Though text messaging is still used by many people, the demand for this form of communication is gradually fading. There is no doubt that text messaging will be soon ousted by a new form of communication - instant messaging. Instant messaging (IM) is a form of online communication that provides real-time transmission of text via the Internet. More advanced IM apps offer video chat and Voice over IP communication.
Virtually all Android, iOS and other mobile platform users are real experts in instant messaging, as IM applications are available in a huge variety. They enable users sending messages and sharing video and audio files from their mobile devices without paying mobile service charges. The rise of IM apps industry has put information sharing and online communication to a completely new level. Users who arm their mobile devices with instant messaging apps like Viber, Telegram, WeChat and WatsApp, win comprehensive facilities of a free and borderless online communication and information sharing. Today, over 1.5 billion users have their instant messaging accounts.
Five Most Popular Instant Messaging Applications
The variety of available IM applications is really huge and can easily satisfy various needs. Here are 5 most popular apps that will help you stay in contact with your loved ones, friends and colleagues.
For the moment, Viber is one of the most widely used instant messaging apps. One of the main advantages of this chatting and VoIP software is that it is compliant with all major mobile platforms and can be also installed on the desktop computer. Viber is a cross-platform IM application that allows, making calls, sharing images and video files, and also offers group and individual chatting. The app notifies you of new Viber users (provided they are in your phonebook) and makes a list of your phonebook contacts having Viber accounts. This free instant messenger has more than 300 million active users.
Community of WhatsApp users is one of the biggest, as of today. Just imagine, this instant messaging service has over 500 million registered and more than 350 million active users. WhatsApp allows sending messages over mobile Internet signal or Wi-Fi and therefore helps save money on SMS fees. This instant messaging software is also cross-platform one, which means Android and iOS users can easily get in touch with each other.
The popularity of Telegram is growing with an enormous pace. Most users choose this instant messaging service for the high level of protection it gives. Just like many other advanced messengers, Telegram is used for group and video chatting and also for sharing text and video messages with other users. As already mentioned, the main distinctive feature of Telegram is a reliable protection of any information shared via this messenger. On the top of that, Telegram features a superior cloud-storing option.
Line Mobile Messaging
Line is an instant messaging app that features social networking and gaming characteristics. It allows a little bit more than just sending text messages and making free voice calls. Line offers a wide choice of exciting games that can be played with other users.
For about 400 million users WeChat has become the main mean of online communication. Though this instant messaging software has got the greatest recognition from Chinese users, the demand for it is quickly growing all across the world.
General Features of Mobile Instant Messaging Apps
All instant messaging apps are united by a common goal - make communication between users easier and, what is more important - free. They allow sharing various files, sending text messages and making voice calls. All that can be done for free. Since IM apps have a similar goal, there are a few general features peculiar for this particular type of software.
An advanced instant messenger allows users:
- making voice calls;
- sending individual and group text messages
- sharing images;
- sharing audio and video files;
- having private chats;
- having group chats.
To withstand a tough competition and get more users, messaging applications developers are always looking for ways of making their services stand apart other instant messengers. Thus, some applications have unique features that are uncommon for other programs. For example, Telegram is known for its high protection level of the shared information, Viber makes an emphasis on entertainment features and Line is loved for its gaming and social networking features.
Peculiar Features of Viber
Since Viber is a cross-platform software, it is compatible with iOS, Android, BlackBerry and Windows. In addition to general instant messaging functions, Viber features a bunch of additional options. Thus, it allows signing photos before sending them to friends and offers the option of sharing any photos stored on the computer. Using the GPS or network connection, Viber can show your location on the map and allows sharing this information with friends. Making calls with Viber is very convenient, as it uses the list of contacts stored in your phonebook. Users love this instant messenger for a large collection of emoticons it offers.
Peculiar Features of Telegram
The main advantage of Telegram over other instant messaging services is secure transmission of files and messages. An advanced cloud-storing option allows using the application on various devices. Cloud storage is almost unlimited, which is another valuable advantage of using Telegram. The app offers a wide set of customization options, features a stable performance and provides a flawless work of all chats.
Peculiar Features of WhatsApp
Being one of the largest instant messaging platforms, WhatsApp processes over 30 billion messages a day. The popularity WhatsApp (that was initially developed for Android) has tremendously increased, once the app became available for Windows, BlackBerry, iOS and Symbian. Some of the biggest advantages of using , WhatsApp are:
- ease of use;
- absence of ads on the display screen;
- automated import of contacts from the phonebook;
- possibility of sharing your status, location, photos and other information with friends;
- possibility to send 100 free messages per month to friends with no WhatsApp account.
Major Protocols Used in Instant Messaging Apps Development
Text messaging mobile applications development is always confirmed with specific rules. When working on messaging apps for Android, iPhone or any other OS, developers cannot avoid the use of special protocols. There are 2 major protocols used for instant messaging mobile apps development. They are XMPP (Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol) and SIP (Session Initiation Protocol).
Instant messaging apps developers never stop arguing which of the two protocols (XMPP or SIP) is more advantageous, thus both are widely used for the moment. Naming the leader of this competition is pretty difficult, as each protocol has its adherents. Thus, SIP is supported by Microsoft, IBM, Avaya, Nortel and Cisco. XMPP has found avid supporters in the face of such famous companies as Apple, Yahoo, Google and Jabber. There are also many vendors that feel comfortable using the standards of both protocols. In other words, text messaging apps development gives developers the right to use the one that seems more suitable at the moment.
Competitive Edges of Telegram and Viber
The two most popular IM apps for the moment are Telegram and Viber. Despite having a common goal - offering users free information sharing and communication options, these services have a few specific distinctions.
Telegram makes an emphasis on the security of its users. All the information shared via Telegram is secured by an advanced encryption process. Moreover, the app decentralizes this information and stores it in cloud.
Viber is aimed at making communication more interesting, exciting and emotional. Achieving this is possible by using a large collection of emoticons the service offers. Various chat customization option are also highly appreciated by Viber users.
Custom Software Development with FreezePro Software
Having an advanced experience in developing custom software solutions, FreezePro Software will effortlessly develop first-rate mobile, web and desktop applications, pursuant to the requirements of each and every client. We value our customer's satisfaction and work in a tight cooperation with them, as only a complete mutual understanding allows achieving the desired results.
To meet the needs of a greater number of customers we offer a wide range of software development services and use the most popular apps development frameworks. Being an official consulting partner of Xamarin, FreezePro Software has enough skills and expertise to develop high-end applications for multiple platforms. Our mobile developers are keen on developing messaging apps for iphone, Android and other devices. So, do not hesitate contacting us if you have any apps development ideas.