In this day and age, texting seems to be the most popular form of mobile secure communication. But, is it the mobile version of hosted instant messaging? I’m going to explore the ways that texting is, and isn’t, the best way to take IM on the go.
Texting IS a form of mobile hosted instant messaging:
- You can have private conversations with one person (or multiple people) at a time
- It allows you to mobilize communication, without the requirement of large data downloads or internet use time.
- Is possible a fast way to get answers
Texting IS NOT a form of mobile hosted instant messaging:
- The person may not answer right away as they are busy, whereas with IM, you know if they are available or not, for the most part.
- Costs more, depending on your cell phone plan
- Cannot send large files to most cell phones
- Usually takes more time to type
A good middle ground is the fact that there are some phones that allow some chat programs to be loaded onto it, such as AIM. However, these programs do use internet access and/or airtime, so an unlimited internet or data plan is best. I have AIM on my iPod Touch, and while typing does take a while to get used to, I could see myself using it on an iPhone to chat with people while I am away from my desk, running errands, or bored on a car trip.