When we think of messaging apps, we think of messaging. But in 2017, the most popular of the bunch is much more than just a way of communicating with friends. Whether it’s fun photo editing or gaming, many features expand the core chat experience. Here are five of the five most popular messaging apps you might not have known about.
Facebook Messenger – Easily Pay Your Friends By Debit Card
If you are a user in the United States, Facebook Messenger now allows you to register your debit card and easily send your friends money at no extra cost, as long as they also have a debit card on file. Transactions are usually instant but can take up to 3 days depending on the banks involved.
You can make sending money fun by including a theme such as birthday cakes if you’re sending a birthday bounty. Extra security steps can also protect the process, and Facebook even has a 24/7 dedicated team to handle fraud.
WeChat – Pay For Everything
China’s WeChat (which has the largest number of registered users of any ‘messaging app’) has taken the concept of sending contacts money to another level. You can now also pay your utility bills, book doctor’s appointments and transport, and compare the prices of many domestic products by scanning them on the shelves.
WhatsApp – Virtual Reality Chat
Although it is still crude and clunky, WhatsApp now supports virtual reality via the basic Google Cardboard make-shift headset. In practice, what this means is you get a full 360 degrees, where you can move your different chat windows around and get notifications flying in from above your head.
You can’t currently use cartoon avatars or explore any virtual environments. Still, there’s no doubt that this kind of experience is only a short time away for both WhatsApp and other leading messaging platforms.
Viber – Notifications and Light Control
It can be annoying receiving constant notifications, especially when your phone lights up, but you don’t necessarily want to turn them off completely. Viber allows you complete control over which chats send notifications and light up your phone. You can even set time windows (such as during working hours) to limit your usage and focus on essential tasks so that you aren’t disturbed during sleep.
Line – Personalized Pages
Did you know that the Line app was developed after Japan’s devastating 2011 earthquake and tsunami? Because the disaster knocked out a lot of telecommunications, the app allowed people to stay in touch.
The app has several broader social network-like functions, including a customizable profile page where you can share photos, company or user info, and status updates. You can also create PR and Research pages for your business or organization.
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