I believe almost everyone who uses a computer should use an instant messenger before such as Yahoo! Messenger, MSN Messenger, Skype, ICQ and etc. Not too long, just around 5 years ago, we always hooked on to the internet by using our PC (be it laptop or desktop) and fire up the instant messenger application and start chatting with friends. As long as you want to chat with friends, you need to sit in front of your PC, the chat information, history and chat room won’t follow where you go.
With the introduction of push technology, more and more applications started to use it to push messages to the receiver. So here comes the birth of iMessage, WhatsApp, Kik, LINE, Viber, Facebook Messenger and etc.
If you did use WhatsApp, Kik or Viber before, you will know that the concept of chatting with people is still the same, you are limited and forced to use your mobile device and squeeze your fingers on the small screen. When it comes to long hour chat, you will find that it is tiring and still found that using PC to chat is the fastest and most convenient way.
So the best is still a combination of both using mobile device and PC and even better if the chat history follows. Imagine that while you are chatting something important via PC and you need rush out, you don’t have to tell your friend you are going offline, just turn off your PC and fire up the apps in your smartphone. The chat will be resumed seamlessly, your friend might not even aware of it that you are not chatting via a mobile device.
iMessage has started to have a PC apps but it is still under beta and can only run in Mac OS. LINE also started to have a PC apps, it supports both Mac OS and Windows. For the time being Facebook Messenger PC apps is only for Windows 7 PC, not even for Mac or other Windows version (such as Win XP). Another advantage of having a PC version is for those who don’t own a smartphone can also send messages to smartphones users for FREE by using a PC.
All these instant messaging system is like how we use sms to chat with each other, the differences are:
1. Send and receive messages are free
2. You can also share pictures, locations and so on.
3. Easier to coordinate things with a group of friends using the group chat feature
4. Non smartphone user can also participate in a group chat
5. Sometimes it is easier to compose messages via a normal physical keyboard
Last but not least, all these instant messaging apps rely heavily on data connection, so make sure you sign up a data plan (for mobile). So…. happy texting.