Instant messaging apps for Windows Phone

A recent study by research firm informed on the consumption of text message vs Instant messages suggests that Text messages are now less popular than instant messages. In 2012, almost 19 bn instant message were sent in comparison to 17.6 bn SMS. An important reason for this is because of flexibility offered by instant messaging apps to send images, files, and multimedia, etc. apart from text, while SMS can only send texts. Though, Android and iOS holds the record of having multitude of options for instant messaging in the form of apps, Windows Phone is not far behind. We take a look at popular instant messaging apps for WP:

 

IM+ (Free)

If you want to stay connected with your friends using various services like Google Talk, Facebook, etc., then IM+ is for you. Features:

1)    Support for major IM services including Facebook, Google Talk, MSN Messenger, Yahoo Chat, AIM, Skype, Jabber, mig33 and more.

2)    One can add multiple accounts for IM services.

3)    Group chat with Skype, AIM and ICQ users.

4)    Ability to send text messages and images.

5)    Option for setting personal status message.

6)    Lockscreen notifications.

Get IM+

Skype (Free)

Skype is one of the most popular service for video and voice chatting with friends and family. It also got popular because of offering cheaper VOIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) voice calls to non-Skype users.

Features:

1)    Video or voice calls to Skype users over 3G or Wi-Fi.

2)    Since, Skype is available for most of the computer OS(Windows, Mac, Ubuntu) and mobile OS(Android, iOS, WP, etc), it means you can connect with them whenever you want.

3)    Connect with Microsoft account to send instant messages to messenger users.

4)    Ability to use more than one Skype account.

5)    Connect Skype contacts with People Hub (for WP8 or above).

Get Skype

WhatsApp (Free)

Whatsapp is hugely popular cross-platform messaging app due to its versatility and ease of use.

Features:

1)    Available for all major mobile platforms like Android, iOS, WP, Blackberry, Symbian, etc., which means you can stay connected with your friends no matter what device they own.

2)    Send text messages, images, videos, contacts, map locations, etc. with your friends.

3)    Ability to group chat with friends (up to 30 members).

4)    Works seamlessly with either 2G/3G or Wi-Fi connection.

5)    Unlike BBM, where one needs to share PINs, Whatsapp integrates with your phone’s address-book, so your friends can easily find you if they have your number.

Whatsapp is Free to use for first year and after that it charges $0.99 per year.

Get WhatsApp

WeChat (Free)

WeChat is a mix of features from Skype and Whatsapp, since it allows instant messages, voice messages and video calls with other WeChat users.

Features:

1)    WeChat is available for most of the mobile OS, but the best part is that it can also be used on computer by going to https://web.wechat.com/.

2)    Send texts, images, voice notes, location data, etc. to your friends.

3)    Ability to group chat with friends (up to 40 members).

4)    It also acts your private social network for sharing images.

5)    Not only known contacts, you can also connect to strangers through ‘Look Around’ and ‘Shake’ feature.

Get WeChat

Hike (Free)

Hike is an Indian app and its claim to fame was the ability to send SMS to non-hike users.

Features:

1)    Cross-platform available for most of the mobile OSes.

2)    Ability to send text, images, videos, audio files, contacts and much more.

3)    Sending free SMS to non-hike users. One gets 100 SMS per month with 50 SMS being added for inviting other users.

4)    Updating your status message or moods, this is only shared with circle of friends.

5)    Keeping track of all updates from your ‘circle of friends’ with recent updates option.

Get Hike

Verdict

Such messaging services are the best of way of staying in touch with your friends without worrying about SMS costs. But, for most of the apps, you’ve to make sure that your friends are also using the app. This is a list of most popular apps and is in no ways complete. Some of the other notable apps are Kik, Nimbuzz, Line and KakaoTalk.

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The Author of this post is Julia. She wrote several tech posts for 91mobiles.com. Her passion for upgrading her knowledge puts her to research on topics relevant to her industry. Besides, she also likes to share her findings by writing about them in her free time.

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