One didnâ€™t expect free chat apps to replace text messaging so soon. The phenomena that induced the Oxford English Dictionary to add words like OMG and LOL has been replaced by apps like Whatsapp, Viber etc. Initially Whatsapp ruled over the hearts and smartphones of people but the trend is shifting rather rapidly to other free chat apps. Viber and other free chat apps are outweighing Whatsapp. Industry watchers predict that in the near future might not see Whatsapp at all while other chat apps frolic on the digital horizon.
The Whatsapp Era
According to a study in the third quarter of 2012, an average American sent 695 text messages per month but this was changing gradually due the introduction of free messaging app of which Whatsapp was the most popular. Industry analysts predicted it to be a permanent drift on the part of the American population and so it was.
Wayne Lam, a wireless communication analyst at IHS Technology confidentially argues that people still send and receive messages but the traditional SMS is competing with other forms of messaging platforms. Whatsapp was the most popular one of them. Whatsapp was once the very first app most people used to download on their smartphones. Smartphone owners found the convenience of text messaging without monthly charges and expensive data plans. As it was once the case with SMS, the mobile industry is fast to digest new free chat apps and replace Whatsapp with other options.
Other free chat apps
Smartphone holders have forgone the use of SMS and turned to free chat apps. All chat apps however are not created equal. Evolution started with Whatsapp but it has recently seen a decline due to new chat apps that have made a place for themselves in the market, like Viber, WeChat and many more.
Here are a few points at which these new chat apps leave Whatsapp behind.
- Whatsapp and Viber both toil hard to provide smartphone owners with communication just as easy and convenient as traditional text messaging, sans the fuss of choosing the right kind of data plan and monthly charges. Both have been successful with it but Whatsapp is losing customers not only to Viber but other free chat apps.
- Though the interface of Whatsapp worked wonders with operating systems it was lacking quite a bit in the department of design. Viber took advantage of this shortcoming and quickly took over Whatsappâ€™s territory with a great design and fluid moves. Other developers took Viberâ€™s lead and crafted their chats apps keeping in mind the glitches Whatsapp had when it was installed on a smartphone.
- Whatsapp was the first successful free chat app and Viber followed quickly. Despite the introduction of other messaging appÂ that the tech market sees, these two remain the two strongest contenders of the first place in the list of great free chat apps.
Some other competitors
Though Apple was late with its chat app and the market was not able to get their hands on it until 2011 but it was worth the wait. In the usual Apple style, iMessage came fully integrated with the iOS all set to take the place of traditional messaging and Whatsapp. When compared to Whatsapp, this chat app was slick to almost perfection. The feature-packed alternative to Whatsapp is popular among iOS users but its users often face the difficulty of staying in contact with those on other platforms. That is where Appleâ€™s chat app-trips over other chat apps.
The advantage Hangouts chat app has over Whatsapp is its high-end video chat. It works wonders for broadcasts and this is a major reason why more and more websites and organizations are using it to increase audience participation. With a pretty basic interface, it is easy to use but has bare bone look.