Apps for chat: What consumers say

  • Technology
  • Tuesday, 28 May 2013

While nothing beats a face-to-face meet up with friends or loved ones, the advent of mobile messaging apps has made ­keeping in touch through our phones a pretty decent ­alternative.

Besides the standard fare of voice calls and SMS, these apps offer us the chance to converse with others through a plethora of methods including video clips, photo sharing, group chats and much more.

“I chose WhatsApp because 80% of my contacts are using it,” entrepreneur Jochebed Khoo Mingmin, 28, said. She also used Line at the same time in order to keep in touch with a group of ex-colleagues.

Jochebed Khoo Mingmin prefers WhatsApp because 80% of her contacts are using it.

Jefery Chua, 34, also selected WhatsApp as his first choice. “Most of my friends are on this app, regardless of whether they are iPhone, Android, Blackberry or Windows Mobile users,” he said.

The design application ­instructor said that he especially liked the group chat function as well as the video, photo and location sharing capabilities. However, he also voted for Line and Facebook Messenger as both were available for free.

Meanwhile, university ­students Lew Ke Pang, 27, and Deric Lee Yee Yang, 21, preferred to use Facebook Messenger.

“It’s more convenient,” said Lew, who added that he was glad for the ability to check messages sent via Facebook Messenger through the Facebook ­website. He shared that he had yet to ­subscribe to a mobile data ­package but was frequently in front of a PC, hence this worked out well for him.

Lew Ke Pang likes Facebook Messenger because he can also check messages via PC.

Lew added that he hoped to see the app allow for more user customisation in the future. For example, the ability to change the title of a group conversation.

As for Lee, he felt it was no longer necessary to maintain a mobile contact list as most friends were reachable via Facebook. “I do not need to have their phone number anymore to be able to message them,” he explained.

However, others like ­manufacturing assistant Shirou, 21, were in favour of Line.

“I enjoy it a lot as almost all my friends are using and because it has lots of fun stickers, thus making the chat much more fun. You don’t really need to buy extra stickers because the free stickers already provide so much fun,” she said.

Lastly, we found that our respondents were generally happy with the wide selection of messaging apps available to them.

“I am currently content with the choices of mobile apps that we have today,” said Agnes Ong, 34. “It makes staying in touch so much easier. It fits the lifestyle of my circle of contacts as we have our own plans, but still want to stay in touch at our ­convenience.”

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