Amazon, Souq.com 'building Whatsapp-style messaging app'

E-commerce giant said to be working with Silicon Valley tech firm to create app
Amazon, Souq.com 'building Whatsapp-style messaging app'
By Sarah Townsend
Wed 19 Jul 2017 09:49 AM

Teams from Amazon, which acquired the UAE’s Souq.com earlier this year, are reportedly building messaging app to rival Whatsapp and Messenger.

Amazon is understood to be working with a Silicon Valley technology firm to create the new messaging service, which – if launched in the Middle East – could also rival the messaging app said to be under development by Noon.com founder Mohamed Alabbar.

Amazon’s app is called Anytime, according to reports from technology media this week. It has a focus on messaging, photo sharing and voice and video calls, and users can apply filters to pictures and videos.

Amazon has already begun surveying customers about the new service to gather feedback about which features are most important to them.

A source told Arabian Business the app “is being readied for launch extremely soon”.

Arabian Business contacted both Amazon and Souq.com for further information but was told only that Amazon “does not comment on rumour or speculation”.

Emaar chairman and Noon.com founder Alabbar is understood to be building a similar, though Middle East-focussed, messaging app.

He told local media last November that the app was scheduled for launch in March – although this did not happen. “It will be a typical social app, similar to the ones in the market, that you can use on a smartphone,” he was quoted as saying.

Amazon snapped up UAE online marketplace Souq.com for $580 million.

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