Text messaging apps shook the technology industry. These apps use the Internet to send and receive messages. According to Forbes, chat traffic on text messaging apps is expected to triple its present number by 2019. This will mean traffic of almost a 100 trillion messages.

The beginning of the Short Message Service (SMS)

Early mobile phones were invented just for talking. This was accomplished via radio channels, which the mobile phone networks used to send the voice signals. FriedhelmHillebrand, a German electronics whiz,realized that apart from these radio channels, there also existed second channels. These unused channels were only used to send technical information like the reception strength. He decided that this extra bandwidth could be used to send short text messages to other people. In 1992, the first SMS was sent. It read“Merry Christmas.”

Inception of mobileInternet

Over time, phones were upgraded with new technologies, and soon the smartphone entered the market. This pocket computer came with faster microprocessors that were able to connect to the Internet.

The dawn of free texting apps

With the Internet enabling people to send messages via e-mails for free, it didn’t take long for text messaging apps to be invented. With the usage of the 4G network in India increasing by the day, the use of such apps for communicating with friends, family, and colleagues has also increased. These apps mainly make their revenue by selling space for advertisements on the app, asking you to pay for extra features, asking you to buy stickers, official and business accounts, offering extra services, and a lot more.

Some popular free messaging apps include:

  • Whatsapp
  • JioChat
  • Hike
  • WeChat
  • Telegram
  • Facebook Messenger
  • Line
  • Viber
  • Pinger
  • KakaoTalk

Texting apps vs.SMS

There are a number of reasons why people tend to choose texting apps over SMS. Three of the main reasons are:

  1. They arecheaper

It is cheaper to send messages via texting apps than SMS. E.g. AWhatsapp text message takes around 13.3 KBs. If you take an affordable plan of INR 19, which gives you 200 MB data, the text will end up costing barely a fraction of a rupee. Also, if you are on a free Wi-Fi connection, then you may consider the message you sent via the text messaging app free. On the other hand, most telecom operators charge between 50 paise and a rupee per SMS. Text messaging apps also let you send longer messages. SMS lets you type messages of only 160 characters. Any piece of text more that 160 characters becomes two messages.

  1. They offer various interesting features

These apps have a variety of features. They may also double up as voice or video calling apps. They allow you to send images, videos, documents, and a lot more through the app. Furthermore, you may create a group with a bunch of friends and colleagues to communicate with all of them at the same time.

Most texting apps also offer many kinds of stickers or emoticons (emotion icons) to brighten up text messages and give users a way to express what they are thinkingbetter. This is also helpful while communicating with someone who is not familiar with the language. Some texting apps are also able to send text messages for free even to people who do not have Internet on their phones.

  1. Theykeep peoplein the loop

With the number of text messaging users increasing, a lot of people download apps to stay in the loop. They make connecting with several friends a lot easier with the group chat facility. This facility makes group discussions and contributions more effective.

If you haven’t yet downloaded such an app, do so, and start texting away.