Melany Bartholow | @MktgMelany

Messaging Apps are becoming social entertainment networking tools and are SO much more than just texting and messaging apps.  There are a lot to choose from, and almost all offer some form of free voice calling and free mobile SMS, either over WiFi or the user's smartphone data plan says About Technolgy, and most are available on any platform not just iPhone and Android systems. Having a hard time differentiating between them all?  Check out these top 10 messaging and social entertainment media apps popular today:

1. FACEBOOK MESSENGER:

  • Facebook Messenger focuses strictly on messaging. It is such a well-established mobile app.  If you use Facebook and all your other friends do, Facebook Messenger is an easy and convenient way to converse with them over wifi or your cellular network.
  • You can also place voice calls with Facebook Messenger that use data instead of minutes, another added bonus.
  • Facebook Messenger supports native push notifications and ties seamlessly into the official Facebook app.

2. WHATSAPP:

  • Launched in 2009, it’s been around a long time and is pretty established.
  • Facebook bought this app in 2014 for $19 billion, and it is one of the top rated and most favorite messaging apps that is currently available with 450 million users worldwide.
  • WhatsApp Messenger is a cross-platform mobile messaging app which allows you to exchange messages without paying for SMS for all smartphone devices:  iPhone, BlackBerry, Windows phone, Android, Nokia.
  • Key features allow you to make groups, send and share pictures, texts, and videos but no voice.

3. LINE:  

  • Line is a mobile messaging and voice calling app with social networking and gaming features that is hot globally especially in Japan since 2011 and has begun entering the US since 2013 with over 490 million users.
  • LINE is available on all smartphone devices (iPhone, Android, Windows Phone, Blackberry, Nokia)  and even on your PC.
  • In addition to free voice calls and instant text messaging, the Line messages app offers games you can play with your Line friends and a built-in camera app with filters for sharing photos with them.
  • Fun cartoon characters and stickers that serve as emoticons and are designed to make communicating more fun - some premium stickers cost money.

4. VIBER:

  • Since 2010, Viber allows users to make free calls to other Viber users, on any device and network, in any country.  It is cross-platform instant messaging, voice over the internet, photos, video and audio media messages.
  • Fun with stickers for messaging expressions.
  • The Viber app is known for its ease of use, since it reads your phone's settings and contacts and immediately enables the app. There's no need for a password or special set-up process, which most apps require. Messages can include photos as well as text, and the voice calls can move off of the carrier's 3G or 4G data network and onto a wifi network when one is available.
  • Group messaging also is available for up to 15 friends, and is available for Mac OS, Android, BlackBerry OS, iOS, Series 40, Symbian, Bada, Windows Phone, and Microsoft Windows.
  • Over 100 million monthly active users from its 280 million global registered users.

5. MESSAGEME

  • MessageMe is a newer entrant since it’s launch early in 2013 and is focused on multimedia and context, allowing people to mix media by drawing on photos and send instant messages that blend media types and stickers for entertainment.
  • It has a slick interface designed to simplify the process of creating and sharing multimedia messages in real time. MessageMe is globally available for iPhone/iPad and Android devices.

6. SNAPCHAT

  •  Disappearing messages that self-destruct in up to 10 seconds.
  • Photos, record videos, add text and drawings, and send them to a controlled list of recipients. These sent photographs and videos are known as "Snaps."
  • The short-lived nature of Snapchat messages has made the app controversial yet popular with young people.

 7. TANGO

  •  This app has now got a redefined interface and is providing service to more than 200 million users world-wide. With this app, you can play games with your friends, discover and share music with them, and browse channels.
  • The cross platform for smartphones app offers video calls  and video over cellular and WiFi networks and aspires to be the "simplest mobile chat application with a good range of support.”
  • Tango is available in 14 languages including Arabic, Chinese, and Turkish.

 8. WECHAT

  •  Sending voice, video, photo and text messages - primarily from China.
  • You can also do group chats, or you can find new friends nearby to talk to.
  • WeChat works on iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Symbian and BlackBerry devices.
  • Largest messaging App especially in China - 300 million users - 70 million outside of China.

9. VOXER

  •  Walkie Talkie is both a live "push-to-talk" system and a voice messaging system. Messages on Voxer are delivered live as they’re being recorded and then delivered as a voice message as well.
  • Voice, text, photos, and location messages one-to-one or groups on any cellular data network and WiFi - good for international use.
  • The cross-platform app works on Android, Windows Phone and the iOSoperating systems.

10. SKYPE

Do you really need 10 apps, which basically do the same thing, to keep in touch with everyone?  Not only have messaging apps become segmented by service (Facebook, Twitter, Skype…) but also by region; Facebook Messenger in USA, LINE in Japan, and WeChat in China etc. It is a first world problem to have… too many IM app choices, but it would be great to see one standard open messaging standard which works globally cross-platform!

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