19 Sep 2017

Instant Messenger or Short Messaging Service?

Humans can't live without talking to each other. We have evolved from talking through

sign languages (during stone age) to sending letters to our friends and family. Nothing could really stop us from connecting with each other. Look at us now, we are living in the time period which would seem like a magic to our forefathers. The internet has truly changed the way we communicate today. It's a game changer.

Technology has opened many doors for communication. In fact, there are so many options available, that sometimes it feels like a 'crowded fare' in the technology industry. While the term 'instant messaging', 'SMS', 'chat' or 'texts messages' are often used interchangeably, they can get confusing to differentiate from each other.

Let's begin with the basic idea about the history of an instant messenger and a short message service (SMS). SMS (text messages) have been in the market for more than 2 decades now. It started as an add-on product of the GSM (Global System for Mobile communication) in the early 90s and text messages become part of everyone's life ever since. Similarly, instant messaging is online live chat facility providing real-time message transfer over the internet.

It took over the communication world to the rise after the introduction of web-based ICQ in 1996. Now, instant messaging apps not only on web systems but on your phone as well, or I shall rather say 'Smartphones'.

To define clearly about the fundamental differences between both the communication mediums, we have pinned down some highlighted information. This would help you understand your needs and you can decide your way of communication. Instant Messaging Many messaging apps are available on the App store or Google play store today. Few popular instant messaging applications are Facebook Messenger, Whatsapp, Snapchat, and Skype. These apps are quite famous among Millennials and Generation X per se which consists of a majority of smartphone users. Its unique functionalities are as follows:

  • App-based service. You need to download an app on either on a system or mobile phone.

  • App-App Limitation. It is a single platform communication medium. For instance, if you want to send a message through Snapchat to Whatsapp, you sadly can't. These apps are quite unique in their own way.

  • Sign In is necessary to initiate the communication among two users and they need to connect with each other before they start chatting.

Texting All mobile phones can send and receive text messages with or without the internet. This service is provided by the network provider. It is considered as a convenient way of communicating today. Its unique functionalities are as follows:

  • You don't need to download an app to text someone else. Even if you are sitting far away from home in no internet availability, you can send a text message (if your network provides has towers there)

  • It's ubiquitous. Anyone who has a mobile phone can message the other mobile phone.

  • No sign-in As long as you have a mobile phone (even if it is not smart), you can text. You don't have to sign into any apps.

This gives you a better idea about both mediums now. The choice is yours depending upon your lifestyle. If you are enjoying a holiday at a luxury hotel, pick instant messaging apps using free WIFI. Whereas, if you are sending a Christmas text to your grandpa who isn't familiar with instant apps, message him. And, if you have an idea for developing an instant messaging app for smartphones or web? Let us know today. BluEnt is a mobile and web app development company with the bunch of industry's best techies. We are the canvas for your idea. Let's craft it.

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Your Citation

Bluent Tech. "Instant Messenger or Short Messaging Service?" BluEnt Byte, Sep. 19, 2017, https://www.bluent.net/blog/instant-messenger-vs-short-messaging-service/.

Bluent Tech. (2017, September 19). Instant Messenger or Short Messaging Service?. Retrieved from https://www.bluent.net/blog/instant-messenger-vs-short-messaging-service/

Bluent Tech. "Instant Messenger or Short Messaging Service?" Bluent Tech https://www.bluent.net/blog/instant-messenger-vs-short-messaging-service/ (accessed September 19, 2017 ).

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