Do you chat?

By Kip Kniskern | Posted December 3, 2012 20 comments

logo-messenger1Lots 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.

Posted December 3rd, 2012 at 11:21 am
Category: News
Tags: Facebook, Messenger, Skype, Yahoo!
  • http://gregsedwards.wordpress.com Greg Edwards

    I definitely use traditional IM less than I once did, as many of those conversations have moved to Facebook and Twitter. A decade ago, we lived on Windows Messenger, even at work (especially at work). You could send an email and way hours for a response, or send an IM and get instant feedback. Or find out that your boss was away in a meeting. We deal with a lot of sensitive data, so IT frowned upon using a third-party network to host our traffic, so it got nixed. We never made the transition to an in-house IM solution like OCS or Lync, and the culture just kind of died out. People fell back on their email for all correspondence. A lot of colleagues and friends let their Messenger accounts go, and it never really recovered. Skype caught on at work about a year ago, primarily due to the HD face-to-face video, but honestly it’s struggled to find a foothold in my company.

    I still have specific contacts with whom I instant message as a daily, primary communication channel, but even that generally happens via Facebook Messaging (at least on the other end). This is where Windows Live stumbled as a social vehicle. Facebook was not necessarily any better than what Messenger social was doing at the time, but all of the people I knew in the real world were over on there. By the time Messenger added Facebook support, it became just a paler alternative Facebook chat client. That’s probably the only thing that helped Messenger stay relevant as long as it did.

    You learn which mode works best with each of your friends and family, and that’s what you use. If I want to get in touch with my nephew, I use Twitter. My father-in-law, I use FB Messaging. My wife, I use email or text. You can’t bring people to you, so the best you can hope for is a client that makes it easy to connect with them wherever they happen to be.

    • garak0410

      Facebook messaging just has one flaw for me…you can’t get it to stop archiving the messages and it requires you to go back to delete the conversations.

  • http://gregsedwards.wordpress.com/ Greg Edwards

    I definitely use traditional IM less than I once did, as many of those conversations have moved to Facebook and Twitter. A decade ago, we lived on Windows Messenger, even at work (especially at work). You could send an email and way hours for a response, or send an IM and get instant feedback. Or find out that your boss was away in a meeting. We deal with a lot of sensitive data, so IT frowned upon using a third-party network to host our traffic, so it got nixed. We never made the transition to an in-house IM solution like OCS or Lync, and the culture just kind of died out. People fell back on their email for all correspondence. A lot of colleagues and friends let their Messenger accounts go, and it never really recovered. Skype caught on at work about a year ago, primarily due to the HD face-to-face video, but honestly it’s struggled to find a foothold in my company.

    I still have specific contacts with whom I instant message as a daily, primary communication channel, but even that generally happens via Facebook Messaging (at least on the other end). This is where Windows Live stumbled as a social vehicle. Facebook was not necessarily any better than what Messenger social was doing at the time, but all of the people I knew in the real world were over on there. By the time Messenger added Facebook support, it became just a paler alternative Facebook chat client. That’s probably the only thing that helped Messenger stay relevant as long as it did.

    You learn which mode works best with each of your friends and family, and that’s what you use. If I want to get in touch with my nephew, I use Twitter. My father-in-law, I use FB Messaging. My wife, I use email or text. You can’t bring people to you, so the best you can hope for is a client that makes it easy to connect with them wherever they happen to be.

    • garak0410

      Facebook messaging just has one flaw for me…you can’t get it to stop archiving the messages and it requires you to go back to delete the conversations.

  • garak0410

    A couple of comments. I’ve always found Skype to be messy. And I am tying to transition to it but the Windows 8 (Modern) version doesn’t seem to stay connected and on my Windows Phone 8, it went haywire one day and my Mail and Messaging apps quit working (had to uninstall Skype).

    And I really loved Video Kinect. We used that all the time to talk with family via Live Messenger. Since my folks started their transition to Windows 8 and Skype, we can no longer use this. I don’t want Video Kinect to die. I love it.

    • http://www.facebook.com/thefalcon2k Joe Rider

      With the WL Messenger integration inside the Xbox 360, and the fact that WL Messenger is dying, I can see Video Kinect & Messenger leaving the Xbox 360 console and be unified into one Skype app.

  • garak0410

    A couple of comments. I’ve always found Skype to be messy. And I am tying to transition to it but the Windows 8 (Modern) version doesn’t seem to stay connected and on my Windows Phone 8, it went haywire one day and my Mail and Messaging apps quit working (had to uninstall Skype).

    And I really loved Video Kinect. We used that all the time to talk with family via Live Messenger. Since my folks started their transition to Windows 8 and Skype, we can no longer use this. I don’t want Video Kinect to die. I love it.

    • http://www.facebook.com/thefalcon2k Joe Rider

      With the WL Messenger integration inside the Xbox 360, and the fact that WL Messenger is dying, I can see Video Kinect & Messenger leaving the Xbox 360 console and be unified into one Skype app.

  • Kit Y

    Skype on Windows 8 is a mess, wonder why can’t they get it right… Signing in Skype client with Skype name = Facebook + Skype contacts only despite linked with Microsoft Account…
    How can you handle a transition worse? What a mess…

  • Kit Y

    Skype on Windows 8 is a mess, wonder why can’t they get it right… Signing in Skype client with Skype name = Facebook + Skype contacts only despite linked with Microsoft Account…
    How can you handle a transition worse? What a mess…

  • http://profiles.google.com/rsadykoff Rustam Sydykov

    Hello,
    I never liked interface of Skype: too cluttered for my liking. However, the main question for me is: what MS is going to use to replace IM functionality in WP7.x. I use messenger on my Lumia 900 quite extensively and do not want to lose this functionality. As far as I understand, WP7.x will never get Skype working in background :(((
    Cheers,
    Rustam.

    • damaster

      Given that Microsoft has moved Skype users to the Messenger backend for text IM, the Messenger backend will continue to work. This means that you will continue to be able to use Messenger on WP7.x devices.

      • http://profiles.google.com/rsadykoff Rustam Sydykov

        Damaster,
        Thank you, did not know this!
        Cheers,
        Rustam.

  • Rustam Sydykov

    Hello,
    I never liked interface of Skype: too cluttered for my liking. However, the main question for me is: what MS is going to use to replace IM functionality in WP7.x. I use messenger on my Lumia 900 quite extensively and do not want to lose this functionality. As far as I understand, WP7.x will never get Skype working in background :(((
    Cheers,
    Rustam.

    • damaster

      Given that Microsoft has moved Skype users to the Messenger backend for text IM, the Messenger backend will continue to work. This means that you will continue to be able to use Messenger on WP7.x devices.

      • Rustam Sydykov

        Damaster,
        Thank you, did not know this!
        Cheers,
        Rustam.

  • Jonathan

    I must be part of the minority as I still use WLM as my main IM, though most of my friends switched to FB or Skype. I tried to transition to Skype, but I couldn’t take how basic and horribly lackluster it is:
    1. No instant photo sharing
    2. FB/LinkedIn contacts don’t transfer over when signing on with MS Account.
    3. The emoticons are hideous (I love WP8’s emoji)
    4. Contacts aren’t linked so you see tons of duplicates
    5. The UI (both desktop + modern) feels clunky and outdated and not fitting with Microsoft’s style.
    6. And much more…
    WLM has matured so much and provides awesome functionality. I hope Skype goes through a complete revamp and brings in many features and making the transition process seamless. IMO it should be just like a lightweight version of WLM. :)

  • Jonathan

    I must be part of the minority as I still use WLM as my main IM, though most of my friends switched to FB or Skype. I tried to transition to Skype, but I couldn’t take how basic and horribly lackluster it is:
    1. No instant photo sharing
    2. FB/LinkedIn contacts don’t transfer over when signing on with MS Account.
    3. The emoticons are hideous (I love WP8’s emoji)
    4. Contacts aren’t linked so you see tons of duplicates
    5. The UI (both desktop + modern) feels clunky and outdated and not fitting with Microsoft’s style.
    6. And much more…
    WLM has matured so much and provides awesome functionality. I hope Skype goes through a complete revamp and brings in many features and making the transition process seamless. IMO it should be just like a lightweight version of WLM. :)

  • http://twitter.com/AndyD33 Andy D

    I used to use MSN/WL Messenger along with a serving of AIM until Facebook implemented chat features which reduced the need for AIM, due to using AIM mostly for personal chat. I still use WLM from time to time for communicating with a couple gaming friends, but I mainly use Xfire/Steam for PC gaming chat.
    I begrudgingly use Twitter and texting from time to time. I don’t like them that much because of the character limits. (I like proper spelling and grammar)

  • Andy D

    I used to use MSN/WL Messenger along with a serving of AIM until Facebook implemented chat features which reduced the need for AIM, due to using AIM mostly for personal chat. I still use WLM from time to time for communicating with a couple gaming friends, but I mainly use Xfire/Steam for PC gaming chat.
    I begrudgingly use Twitter and texting from time to time. I don’t like them that much because of the character limits. (I like proper spelling and grammar)