Friday, 2 August 2013

Instant Messaging & Social Networks: New players In the game

Instant Messengers and Social Networking: New players In The Game   As you may or may not already know, the world of social media and networking is forever changing. There are many ways people can contact each other without having to actually be face to face, or having to use classic methods such as the telephone. Text based social networks are thriving because of this. The way most popular social networks operate is in this way. Many people don't realise that instant messaging services are also included in the category of social networks. One could argue that it is apparent because users can communicate with one another without having to physically be face to face. As a youngster there were instant messaging services such as MSN, which many of my peers were using at the time on home computers with an internet connection. The rise and popularity of smartphones in more recent years have seen also the rise of many different instant messengers. In my personal opinion, the organisation that made the most of the trending technology was Research In Motion, the creators of the Blackberry smartphone range. They managed to build an empire with the smartphone's own features and most importantly their own instant messenger called 'Blackberry Messenger' more commonly known by the acronym 'BBM'.  

Fast forward a few years to the present day, the hype surrounding smartphones has grown enormously and Blackberry are no longer big players in the game with a definitive growth in iphone and android operated handset's. Along with these relatively newer players in the game have come a host of instant messenger services too. In the years that BlackBerry smartphone's began to decline in user base and sales, messengers like Whatsapp, which allows users to cross-communicate over all popular smartphone softwares began to expand. The fact that BBM users can only communicate within their own network means users have to use alternative methods like WhatsApp to engage with their peers. With this being a major downside on Blackberrys part, whatsapp is the most used instant messenger today.  

With the knowledge of becoming the second best player in the game Blackberry announced they would make BBM available on all smartphone platforms. It is a clever move by them because it means that the users who enjoyed the service before they stopped using BlackBerry phones can now once again, relive the good times using the service. The hype surrounding the announcement, while alternative smartphone users wait have spawned a new similar alternative. Almost in the genetic make up of BBM, iPhone users have taken to an instant messenger called 'PEEM'. In all fairness their timing was perfect because users are mostly former BBM users, just the impatient ones, who can't wait for BBM to be released. The way PEEM has spread onto most of the social networks I personally use shows the efficiency and speed users can spread messages to many people, in such a short time. People promoted information to connect with them on PEEM on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook as well as on WhatsApp.  

One has to wonder, if the PEEM users are using the service as a pacifier until BBM is released or do BlackBerry have a new challenger that could potentially wipe out it's existence in terms of usage. Only time will tell.

Thanks for Reading.   For constructive feedback and opinions on this piece follow me on Twitter: @Allenbusiness                        

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