Today when we talk of messaging, we think of smartphone apps like WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger,
but it wasn’t long ago that people sat at their desktop computer logging onto MSN Messenger or some obscure web-based chat room. Mobile technology has allowed the concept of “instant messaging” to progress much further than we imagined back in the 90s and early 2000s and its popularity has also soared.
Did you know in 2016, mobile messaging had a worldwide active user base of 1.4 billion, a 31.6% increase from 2015? By 2018 a staggering 80% of all smartphone users are expected to be regular messaging users.
Believe it or not the most popular app is not based in the United States. Instead, we look to China and WeChat, which has 1.1 billion users made up of the vast populations in Asia and the East. China, Iran, and Japan are its most popular countries. WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger both have around 1 billion users while Israel’s Viber has 800 million and Japan’s Line has 700 million.
We all know the typical benefits of using such apps. They are a fast and easy form of communication, and free if you are connected to Wi-Fi. The photo and video features are much better than SMS text messaging, and you do not need a phone number to connect with another user anywhere in the world. However, now we are in 2017, messenger apps offer many more convenient features. Here is just some of what you can find:
When you think of messaging, you do not think of money, but if you are already communicating with friends, family or business clients; the ability to carry out transactions is the perfect feature.
Facebook Messenger allows you to accomplish this as long as you live in the United States. You must have a linked debit card. The plus is that it’s free (unlike PayPal) and security features like a pin code and fingerprint censor support ensure your money is secure.
In Line, you can also pay your contacts with your linked payment information, and you can use it to book taxis, in a similar vein to Uber. WeChat, however goes a step further and allows you to pay your bills, including everything from your electricity to parking fines.
Sending your contacts images is a staple of messaging and now you can edit those images in many of the apps to add a fun and personal touch. This includes overlaid text and freehand drawing, emojis, filters and more. In WhatsApp, this even extends to video.
Although messaging tends to replace texting, there are always those contacts that prefer to send you an SMS. With Facebook Messenger and WeChat you can send and receive texts within the apps, so you can keep everything organized and don’t have to switch between apps.
If you want to know more about the top 5 messenger apps, their popularity, features and other facts and figures, check out the following new infographic from Skilled.co