Lots of news coming out of the “chat client industry” recently, with Microsoft announcing the coming end of days for Windows Live Messenger, new Skype clients coming on board, Yahoo! IM dropping interoperability with Messenger, and even a rumor that Facebook is interested in buying Whatsapp, a cross platform mobile messaging app.
Here at LiveSide, we probably owe our internet life to chat, specifically MSN/Windows Live Messenger. This blog began as a collaboration among some Messenger beta test participants, and before LiveSide, co-founder Chris Overd ran a popular blog with the unlikely title of “Overdo’s Land of Nothingness”, an MSN Spaces blog that has faded into nothingness itself, sadly. Chris broke his share of Messenger news on that blog before he came to cofound LiveSide, where we continued to keep a close eye on Messenger.
But even without news to break, Messenger has been important for LiveSide. With contributors from Germany, The Netherlands, the UK, across the US, Australia, and China, having Messenger, with photo/screenshot sharing and offline messaging capabilities has made an immense difference in how we communicate.
But with all the news, a lot more has been going on with the way we communicate: here at LiveSide, and more broadly. Twitter has largely replaced the “instant news” we used to get via IM, and SMS has surpassed IM chatting as more an more especially young people are on their phones far more than their PCs. Facebook has become the way for the world to keep in touch, and Facebook chat, by extension, has changed the face of IM. Much of what we used to chat about, we now “Like” or comment on Facebook, or post (or read) on Twitter.
Do you find yourself using IM less? Is what happens on Skype or Facebook chat as interesting to you as it once was, or are you content with SMS on your phone? What’s your favorite way of instant communication? Let us know here in the comments, or in the poll we just added to our sidebar.