MESSAGING

I use messaging apps to talk with different friends. I feel like I know what I am doing and if I need help I ask my friends...but it would be nice to have some way of checking some facts about the apps.

MESSAGING - GETTING STARTEDWhy not talk to your friends about the different experiences you have on different messaging apps. Which one seems more natural, and why? Which one is easier to use? Do any feel less safe than others, and can you work out why? 

Messaging apps are apps that let you chat with your friends, either in real time oyou can continue the conversation when you get the chance. 

These apps let you send text, video, images, audio and your location to other people or groups. Some of them will let you talk in real time.

Some messaging apps will allow you to send a message that will be deleted once it has been viewed. 

Most apps have some form of messaging function, even their main use is images or video.

MOST USED MESSAGING APPS WORLDWIDE

WhatsApp 2 billion
Facebook Messenger 1.3 billion
WeChat 1.2 billion
Viber 1 billion
QQ 600 million
SnapChat 514 million
Telegram 550 million
Discord 300 million
Signal 64 million

These figures change all the time, and the pandemic has increased the number of users very quickly for almost all apps. 

HOW OLD DO I NEED TO BE?

When you are signing up to a messaging app most will ask you what your date of birth is. This is because there are laws around the companies and how they collect your information. 

This is why most messaging apps do not allow users who are younger than 13.   

WHAT'S GREAT ABOUT THEM?

Allow you to continue conversations when you are no longer with the person you were talking to earlier. 

Meet people from all different parts of the world that you might not have the opportunity to otherwise. 

Create an place where you can give and receive support and advice quickly and easily. 

Learn new things and share ideas. 

WHAT ARE SOME DOWNSIDES?

Advertising is not always appropriate for you 

You have to be careful about what you say - what you say is lot more public and permanent in group chats.  

The data collected can be used in a way that you haven’t thought of. 

People may be more willing to type something that they would not say to your face which can be upsetting.

WHAT QUESTIONS SHOULD I ASK?

Who can see the messages that I send, including the ones that disappear?  

Can the people who made the app use my messages in other ways? 

How do I find people I know to message with? 

Can I message groups? 

Is there a way for me to get help if I need it? 

Are the any costs involved in using this platform? 

How much of my phone data will this app use? 

MORE ABOUT MESSAGING APPS

Watch this video from Australia's ABC on messaging apps. Source: ABC Science on YouTube.