With the release of iOS 10, Apple has enabled support for third-party applications to add new content to its messaging platform. Because Microsoft doesn’t want to miss out on the sticker trend within Apple’s iMessage application, they have released a new app called #MovieDate (yes, the hashtag is in the name).
The app, spotted by @withmsft, which is published by Microsoft Corporation and not Microsoft Garage, allows you to send a message to a friend requesting them to join you for a movie. In other words, according to Microsoft, this app allows you to “avoid the awkwardness and stress of asking someone out with the #moviedate iMessage”.
Begrudgingly, I asked Paul if he wanted to see a movie to try out this app and well, it does exactly what it says. The stickers allow you to communicate with another party by suggesting a movie (that also links to the movie trailer) and they can respond with another sticker. Admittedly, I am likely not the target market for this app as it appears to be aimed at a younger, more single, demographic than I.
So, why would Microsoft release an app like this? Sure, this one is a bit pointless but I suspect the company may be looking to see how popular these extensions truly are with iPhone users. If they determine that iMessage extensions are utilized at a high rate, they could invest more time and effort to build productivity plug-ins for Office (and similar apps) that do provide real value to a wider audience of its customer base. Or, this could be a random app being released, but those kinds of projects are typically released under the Garage name.
If you want to to try out the new app, you can find it here.