I use quite a few chat applications mainly because I have friends who use a wide variety of them. So, I thought I would review the ones I do use.
I started using chat type apps many years ago the first ones being:
- ICQ – originally created by an Israeli company then bought by AOL it was finally sold to a Russian entity, it was at that stage I decided to stop using it.
- Yahoo Messenger – many of my friends were on this application probably because there was no other choice, but it closed in 2018.
My current favourites:
I wasn’t on Skype until Microsoft bought the company and it was amalgamated into its product line. I start using Skype for Business but didn’t have it for personal reasons. I guess I got used to using the program and now it is my most used chat type app. Of course, it is multi-functional so I have the ability to a) make international phone calls, b) chair online client meetings by video and screen sharing. Companies are reaching out/finding me more over Skype than they are over LinkedIn. Skype is my preferred chat type app to use. The only thing I will add about the Desktop version, it is a little confusing to get around, as there is so much there, compared to the other basic chat apps.
I’ve been using Telegram for a few weeks for personal use and like the simplicity of the design. It does seem to be working out very well although it would be better if more of my connections used it. The company suggests they are the best for security but there are reviews for and against this, they are most likely they are the best on the market today, everyone needs to make up their mind.
My not so favourites:
I have found the interface not as easy to use as the other apps, or at least I am not that familiar with it as I’ve only used it a few times. In my experience startups and agencies use it as they prefer the general Google Suite of applications. I am also quite concerned about privacy on Google so I generally avoid it and don’t promote that I am on it.
Since WhatsApp is owned by the Facebook family of products I rarely use it due to privacy concerns and well, I don’t trust the company. I only have one friend on the app but when I have used it, always on a Desktop, it performs well. I have tried to encourage my friend to try out Telegram.
Worst chat apps:
As soon as I registered I was told that there was something wrong with my account and was locked out. I tried to resolve it with them but they were pretty non-responsive not only via Twitter but also but logging a ticket on their system. Therefore I abandoned trying to use this application. It might have been useful in China but alas it wasn’t to be. I only had one friend who tried to encourage me to use the application so all is ok.
When I started receiving adverts through Facebook Messenger and encouraged by companies to use [FAQ] bots through it (rather than speak to live human beings) that was my last straw. Of course, there is also the privacy issue with Facebook too. There are some humans behind companies on Facebook Messenger, for example:
- Shaw Cable – able to answer some basic questions on a certain subject quickly even though the initial response was incorrect
- London Transport – took them about 48 hours to respond to a message but not with enough detail in order to resolve the situation
With so many chat type products on the market and a number of friends scattered around them it’s tough to stop using certain ones but often I have to consider privacy and online safety as my number one priority.