Messaging apps are making a huge impact in today’s mobile app industry. The ‘so-called’ trend is taking over globally with Asia receiving the biggest payout. Although Facebook’s latest venture with WhatsApp lacks gaming options, many of the top messaging apps such as Line serve as distribution channel for mobile games by offering in-app games that users can access and share with their friends. The bonus feature serves as an effective marketing and promotional tool for devs.
The carrier-billing company PlayPhone has recently announced their new partnership with messaging app Tango to port mobile games to Verizon as well as other carriers. Tango is very similar to Line with an option for users to play in-app games. Tango is planning on integrating a PlayPhone plugin within its app to allow consumers to bill their gaming purchases directly to carriers in PlayPhone’s network.
Tango was originally founded in 2009 and currently has over 145 million users in 212 different countries. Considered as an all-in-one social networking app that allows users to send free text messages, play, games, and make free phone calls and video calls. The app supports iPhones, iPod Touch, Android, Windows Phone devices, tablets, and PCs.
According to one of PlayPhone’s representatives, the games that have been advertised on Tango from its joint partnership with Twitter-owned MoPub will not be available for direct carrier billing. They’re taking a different approach to the messaging app’s current dependence on OS-native app stores. The companies say Tango users will have access to PlayPhone’s custom app recommendation engine embedded into their network.
With the merger when players try to download a game they’ll be taken to carrier-branded app stores or to a generic PlayPhone store depending on which platform the game is located on. Carriers included in PlayPhone’s network are Verizon, Sprint, AT&T, SingTel (Singapore), Telkomsel (Indonesia), Claro and Vivo (both in Brazil).
In a recent phone interview, PlayPhone CMO Anders Evju said, “If you’re a Tango customer, but you’re on Sprint network, we will direct you to the Sprint store. And the same thing with all the other carriers where we have direct billing.”