As someone who uses their phone as their device for primary contact, I bounce between seven social media/communication apps daily in order to connect with others. Yup, seven. While that might sound like a lot, each app has its own specific function and are split between personal and professional uses. For purely personal interactions, here are the apps I frequent: Facebook, Instagram, and Messenger. On the professional side, you have: LinkedIn, Twitter, and WhatsApp. Altogether, that only adds up to six. The final app is Gmail, which teeters back and forth between professional/personal depending on which account I use.
Combined, I feel like these seven apps do a great job separating and organizing my life so that when I need to communicate, there is always an appropriate delivery system at the ready. While most of the time I feel like my apps are great avenues, there are always things that can be improved. With hubs like the App Store and Google Play, users can leave detailed feedback and developers can provide assistance or mark the comment so that their teams can investigate.
“When you’re introducing a mobile app, you look around and say, ‘We could be doing 15 different things, but how do we communicate to someone why they would want to download and even sign up for this thing?'”
– Kevin Systrom
As a person who is very hesitant to download things willy-nilly on their phone, these ratings and reviews play a huge factor in whether or not I will try the app. If an app gets less than four stars, it is definitely not going to be investigated any further. Bad reviews equate to a waste of time and space on my machine. This week, we were tasked to scour the reviews and ratings of three different apps to determine the overall sentiments and develop point-of-view statements.
Messenger, WhatsApp, & Kik – Oh my!
For this project, I wanted to investigate a genre of apps that really dictate the majority of my smartphone use – instant messengers. Instant messengers are the epitome of convenience. You can send nearly every piece of content imaginable, have conversations at your own speed, and connect with the people who are important to you. For this assignment, I chose the three messengers that most people are familiar with: Facebook’s Messenger app, WhatsApp, and cult app, Kik.
“As Android, iPhone and other mobile platforms grow, we are moving away from the page-based Internet. The new Internet is app centric and often message-centric.”
– Keith Teare
As one of the number one apps of all time, the Messenger app is widely known. Its connection to Facebook makes it a front-runner and its simplistic UI makes conversing with others easy. WhatsApp, now owned by Facebook, also does a great job making conversing easy however this app caters to a more global and corporate audience. It’s secure messaging and clean reputation makes it a favorite among foreign users and those who need a fast, simple way to communicate with stakeholders and team members. Then, there’s Kik. Kik has been a cult favorite app since late 2010. This messenger is exclusively for anonymous, public chats. Call this the “bad boy” of the subjects I examined.
While each app performs essentially the same function, the differences in audience, reputation, and intention make each unique.
See my breakdown of these IM apps and point-of-view statements here.