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LiveNinja Messenger

Live chat meets messaging 💬 🙌

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Will Weinraub@willweinraub · CEO, LiveNinja
Hi Product Hunt! We're super excited today to launch the beta for LiveNinja Messenger and really can't wait to hear what you all think about it. We've been in the customer service space for a few years now and this product was built directly from the feedback we received from companies on what their ideal customer-chat solution would look like. As you all know, there's been a lot of excitement in this space lately when it comes to B2C Messaging (FB Messenger, Kik, WhatsApp, etc). However, these are stand-alone applications that add another service for the company to manage while overlooking one of the most important channels for the company: their existing website. As we talked to more companies, it was clear that the priority for them when it came to customer-chat started with their website and emanated out to other social networks/channels. Because of that, many companies still have had to use a "Live Chat" solution to ensure they serve that direct traffic. However, what we found was that many Live Chat applications have fallen short in a lot areas lately, and that's because as a concept, Live Chat is pretty dated. The framework of Live Chat was created before the smartphone/mobile era, and is primarily used for one-off conversations. A user connects to the brand, asks a question, hopes that someone is "available", and then the conversation usually ends a few minutes later with no way to re-engage. "Messaging" on the other hand solves this problem because it creates what is essentially an "always-on" thread between the participants that is both synchronous and asynchronous. However, as mentioned, consumer chat applications are stand alone apps that a customer has to download, have an account for, and most importantly: has to leave the businesses webpage to start the conversation. Because of that, many companies still are reluctant to push users off their site and onto those channels where they have to compete for attention. Because of this feedback, we believe there is an important middle-ground between Live Chat and Messaging, and that's what we hope to provide with LiveNinja Messenger; a built from the ground-up, embeddable messaging application. What we're launching with today in this beta version is: - An embeddable widget that combines what we feel are the best aspects of live chat and messaging. - A dedicated short-link (ln.co/your-brand-name) that businesses can share with customers to start conversations from any other channel they choose. - An iOS application that makes it easy to manage and continue customers’ conversations from anywhere. I'd also like to note that we fully believe in Facebook Messenger, Twitter, Kik, WhatsApp, Telegram, and all other messaging apps that provide similar solutions. In fact, we are currently building integrations to many of these services directly into LiveNinja. This way, brands can have a presence on all these channels and talk to all of their customers (no matter where they come from) in one convenient dashboard. All of this, while still servicing customers that are on their website and applications. We are still super early on this journey and the first version of the product is very raw, but we'd love to get your feedback. I'll be here all day along with some of my team and we'd be happy to answer any questions you may have! Thanks so much PH!
Chris Messina@chrismessina · 🏆 PH Community Member of the Year!
@willweinraub how do you compare to Intercom?
Austin Sandmeyer@as_austin · Thinker/Student/Rockstar
@willweinraub Love the concept and execution! But whats the value add to the market space? Will you compete w/ Intercom? If so, how to beat? 🤔
Will Weinraub@willweinraub · CEO, LiveNinja
@chrismessina @as_austin thanks so much for your comments and questions! We're huge fans of Intercom and what they've built. Here at LiveNinja, we’re focusing mainly on serving e-commerce companies and making that our primarily focus to start. To do that, there are certain things that we’ve built into the core of the application that we’ll be rolling out in the coming months. Some of these things are integrated in-chat payments, and being able to tie into to a company’s inventory system for easy sharing/purchasing of items. We’ll also be integrating our existing live video and audio chat tools in an upcoming release for instances when text based communication is not sufficient. (Think of it like hitting the FaceTime button when you’re in iMessage) Another thing that is unique about LiveNinja Messenger is that we provide dedicated logins for each customer so that they can securely continue the conversation from any device later on. In addition to that, we also provide each business with a customizable page in which they can direct users to from any channel or post. You can see mine here as an example: ln.co/willweinraub
Nick O'Neill@allnick · CEO, Holler Inc.
@chrismessina @willweinraub @as_austin I can't speak on behalf of LiveNinja but I've been working on something in this space myself and have a few thoughts on how things are positioned. *Intercom* One of the biggest challenges I found with Intercom is their conversation model. While I'm expecting them to evolve, they currently have two restrictions embedded into their design: mobile messaging and threaded conversations. In regards to the first, mobile messaging, there are a bunch of challenges outside of sending push notifications to your existing mobile app (which most small businesses don't have). I wanted to use them for a system I was testing and it turned out to be incredibly challenging to make a simple two-way Twilio <> Intercom intergration for conversations (even w/Zapier). They appear to be integrated at first but then you quickly realize it may not even be possible to have customer conversations over SMS with Intercom (let alone any other mobile channel). In regards to the second aspect, threaded conversations, they have a very similar model to the way Zendesk, Desk.com, or any other help desk software is organized. This model is broken in the world of mobile messaging where all dialogue happens within a single thread. That's where SendSonar found an opportunity and it's why Zendesk is now completely ripping off SendSonar (https://www.zendesk.com/message/). In regards to web chat, it's fundamentally broken. The way it exists now is you leave the web chat and typically never come back. If you happen to leave your email, you can now have an email dialogue between the business and the customer. Email however is restricted to the old threaded conversation model. On a podcast I listened to last week, the CEO of LiveChat acknowledged this pain and suggested they are likely to begin moving in the direction of products like LiveNinja. "Oh, but I'm fine using email for chatting with businesses!" Fair enough, but you aren't the target demographic if those are the words you utter, at least not today. One person I spoke to yesterday then told me "90% of my customers are on desktop". I then asked him the average age of his customers and he said "35 - 65". The next company I spoke to said "We don't have a need to send SMS messages with customers, all of our conversations are on WhatsApp". He then showed me thousands of messages with customers. Customers are getting instant support where they currently prefer to chat. I have a growing list of real companies that are using mobile messaging as their primary channel. IMHO this is where the market is going. All service-oriented businesses will provide highly personalized dialogue with their customers and nothing feels more personal than via mobile messaging. I also happen to think more businesses will become service-oriented. Finally, I think the comparison of products is a fair one, especially in a place like ProductHunt. However I see this evolving the same way that the email marketing space evolved. There are multiple multi-billion-dollar companies in just sending email newsletters. The market is SOOOOO massive that companies like Curated were able to carve off a niche segment and build a business from it (Curated was acquired last week). The same thing goes for customer support. There are countless customer support companies. Ultimately all of them tend to obtain some level of feature parity over time, but the market is so gigantic that hundreds of companies get to co-exist (with a few giants). As for LiveNinja, I found it ironic that they discuss mobile messaging and are positioning themselves that way in the press and then promptly ask for your email when you start a chat like all other help desk providers. I'm not quite sure how they plan to evolve their product but as of today they do feel much more like Intercom. Give it a few months and I think this whole space is going to be entirely focused on mobile and email will be a secondary feature for many. That's why LiveNinja positioned themselves as focused on messaging but when it comes to execution they are actually not a mobile-messaging-first company.
Austin Sandmeyer@as_austin · Thinker/Student/Rockstar
@allnick Very interesting! I completely agree with the incongruence nature of mobile first but requesting a email. @willweinraub wouldn't a phone number better align with the positioning? (Love the concept, platform, and idea! Just pondering.)
Karl Pawlewicz@karlpawlewicz · The Voice of Olark
@allnick ^All of this. BTW - Nick - what was the podcast with the CEO of LiveChat?
David Chang@chang2301 · Founder, Ziltag
@willweinraub Nice product by the way, but any way to offer help desk functionality? Or even integrate with existing companies like Zendesk, Helpscout, or Uservoice?
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Will Weinraub
Maker
@willweinraub · CEO, LiveNinja
Hi Product Hunt! We're super excited today to launch the beta for LiveNinja Messenger and really can't wait to hear what you all think about it. We've been in the customer service space for a few years now and this product was built directly from the feedback we received from companies on what their ideal customer-chat solution would look like. As you all know, there's been a lot of excitement in this space lately when it comes to B2C Messaging (FB Messenger, Kik, WhatsApp, etc). However, these are stand-alone applications that add another service for the company to manage while overlooking one of the most important channels for the company: their existing website. As we talked to more companies, it was clear that the priority for them when it came to customer-chat started with their website and emanated out to other social networks/channels. Because of that, many companies still have had to use a "Live Chat" solution to ensure they serve that direct traffic. However, what we found was that many Live Chat applications have fallen short in a lot areas lately, and that's because as a concept, Live Chat is pretty dated. The framework of Live Chat was created before the smartphone/mobile era, and is primarily used for one-off conversations. A user connects to the brand, asks a question, hopes that someone is "available", and then the conversation usually ends a few minutes later with no way to re-engage. "Messaging" on the other hand solves this problem because it creates what is essentially an "always-on" thread between the participants that is both synchronous and asynchronous. However, as mentioned, consumer chat applications are stand alone apps that a customer has to download, have an account for, and most importantly: has to leave the businesses webpage to start the conversation. Because of that, many companies still are reluctant to push users off their site and onto those channels where they have to compete for attention. Because of this feedback, we believe there is an important middle-ground between Live Chat and Messaging, and that's what we hope to provide with LiveNinja Messenger; a built from the ground-up, embeddable messaging application. What we're launching with today in this beta version is: - An embeddable widget that combines what we feel are the best aspects of live chat and messaging. - A dedicated short-link (ln.co/your-brand-name) that businesses can share with customers to start conversations from any other channel they choose. - An iOS application that makes it easy to manage and continue customers’ conversations from anywhere. I'd also like to note that we fully believe in Facebook Messenger, Twitter, Kik, WhatsApp, Telegram, and all other messaging apps that provide similar solutions. In fact, we are currently building integrations to many of these services directly into LiveNinja. This way, brands can have a presence on all these channels and talk to all of their customers (no matter where they come from) in one convenient dashboard. All of this, while still servicing customers that are on their website and applications. We are still super early on this journey and the first version of the product is very raw, but we'd love to get your feedback. I'll be here all day along with some of my team and we'd be happy to answer any questions you may have! Thanks so much PH!
Chris Messina@chrismessina · 🏆 PH Community Member of the Year!
@willweinraub how do you compare to Intercom?
Austin Sandmeyer@as_austin · Thinker/Student/Rockstar
@willweinraub Love the concept and execution! But whats the value add to the market space? Will you compete w/ Intercom? If so, how to beat? 🤔
Will Weinraub
Maker
@willweinraub · CEO, LiveNinja
@chrismessina @as_austin thanks so much for your comments and questions! We're huge fans of Intercom and what they've built. Here at LiveNinja, we’re focusing mainly on serving e-commerce companies and making that our primarily focus to start. To do that, there are certain things that we’ve built into the core of the application that we’ll be rolling out in the coming months. Some of these things are integrated in-chat payments, and being able to tie into to a company’s inventory system for easy sharing/purchasing of items. We’ll also be integrating our existing live video and audio chat tools in an upcoming release for instances when text based communication is not sufficient. (Think of it like hitting the FaceTime button when you’re in iMessage) Another thing that is unique about LiveNinja Messenger is that we provide dedicated logins for each customer so that they can securely continue the conversation from any device later on. In addition to that, we also provide each business with a customizable page in which they can direct users to from any channel or post. You can see mine here as an example: ln.co/willweinraub
Nick O'Neill@allnick · CEO, Holler Inc.
@chrismessina @willweinraub @as_austin I can't speak on behalf of LiveNinja but I've been working on something in this space myself and have a few thoughts on how things are positioned. *Intercom* One of the biggest challenges I found with Intercom is their conversation model. While I'm expecting them to evolve, they currently have two restrictions embedded into their design: mobile messaging and threaded conversations. In regards to the first, mobile messaging, there are a bunch of challenges outside of sending push notifications to your existing mobile app (which most small businesses don't have). I wanted to use them for a system I was testing and it turned out to be incredibly challenging to make a simple two-way Twilio <> Intercom intergration for conversations (even w/Zapier). They appear to be integrated at first but then you quickly realize it may not even be possible to have customer conversations over SMS with Intercom (let alone any other mobile channel). In regards to the second aspect, threaded conversations, they have a very similar model to the way Zendesk, Desk.com, or any other help desk software is organized. This model is broken in the world of mobile messaging where all dialogue happens within a single thread. That's where SendSonar found an opportunity and it's why Zendesk is now completely ripping off SendSonar (https://www.zendesk.com/message/). In regards to web chat, it's fundamentally broken. The way it exists now is you leave the web chat and typically never come back. If you happen to leave your email, you can now have an email dialogue between the business and the customer. Email however is restricted to the old threaded conversation model. On a podcast I listened to last week, the CEO of LiveChat acknowledged this pain and suggested they are likely to begin moving in the direction of products like LiveNinja. "Oh, but I'm fine using email for chatting with businesses!" Fair enough, but you aren't the target demographic if those are the words you utter, at least not today. One person I spoke to yesterday then told me "90% of my customers are on desktop". I then asked him the average age of his customers and he said "35 - 65". The next company I spoke to said "We don't have a need to send SMS messages with customers, all of our conversations are on WhatsApp". He then showed me thousands of messages with customers. Customers are getting instant support where they currently prefer to chat. I have a growing list of real companies that are using mobile messaging as their primary channel. IMHO this is where the market is going. All service-oriented businesses will provide highly personalized dialogue with their customers and nothing feels more personal than via mobile messaging. I also happen to think more businesses will become service-oriented. Finally, I think the comparison of products is a fair one, especially in a place like ProductHunt. However I see this evolving the same way that the email marketing space evolved. There are multiple multi-billion-dollar companies in just sending email newsletters. The market is SOOOOO massive that companies like Curated were able to carve off a niche segment and build a business from it (Curated was acquired last week). The same thing goes for customer support. There are countless customer support companies. Ultimately all of them tend to obtain some level of feature parity over time, but the market is so gigantic that hundreds of companies get to co-exist (with a few giants). As for LiveNinja, I found it ironic that they discuss mobile messaging and are positioning themselves that way in the press and then promptly ask for your email when you start a chat like all other help desk providers. I'm not quite sure how they plan to evolve their product but as of today they do feel much more like Intercom. Give it a few months and I think this whole space is going to be entirely focused on mobile and email will be a secondary feature for many. That's why LiveNinja positioned themselves as focused on messaging but when it comes to execution they are actually not a mobile-messaging-first company.
Austin Sandmeyer@as_austin · Thinker/Student/Rockstar
@allnick Very interesting! I completely agree with the incongruence nature of mobile first but requesting a email. @willweinraub wouldn't a phone number better align with the positioning? (Love the concept, platform, and idea! Just pondering.)
Karl Pawlewicz@karlpawlewicz · The Voice of Olark
@allnick ^All of this. BTW - Nick - what was the podcast with the CEO of LiveChat?
David Chang@chang2301 · Founder, Ziltag
@willweinraub Nice product by the way, but any way to offer help desk functionality? Or even integrate with existing companies like Zendesk, Helpscout, or Uservoice?
Austin Sandmeyer@as_austin · Thinker/Student/Rockstar
Great article from Tech Crunch about LiveNinja (http://techcrunch.com/2016/05/04...)
Will Weinraub
Maker
@willweinraub · CEO, LiveNinja
@as_austin Thank you for sharing Austin!!
Steven Rueter@rueter · Developer
I get it and I like it. Looking at it from a consumer perspective, it's one place to carry on conversations dedicated to your e-commerce activity. And as a consumer, I can see this as being useful for product support, returns and refunding, and other otherwise over-the-phone or in-store interactions--all without having to go to any individual website or worse, into a retail store. Personally, I think your e-commerce market is a bit too broad. I would take one right out of PayPal's playbook and build this for sellers on Etsy, Ebay, Amazon, etc. who otherwise don't have the tools or resources to easily communicate with their customers. More specifically, those sellers that sell items across more or all of these platforms. These interactions now are, as far as I know, typically taking place on the respective platforms or over email.
Corey Miller@coreyj_miller · Scout Ventures
Will, love the product! Can you talk about what it looks like from the consumer's perspective? Is there one consumer app the centralizes all of my conversations with the companies I've had conversations with?
Will Weinraub
Maker
@willweinraub · CEO, LiveNinja
@coreyj_miller Hi Corey, yup that's certainly in the works! Right now the mobile app is primarily focused from the agent/company perspective, and allowing them to respond and serve customers on the go. Moving forward, we'll provide a native iOS application that does the same from the customer perspective. In the meantime, any user can log in with their LiveNinja Messenger account at messenger.liveninja.com and see all the conversations they've had across the web.
Kristian Kabuay@baybayin · Artist @ Kabuay.com
Installed it on one of my websites (Kabuay.com). Looks good but the requirement of entering an email, verifying a pin and entering a password is a hassle for someone who just wants to ask a question. Did I implement this wrong?
AkashLal Bathe@akashlal · I will hunt you down
@baybayin Go to Widget settings and turn off prechat form - http://prntscr.com/ekotke