Texting has been around for ages. More than 20 years, in fact. And it’s still one of the main ways we interact with people via smartphone, because it’s just so darn easy (although some of us need to brush up on our texting etiquette).
But texting isn’t necessarily the best way to interact with people via smartphone. And no, I’m not talking about calling people (that would be absurd). I’m talking about over-the-top (OTT) messaging apps like Line, WhatsApp, and even online chatting apps like Google Hangouts and Facebook Messenger.
Here’s why you need to ditch texting and download an OTT app ASAP.
Talk to anyone, anywhere
I was definitely an early-adopter when it came to OTT messaging apps; not because I’m cool and hip to the trends, but because about 95 percent of my friends live overseas. Unlike texting, OTT messaging apps do not discriminate based on where you live, because they work over an Internet connection and not the SMS network. Do you have any idea how much it costs to send a text from the U.S. to Japan? I don’t, because I just use Line and it’s free.
No mobile data necessary
OTT messaging apps use any Internet connection, which means they don’t need to be connected to a cellular network to work. As long as you can grab some free Wi-Fi, you’re set! If there’s no Wi-Fi, you might be in trouble, though.
Multi-platform = win
I miss approximately 80 percent of the text messages that come to my phone. The reason? I usually don’t have my phone on me, especially not when I’m working at my computer. I get all my Line messages, though, because there’s a Line app for my PC!
No number? No problem!
OTT messaging apps let you add contacts in a variety of ways—usernames, email addresses, or phone numbers—so they’re perfect for when you want to talk to someone but you don’t really want to give up your digits.
I know you saw that.
There’s often no way to check if someone has read a text message. But most OTT messaging apps have some sort of read receipt feature that lets you know when someone has seen your message. It's a little creepy, but totally useful.
Sign into an OTT messaging app on a new device and voila! Everything, including your contacts, chat history, and even photos and files you’ve traded back and forth, is already there for you.
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