Last week, some very unusual circumstances made me realize something I had been absolutely blindfolded from seeing for a while now – our dependency on technology.
Out of nowhere, I found myself needing something urgent, which only my friend, Eric, could answer. I took my phone and quickly sent him a message on Whatsapp. I was waiting for a few minutes for him to get online, before I switched to Google Hangouts and messaged him there as well, hoping he might at least receive the alert on his laptop. A few more seconds passed and my friend Paul, who was with me at the time, asked if we can hurry up and get going because we were pretty late for where we were headed to. However, I desperately needed an answer from Eric before I left home, and started stressing out a little bit. Just then, Paul turns to me and says, “why don’t you just call him, man?” and I suddenly got stuck; he was right, and that particular moment made me realize how dependent we have become on chat apps, that we have already started to forget the most simple and practical communication tool – calling. I turned it into a joke and replied, “Oh! I totally forgot I had that app!” and that wasn’t far from the truth.
Can you imagine how much our lives have changed with the introduction of such chat apps? Not too long ago, sending an SMS cost our pocket considerably, and we had to be pretty cautious when sending an SMS. Nowadays, multiple chat apps, each with its own unique characteristics, allow us to communicate with our friends for hours at no extra cost.
To add to the above, many of my friends prefer different types of chat apps. Needless to say, I try to adapt to different kinds of people, therefore I have several chat apps in my phone. Although it depends on which part of the world you find yourself in, WeChat and WhatsApp have been strongly dominating this market with hundreds of millions of active users in daily basis. Either way, let’s go through the top 5 chat apps:
Snapchat – Going with the most unusual of all, Snapchat is a very creative communication app that primarily focuses on “snapping the moment”. It only allows pictures taken there and then to be sent to your friends. The app is now used to take pictures and/or videos of yourself, write limited text in them, and send it to your friends as a communication tool. It has brought a new and exciting communication experience for everyone.
Facebook Messenger – Although it is primarily linked to Facebook, this app has been made obligatory in order to be able to chat with your Facebook friends through your phone or tablet. We all know how many people have Facebook, and with this app being obligatory, there are over 500k people using it throughout the globe.
Line – Although not the most popular app in the world, it deserves its spot due to its effect on the Japanese part of the world. Line offers everything a typical app does, with text messaging, voice messaging, voice calls, images sending, and the many emojis and stickers making it fun for the users.
WeChat – With the super-powerful Chinese market increasing in daily basis, WeChat has been able to surpass most other apps and get close to Whatsapp numbers just recently. Although it offers much the same as most other apps, including Line, it is much more popular due to coming out of the country with the biggest mobile market in the world.
Whatsapp – The last but most popular one, Whatsapp has not only become the standard throughout the globe, but it has also set the standard. With up to 500 million active users, Whatsapp has been dominating this market for a while now, despite not offering voice calling.
In addition to the 5 apps mentioned above, there are many more that are used by millions of people. With the likes of Kik, Tango, and Viber being available and very popular as well, especially in particular parts of the world, the options are far from limited for any potential user.