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Paytm said it stopped its messaging service a little over a year after its debut as scaling up the app would have added to the costs of the digital payments platform.
Paytm Inbox—that allowed users to not just send and request money, but also chat using the app—was inspired from China’s Tencent-backed WeChat to take on rivals such as WhatsApp and Hike.
While Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma confirmed that the chat function has been removed, he told BloombergQuint that the company plans to release it after upgrading the feature with social content.
Problem is to decide where to stop building feature or scale. It’s very unpredictable. We took off chat from Paytm App after it became pretty popular but code base wasn’t going to scale without ton of cost.— Vijay Shekhar (@vijayshekhar) December 2, 2018
When BloombergQuint checked the chat function within the native app, the instant messaging feature couldn’t be found. Paytm’s “Inbox”, which claimed 120 million monthly active users as of June, is now more of a news and entertainment vertical, and allows users to play games and stream live channels.
This comes at a time Paytm’s another feature “SMS Inbox”, which the company touted as a spam-proof inbox, irked users as it sought permission to compose or delete SMS, including personal and financial details, as well as locate phone and monitor calls.
Paytm in September had introduced the feature on its app to integrate mobile SMS with it. The e-commerce company had said it uses proprietary machine learning algorithms to classify SMS into personal, transactional and promotional categories. This feature, however, mainly operates as an SMS organiser and less as a chat option.
Do you see the scary thing here? https://t.co/DZU4d0jbCR— Elliot Alderson (@fs0c131y) October 1, 2018
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