of no-fee traffic, is likely to come from behind and go beyond Tencent’s WeChat. Other Kik-like applications, such as rice chat, push, etc., cannot pose a threat to telecom operators, but Tencent is a real threat. Therefore, in the application of Kik-like, the real protagonist is Tencent and telecom operators, especially China Mobile.

Telecom Operators: Positive "Spoiler"

At the beginning of the domestic Kik application, many people are worried that they will be blocked by telecom operators, just like Skype, which is a VoIP phone. There are even rumors that Kik-like applications in some regions have been "harmonized" by telecom operators, but from the current situation, telecom operators have not completely blocked such applications, but they have responded similarly to mobile QQ challenges. , that is, follow the trend to launch similar applications for "spoiler."

Although it is a helpless move, telecom operators still have considerable lethality. The threshold of Kik-like applications is not high, and it is not difficult for telecom operators to follow up, and by using their own advantages in terminals, user scale, and data pipeline, telecom operators can obtain very substantial industrial chain resources in a short period of time, and Push this application to mobile users. Telecom operators do not intend to take the lead, as long as they disrupt the market and kill Kik-like applications in the "cradle."

However, Kik-like applications can really help telecom operators retain users and improve user stickiness. Moreover, with the rapid development of the mobile Internet, telecom operators are paying more and more attention to the development of data services and have introduced a variety of data services. China Mobile can integrate it with numerous other data applications and gain similar advantages as Tencent, which is the overall business advantage, rather than a single advantage like the one for the chat.

Judging from the degree of impact, Kik-like applications have voice intercom functions, but the impact on telecom operators' voice services is still relatively limited compared to the direct call function of the Internet telephony, and therefore is still within its tolerance. Once the Kik application in the future breaks this limit, it will inevitably be strangled by telecom operators.

Moreover, telecom operators have the strength to carry out "protracted warfare" because Internet companies do not have significant income in the application of Kik-like products. Instead, they intend to use this application to aggregate user groups and require continuous investment for quite a long time. Among Internet companies, no other company except Tencent has the financial strength to compete with telecom operators. Therefore, although the "spoiler" strategy of telecom operators is "softly suppressed", it still has effectiveness.

Just from the perspective of the development trend of the mobile Internet, it is obviously not enough to suppress the competitors alone. The telecom operators still need to explore a more effective way of traffic management and get rid of the predicament of being a “pipeline”.