Third Party Messengers Compared - WhatsApp, Kik, Viber or ReTXT
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You buy a new smart-phone, immediately visit the App Store thereon to download the various apps that will make your smart-phone “smarter” and your life simpler.
But when it comes to third party messaging applications, the options are plenty and they just leave you feeling confused and baffled.
Let’s look at some of the popular third party messengers that might help you select the most appropriate app for you.
This needs no introduction. Even if you have never used it yourself, chances are you have seen people around use it and talk about it and maybe WhatsApp was even the reason you went across to buy a smart-phone in the first place.
WhatsApp is an application that is easy to install and use by people of all age groups. It automatically syncs with your phone’s contact list and adds these contacts to your WhatsApp list for instant messaging. So, irrespective of whether it is your Aunt who lives in Kanpur or the Uncle who is settled in Kuala lumpur, if their numbers are saved in your phonebook and they have WhatsApp installed themselves, they are just a hello away from having a conversation with you and that too for free.
The app allows you to share messages, audios, videos, voice notes and even your location with your contacts. And it has, recently, added a call feature too, which might still need some updating and work on part of the developers.
· The app already has a huge user base. So, chances are you might find most of your contacts already available on WhatsApp.
· You can connect with national and international contacts alike. Even add a maximum of 50 contacts to a group and chat with the whole brood together as if they are only sitting in your living room.
· Sharing locations is a breeze and works quite accurately.
· It allows you to customize background and privacy options to make the user experience more worthwhile.
· The app still doesn’t support video calling and even the voice calling feature isn’t that promising.
· No graphics other than emoticons are available which may make the app look slightly bland in comparison to others in the list.
Kik works on a slightly different format than WhatsApp. For starters, it doesn’t pick up contacts from your phonebook but allows the user to only add the contacts of his choice using their usernames and ignore the rest. So, there is zero scope of forcefully chatting with that irritating friend of your mother’s or that aunt who wouldn’t quit talking about your age and how it may be time for you to get married.
· Ensures privacy by allowing the user to choose who he wants to interact with.
· Has added graphics such as stickers and even allows a user to draw and send sketches over the app. KIK is also available for PC .
· Has an in-built browser, something still not available on any other similar application. This enables the users to browse and share content without ever leaving their chat window.
· Application has its own currency called Kik Points which the user can use to purchase stickers and special emoticons. The user needs to complete surveys and visit specific websites to earn these Kik Points.
· Since, the only way to add contacts in by using usernames, it may be difficult to find contacts whose usernames aren’t known.
· It has no calling feature.
· No option to send locations.
Viber offers features, which may be now available on other apps, but fail to reach the standards set up high by yours truly. It has a decent user interface and the calling feature works like butter. As an added bonus, it offers video-calling features too.
It also has another calling feature, similar to that offered by Skype, where the user can make calls to non-Viber and landline phones too. Though you have to pay for these calls, the rates are nominally set.
· Offers free, high quality voice and video calling.
· Has its own set of different emoticons which keeps the user experience fresh.
· Also, has plenty of fun stickers and gives the user an option to buy more if required.
· In spite of offering super-cool features which should appeal to the young generation, not many people use it.
This is a comparatively new entrant in the third party messenger market. Over and above the basic features such as sending audios, videos, images, etc., it offers a unique feature where a user can modify or even delete a message sent by him. The modification made by the user will change the message for both the sender and the receiver. Now, this seems like something the new-age “AUDIENCE” might be interested in.
Another unique feature is the capability to ask for clarification. When someone sends you a message that doesn't make sense, you can tap a button that sends them a question mark that appears right next to their own message balloon. This indicates that they should clarify their meaning without you having to ask questions or engage in a lengthy back-and-forth conversation.
On top of the above, it also offers strong security features wherein your messages are only shared between you and the other contact and not stored over any server. The end-to-end encryption that they offer is definitely something to boast of as no other players in the market can claim to have been offering anything even close.
· Allows a user to edit or delete messages.
· Offers impressive security features which means a more secure and private virtual world for the user.
- End-to-end encryption means you'll know only you and your recipient can see your messages.
· It’s not so big on graphics so far and doesn’t have any interesting emoticons or stickers to offer.
· It is relatively new and, hence, barely has a user base.
It may be hard to choose one app out of these as all have something that stands out and then even something that doesn’t.
Figure out what might work the best for you and INSTALL AWAY!
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