Over the course of the past decade, messaging changed the way we get our news, interact with our colleagues, and keep in touch with the people we care about. In 2017, it officially overtook social media as the world’s favorite online pastime. Since 2018, nearly every major messaging channel has opened its doors to businesses while businesses have embedded modern messaging experiences into their own apps and websites.

In 2019, messaging itself became the story. Dominating global headlines, it sparked political protests, misinformation wars, and an ongoing debate over the pros and cons of end-to-end encryption (privacy advocates and consumers love it, law enforcement and authoritarian regimes, not so much).

We spoke to more than two dozen customer experience, sales, marketing, and product leaders at some of the world’s most conversational companies about the state of messaging in 2020. This report draws from the insights they shared with us, original and third-party data, and our own research and reporting from the front lines of the business messaging revolution. Welcome to the conversation.