Yesterday, 2mee launched its video push messaging service to gaming operators. We at CasinoBeats were intrigued, so we spoke to 2mee CEO Dave Soppelsa

Hi Dave. Thanks for speaking to CasinoBeats. Can you start by telling us a little about the 2mee story?

“2mee came into existence to find new ways to humanise digital communications. Founded in the UK in 2012 as an R&D company, 2mee has invented and patented the concept of real people, and any physical objects, appearing as augmented reality (in place of the computer-generated imagery currently used). There are a vast number of potential applications for this technology.

“2mee then used its core ‘DNA’ to invent and patent the groundbreaking digital communications system called Face Messaging, driven by the fact that the largest part of understanding comes from facial cues. The company has developed a human face segmentation technology (using mobile phones) and developed a highly sophisticated global exchange to receive and send video face messages on a device agnostic basis.

“…looking at the speaker’s face can build trust in 33 milliseconds – and communicates 60,000 times faster than text.”

“The first commercialisation of 2mee Face Messaging is for push notifications allied to in-app communications for B2C brands to use in their own mobile apps. The emphasis is on optimising the quality of customer engagement by literally putting a face to the brand. Academic research has shown that looking at the speaker’s face can build trust in just 33 milliseconds – and communicates 60,000 times faster than text.”

It’s early days but obviously you anticipate a significant take-up from gaming operators – is there evidence they want this option? 

“The first applications will be in the gambling sector because Face Messaging brings benefits at multiple levels that can positively impact any company’s bottom line. We are currently in advanced stage meetings with multiple global operators in the sector to identify next stage partners.

“Reaction from everyone we have spoken to in the gaming sector has been incredibly positive. Face Messaging in push notifications and inside an app, is seen as a revolutionary brand engagement tool that will help drive player acquisition, nurturing, growth and win back engagement across all products.

“Major clients in other sectors will be announced shortly too, including entertainment, media, health and utility services.”

“we are in advanced meetings with multiple global operators

Do you think that in a world obsessed with SEO, impressions and social virality that the humble push message is being neglected?

“Over the years many marketeers have been obsessed with quantity rather than quality – with SEO and impressions. But the swift and powerful shift into mobile gaming, for all age groups but especially younger adults, has been relentless.

“The so-called ‘Millennial generation’ (born between the early 1980s and mid 1990s) and the following ‘Generation Z’ are digital natives that have defined what 21st century consumerism is all about. They love brand honesty and, if they feel involved, they will spread brand messages very widely. If a brand embraces them appropriately, they become the most loyal patrons of that brand and product.

“These young smartphone users click, tap or swipe on their phones an amazing 5,427 times a day. For Millennials and Gen Z the mobile phone is their window on the world – connecting them with friends, music, information, sport, entertainment and interacting with their favourite brands.

“Research shows that these younger adults are hard to reach through advertising and, while 71 per cent of them find push notifications annoying they are more likely to use them than older groups. They respond to the immediate, especially when there is a perceived personal element – such as being spoken to directly by a brand.”

Post GDPR, presumably customers will need to opt in to this service? How has GDPR changed push marketing, if it has?

“The GDPR is creating complexities for some digital forms of marketing but has little impact on Face Messaging as push notifications. Because a 2Mee SDK is simply inserted into the brand’s existing app, no additional permissions are required.”