It’s a fact, people use all sorts of different instant messaging and calling apps. This if fine except if you want to communicate to all your friends, you end up having to install all these applications on your smartphone. The reason we’re using IM apps is to bypass carrier SMS texting and calling charges.
Applications such as Viber, Google Hangouts, WhatsApp, Skype, WeChat and Facebook messenger to mention a few all use a small amount of mobile data which usually keeps us under our data allowance limits.
The only small (and granted, 1st world problem) is that you end up with dozen applications that all have slightly different interface, use up storage on your phone and are regularly updated to keep up with bug fixes and feature enhancements.
So what is the best free instant messaging and calling smartphone application?
Well, it may not be the best however think about this. To install and use any of these applications you need to set up some sort of account. Google hangouts need a Google Plus account, Viber wants your phone number as part of signup process, you get my point.
Seeing that everybody is on Facebook – the winner for me is Facebook Messenger smartphone app. We all have Facebook accounts (banned in China!) and you can ‘text’ and ‘call’ people anywhere in the world for free (a negligible data payload is sent across your mobile data).
I recently tested it while talking to my friend in the UK and call quality was perfect. Another benefit is that you know that Facebook will always try to make it as good as it is possible seeing that they’re all about acquiring and retaining customers. Needless to say, Facebook is the biggest social networking site ever right?