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Does the world need a new messaging app? Amazon seems to think so

Amazon Anytime Chat App

It’s not as if the tech world needs another messaging app, but that apparently won’t stop Amazon from throwing their hat into the ring. According to a new report from AFTVnews, Amazon has been busy working on a new messaging service dubbed Anytime that seems to toe the line between a traditional messaging app and a fledgling social network.

As it stands today, there are no shortage of ways for mobile users to chat with their friends, whether it be communicating via SMS or via standalone apps like Facebook Messenger and Snapchat. That being the case, Amazon is seemingly trying to make Anytime a cross-platform app that can serve as a one-stop-shop for any and all types of social interactions. Specifically, the Anytime service is said to feature support for encrypted messaging, video chatting, stickers and GIFs, photo and video filters, gaming and more.

Of course, the features above aren’t exactly anything we haven’t seen before, but Anytime will reportedly include a few intriguing features to help differentiate it from the rest of the pack. For instance, rumor has it that Anytime will allow users to listen to music together, order food together, and even split a restaurant bill directly from within the app. What’s more, the service is said to provide users with a way to connect directly with businesses and will enable them to “make reservations, check on orders, and even shop.”

One of the more curious features surrounding Anytime is that it will reportedly not require individual users to be mapped to a specific phone number.

The biggest hurdle of any new messaging service is getting people to use it when no one they know is using it. Anytime by Amazon will apparently let you “reach all your friends just using their name” without needing their phone numbers. It’s unclear what that means exactly, but it could mean the app hooks into existing social networks and other messaging services.

All in all, Anytime certainly sounds intriguing, but it remains to be seen if mobile users have the patience or even the desire to try out a new messaging service, no matter how many features Amazon may happen to pack it with.

Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large for over 15 years. A life long Mac user and Apple expert, his writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and TUAW. When not analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions.