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Google Hangout - III

Samir Kapadia
About this write up: This write up is the 3rd part of the series of articles on Google Hangout. This write up focuses mainly on some of the more popular instant messaging apps. The article briefly describes some of the features of these apps and highlights how hangout appears to have an edge over its peers. This article is the third and final installment of a series of articles on this topic. The first write up dealt with the telecom ecosystem and the different messaging apps/options available to users. The write up also dealt with the rise and fall of these apps/options over time. The second installment mainly dealt with the apps like SMS and BBM and why they are losing momentum. In this write up, we will briefly look at the current favourites in the instant messaging apps space and how they compare with Google Hangout (or vice versa for that matter).

Popular instant messaging apps

The previous write ups have dealt in brief why instant messaging apps became popular. Some of the key factors were:

Cost factor: Short Messaging Services (i.e. SMS) became a rage during the time period when the cost of voice calls were sky high. Their popularity started declining when the telecom service providers started reducing the voice call rentals. As a matter of fact, the general perception today is that it is cheaper to call then to send an SMS especially when it cost 1p per second and 1 minute would cost Re. 1/- as against Re. 1 for just 140 characters /SMS.

Instant Communication: The fact that the message would be delivered instantly – almost anywhere in the world - to the persons phone was a huge advantage over emails. This was true before the Blackberry boys came in and before the smart phones joined the race. Even today, a good majority of the population prefers instant messaging to emails. To be candid, I can't even recall when was the last time I shared a joke or a ...

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