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Online giant to launch messaging app?


Amazon could be the newest player in the consumer messaging game.

The online giant is considering a new messaging platform that will rival the likes of Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp. The full-featured standalone messaging app will be accessible via smartphones, tablets, PCs and smart watches, according to TechCrunch.

The app, called Anytime, will let people chat with text and video, send photos with filter overlays, play games and engage with other Amazon services, like music, online shopping and food ordering, and interact with businesses. Unlike rival apps, Anytime would also allow people to connect to each other by name — not phone numbers or email addresses, the report said.

Amazon has started surveying customers about the messaging tool to determine what features are most desirable and important. One source even suggested that the app is nearly ready, according to AFTV News, which initially broke the story.

This is not Amazon’s first foray into the messaging fray. The company’s cloud-hosting unit, Amazon Web Services, in February introduced a paid-for video and audio conferencing service -- Amazon Chime -- that lets users chat and share content. It was also eyeing corporate chatroom startup Slack Technologies.

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