Instant Messaging Roundup

You may have seen a news report about Facebook being sued for using a “buy or bury” strategy to snap up rivals and keep smaller competitors at bay. This may lead to Facebook being forced to sell its prized assets WhatsApp and Instagram. I have never used Instagram, which is described as a photo and video social networking service, but I did start using WhatsApp just over a year ago to keep in touch with members of my local Green Party. WhatsApp is an instant messaging (IM) app that was acquired by Facebook in 2014 for 19 billion dollars. Facebook already had its own IM system called simply “Messenger” – there is a Messenger App for mobile devices as well as an interface in the Facebook social networking website that allows users to send and receive messages in the browser.

As an aside, I have spent a scary amount time on Facebook since I joined about 12 years ago, so when I got my first smartphone just over 3 years ago I made a point of never using it to go on Facebook, limiting myself to just using Facebook on my iMac at home. Even so, in July last year I decided to take a break and deactivated my Facebook account. Even with my account deactivated I was still able to send and receive messages using the Messenger App on my phone. In April this year I reactivated my account, partly because a number of people told me they missed seeing my posts, and now I am probably spending at least as much time on it as I was before the break.

As an Apple user the IM platform I use most is neither WhatsApp nor Messenger but Apple’s own iMessage system which allows encrypted iMessages to be sent to another iPhone or Mac. However, if you use it to send to a non-Apple phone it still works, by falling back to an old school SMS message. There are of course many other IM platforms – see the list on this instant messaging article at Wikipedia.

3 responses to “Instant Messaging Roundup

  1. Steve Clark

    Hope you are well mate. You are still on my feed reader.

    I am pragmatic about what apps I use. It’s mostly FB and Whatsapp lately as those are what the people I talk to use. I have looked at Telegram, but not had a use for it. I have managed to find a couple of people who will use encrypted email, but that is still rare.

    I use Twitter a bit, but my main social platform for posting stuff is Hive (forked from Steem when that got corrupted). I like the community and the open source nature as well as the rewards. I more or less gave up on my own blogs as there are not so many people who will see them.

    • Hi Steve, I am ok, hope you are too. The idea with my blog was to create original long-form posts while continuing to use Facebook for short posts or to share other users posts that I like. Unfortunately I haven’t really had time to research and write any substantial articles so this blog has largely fallen out of use. Last night I decided to post something about instant messaging but it is unlikely to mark a significant revival.

      Malcolm is sticking to his guns in avoiding Facebook, as is my friend Chris who uses Telegram or iMessage for messaging.

      Hope you enjoy the holidays

      • Steve Clark

        I’m fine. Working again from home after 6 months of furlough.

        I’m not at all surprised about Malcolm, but not seen a post from him recently. Hope he’s doing okay. I blog for fun and trying to build a following on a personal blog is too much work for no return.

        I don’t have Apple devices, so don’t think I can use iMessage. You need to be on at least a couple of services to reach everyone. Not used Skye in ages and Google never really got a significant market share with their many messaging apps.

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