Tablets are a dime a dozen, and that has been the case for several years now. In an attempt to separate its Fire tablets from the pack, Amazon introduced a live support feature called Mayday nearly five years ago, with the now infamous Amazon ‘Amy’ starring in TV commercials and press images. While seemingly big at the time, Mayday didn’t turn the tablet world on its head, and now Amazon is yanking the video calling portion of Mayday.
“The Mayday video calling service will be discontinued in June 2018,” Amazon states on its Mayday customer support page. “You can still contact Amazon customer service any time through phone, email, and chat…If you would like technical support for your device, contact our customer service team, who will be able to help you through Mayday Screen Sharing, our screen-sharing option for your Fire tablet.”
What that means is that Mayday is not disappearing completely, though it’s biggest feature—video calling with a live representative—is disappearing. Going forward, Mayday will be reduced to a screen-sharing support option.
Mayday’s video chat was a unique feature in the land of tablets. For the sake of privacy (and to prevent support representatives from being trolled with inappropriate images that a caller might subject them to), the support rep was never able to see the person who was calling for help. However, the user could see the rep, and the support agent could talk and walk the user through any difficulty they might have been having.
This was a bigger deal when tablets seemed like they were taking over the landscape. Five years ago the narrative was that tablets were the future and were cannibalizing PC sales. Many analysts got it wrong, however, and the tablet category would go on to see a massive dip in shipments. Tablets still exist, but mostly as secondary or tertiary devices, not primary ones.
Amazon has also moved on to its Alexa software. While a different sort of animal, Alexa is where Amazon is pouring significant resources into, and it’s available on Fire tablets. Combined with around-the-clock phone and email support, and Mayday’s screen-sharing feature, Amazon seems to have come to the conclusion that Mayday’s video chat is a bit redundant.