Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (NYSE:BABA) is trying to interconnect business and social networking for the second time around. The world’s biggest internet retailer have quietly launched the app, called DingTalk, in December of last year. DingTalk, which the company says is still in its beta phase, is an attempt at “versatile mobile communications app that fills a gap in the market for corporate mobile messaging,” an Alibaba spokeswoman said, cited by Reuters.
Previously, Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (NYSE:BABA) has launched a mobile messaging app called Laiwang, but it was never successful, losing out to WeChat of archrival Tencent Holdings Ltd. DingTalk, however, currently targets Alibaba’s active consumers. The chinese e-commerce giant currently counts 8.5 million active sales services through different e-commerce portals including business-to-business, business-to-consumer, and consumer-to-consumer platforms.
DingTalk can support both group messaging and conference calls, and is designed for small and medium-sized enterprises. It is also a component of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (NYSE:BABA)’ efforts at expanding its hold on enterprise services. The move to target small businesses, while serving as a strategy to promote the service to the company’s current and active customers, also falls within its overall strategy for enterprise business that includes Aliyun, its cloud computing. Alibaba’s cloud service is already being used by its own customers, apart from other companies, and counts a total of 1.4 million customers.
Mobile messaging apps have have always taken the center stage in the tech industry. Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), for instance, brought to completion last year its $22 billion acquisition of WhatsApp. Afterwards, it announced the rolling out of Facebook for Work, a social networking platform that can be considered similar to Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (NYSE:BABA)’s DingTalk. Alibaba did not elaborate further regarding DingTalks final launch, neither did the company explain how revenue will be generated from the app.
This article has been written by Nonito Guntan.