Today, the company is launching Tango Channels, a new way for its users to connect with media sites, big brands, and artists. The ultimate goal? To keep Tango users inside of its app, instead of jumping to social media sites and the web.
Tango is partnering with companies like Spotify, AOL, and DailyMotion to bring content directly to its more than 200 million users. You’ll be able to get updates directly from media companies and, most importantly, easily share their content with your friends in Tango chat.
If Tango Channels sounds familiar, it’s because we’ve seen plenty of other mobile messaging apps go down a similar road. BlackBerry launched its own “Channels” feature on BBM last year, and Kik plugged a browser into its app.
“I don’t think it’s surprising to see [similar messaging media products] in a number of places,” Tango cofounder and CTO Eric Setton told VentureBeat in an interview. “There are two camps on the messaging side: phone replacement apps and messaging apps that are turning into platforms.”
At this point, Tango, which started out as a simple video chat app, is well on its way to becoming a powerful platform. The company took a cue from Asian messaging apps by adding game integration last year, and now, with more than $367 million in funding, we can expect it to launch new products aggressively.
Giving users direct access to content within their apps is an easy way to spur engagement, but it also opens the door for potentially lucrative partnership deals. If Tango users latch onto Channels, you can be sure we’ll see even bigger media partners joining up in the future.
While mobile messaging has been on fire over the past few years, capping off with Facebook’s astounding $19 billion WhatsApp purchase, I’m more interested in seeing where it goes in the future. Facebook just scooped up PayPal’s president to lead its messaging efforts, which could end up including some sort of payments integration. And with the rise of wearables, we’ll no longer have to find our phones to see and receive messages.
For now, Tango Channels is a clear sign that Tango wants to be much more than a messaging app.