The next time you’re in a crowded area, look around and see how many people are on mobile phones. Out of them, how many are actually talking, and how many are messaging through text messages or some instant messaging app? You might start to find that more and more people are messaging, and it’s not all recreational anymore.
Mobile messaging is taking off, and that doesn’t mean just text messages. There are all sorts of apps used for instant messages from mobile devices, such as Skype (News - Alert) or WhatsApp, which allow for quick and easy messaging on the go. And while most phone service providers charge for text messages in their plans, these apps don’t charge per message.
The technology may not be built for businesses, but that doesn’t stop it for being used as such. Not only are instant mobile messages useful for getting in touch with coworkers on the go, but often these programs include group messaging and file sharing, which are essential. Most are available for a variety of devices, which is particularly useful in a BYOD environment, although different applications have different levels of interoperability and service.
Mind you, it might seem a little unprofessional if those using these apps start sending messages like “did u get teh memo? meeting wuz lst thurs lol.” Unfortunately, that’s a risk with every messaging service. I think we can trust business messages to be written in a more comprehensible manner, unless my faith in humanity is horribly misplaced.
As mobile instant messaging grows, the more applicable it will be in a business environment. It may not be ready for business use quite yet, but it’s a useful tool for instant communication, whether it’s used to send information and files to co-workers or just to confirm a meeting time. It won’t be long until instant messaging is as common for business communications as email.
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Edited by Amanda Ciccatelli