Amazon’s (AMZN) aggressive drive to conquer the world shows little sign of slowing down. Just days after teasing plans to launch a realtor hiring service, the online retailer threatened to take on social networking companies, courtesy of a new messaging app called Anytime. (See also: Amazon Teases Real Estate Plans, Zillow Shares Tumble.)

According to AFTV News, Amazon has begun surveying customers about a new messaging service by that name. Anytime will give desktop and mobile users the ability to send messages, make voice and video calls, buy goods, share photos and play games. Unlike Facebook's (FB) Whatsapp, which relies on phone numbers to find contacts, users can bring other people into conversation with Twitter-style @mentions.

AFTV News obtained an image listing Anytime’s features. Interestingly, the image made a bold claim that everyone will be on the app. That either means that Amazon is very confident that it will immediately attract millions of users, or that Anytime will be linked to existing social networks and other messaging services.

Source: AFTV

The image also indicates that privacy is a big priority. Messages will be encrypted so that users can share bank account details when they chat with businesses, make reservations and buy goods from Amazon’s online store. The new app is currently being surveyed by customers, meaning that features could be modified or expanded ahead of its eventual launch.

News that Amazon could be set to branch out into the messaging app space perhaps shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. Earlier this year, the company unveiled Chime, its free to download video conferring app designed to compete with Microsoft's (MSFT) Skype and WebEX. The online retail giant also recently added voice calling and messaging features to its Alexa-equipped devices.

Adding text-based messaging to its arsenal appears to be a smart move for Amazon. Messaging apps are popular tools that attract millions of users, providing companies with plenty of opportunities to generate significant advertising revenues. In the case of Amazon, Anytime may also serve as a potentially lucrative hook to sell additional products.

However, this latest move could be met with resistance. Last week hedge fund manager Douglas Kass of Seabreeze Partners Management warned that Amazon’s increasingly dominant position might trigger antitrust opposition. That speculation led Kass to short the stock and predict that the share price could fall by a tenth overnight. (See also: Amazon Faces Possible Antitrust Threat in Congress.)

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