The age of the internet is upon us. There is a lot we can do in a jiffy because the internet is ever ready to assist us in it. But have you wondered why it is so popular? Have you stopped to ponder how the teens use it, and what it implies for our generation? What are the trends that follow in our internet messaging behavior and how does it impact our lives?
The history of Internet Messaging:
Internet messaging has been around for quite a while now. From the days of AOL in the early 90s, we went to Yahoo messenger, which led to Skype. Friendster, Myspace and Facebook walked in around the same time, and by the 21st century, we were sending friend requests and logging onto our computers every night to chat with people on the internet. A lot of those services have since become obsolete, and others are growing at a mind boggling rate. New apps keep coming out in our present app age. But one thing is common; internet and its ability to be faster than a messenger pigeon are something that we have gotten used to.
What the trends are these days:
Now that we have a decade between us and those days when the internet was still a toddler, we’re often surprised by the features we used to use in those days. Rounds upon rounds of nested sequences of innovation have made our lives completely different. And so there’s a lot we can see in the trends that Internet messaging has followed and extrapolate it to how the internet generation is taking things. Here are some trends we notice.
- Minimum tapping
Tapping, because the functionalities are almost always used on smartphones. Apps have been trying to get as many options one tap away as possible. This is probably because we prefer to simplify things. Going through too many buttons and options is confusing, or unappealing.
- Columnar interfaces
This is when we deal with apps on a Landscape screen. The various chats are usually placed on the left and the active conversation plays out in the centre or the right. Arguably a legacy of Skype, it really shows we’re unreceptive to change. Familiarity is a friend to us. Although, this might not be a bad thing necessarily; it has served as an evolutionary advantage that has led us to this point, has it not?
- Plentiful Emojis
What initially began in Japan as a code based methodology of letting people know what you were feeling when saying something, it has since caught the attention of the public. Replicated by both Android and Apple, not to mention every major OS since, the symbols are now an essential tool to how we interact. Interestingly, the emojis recently attained a more inclusive look, with varying skin tones, family structures, relationship configurations and flags and motifs of almost every major country and religion respectively. It only goes to say how all of these people and communities find internet messaging an important tool of organisation, association, interaction and mutual coexistence.
Several services started with the internet boom in the early 2000s. Not every one of them is hale and hearty now, but there are many who have only done better for themselves. Here’s some apps that are ruling the Internet Messaging Market right now.
- KIK Messenger
Commonly called Kik, the app took to success like a duck to water. It featured big on Twitter, and counted over a million users within a month of its launch. The number is bigger today. Kik has always set the standard for other apps to compete against. It is one of the few services which connects you to people without needing you to share your phone number with them. Kik also recently became the first app to introduce bots to chat with, which can provide you information, play games and do a lot of other cool stuff with your phone. It just doesn’t know mediocrity.
A major contender for the most popular app in the world, Whatsapp is almost the essential app to keep in your phone in quite a lot of places. Everything from keeping in touch with your family to setting up a date for an interview or meeting is easier to do on Whatsapp than on Kik or other apps. The reason? Because Kik is a lot of work! Plus there can only be so many unique usernames that are ok for professional use. Whatsapp eliminates this requirement of uniqueness. Your phone number is your unique ID. All your contacts can get in touch with you. Don’t want to reply to them all? Messages from unknown numbers can be blocked. So can contacts.
Who says you only need to keep in touch using text? With innovations galore, you now have apps that are designed for socialisation using face to face conversations, even if they are long distance.Not even a face to face conversation, you can send pictures of yourself, your pets, your parties and more to your loved ones, adding fun filters, captions and emojis as you please. Pretty amazing, if you ask a die-hard fan like me.
What Internet Messaging holds for us:
Over the course of the years, experts predict Internet Messaging to be the primary way we function. With Bots having entered the Kik app, and more being expected from Facebook and other popular services, you can be sure the coming few years will be exciting.