In late 2014, Facebook completely split its messaging feature into a separate app. Since then, Facebook Messenger has grown to 1.2 Billion users. Messenger isn’t the only messaging app on the market. It’s one of many. The way humans communicate has changed drastically since the days of handwritten letters delivered by a guy on a horse. Even more, the way we communicate will continue to evolve. Surprisingly though, even with modern messaging technology, virtual communication is starting to look more like the real-life communication of yore.
Messaging apps like WhatsApp?, SnapChat, and Facebook Messenger all offer a free way to communicate with the people we care about. Users have been able to enjoy communication without being bound by minutes used or texting fees. These apps aren’t even limited by borders. Family, friends and even business associates on different continents can communicate instantly for free. In a way, messaging apps are disruptive technology, thereby putting communication back into the hands of the people.
Before technological advances and things like the internet, airplanes, and phones, humans communicated mostly with people in their own small, little piece of the world. Our societies have gotten much bigger since then but thanks to messaging apps this vast world is within our reach.
Messaging itself has evolved quite a bit since the days of AOL and chat rooms. The bulk of messaging has always been words. However, messaging apps have quickly grown to include real-life aspects. Now, there are emojis, animation, and stickers to communicate emotions and responses. The variety of emojis is so vast that entire conversations are possible using nothing but these little icons. A picture is indeed worth a thousand words.
Messaging apps have also allowed people to communicate in their own unique ways. It might seem like the messaging app market is saturated. How could anyone possibly need a new app that is essentially glorified texting? Each app has a different set of features that cater to a different communication style. Emu, for example, is a messaging app that focuses on productivity. Its features include the ability to manage a calendar and set appointments within the app. Snapchat is image heavy letting users communicate in a visual way. These choices allow users to choose the way in which they communicate.
It’s no argument that social media has exploded over the last decade. Social media was built on the simple concept of broadcasting bits of life to many, random people. And, in turn, reading about pieces of everyone else’s life. Even though social media allows users to activate certain privacy controls, the information that’s shared on these sites is mostly public. When a private conversation is needed, insert a messaging app. After years of talking to everyone it seems as though a lot of people want to get back to intimate, one-on-one communication.
Many years ago, if people wanted to communicate with someone they had two choices: being face-to-face or writing a letter. Today, there are a lot more options in which to communicate. Even so, being able to talk in real-time, using unique expression, in an intimate, private setting remains critical. It seems messaging apps are bringing back old-fashioned communication.
Sara Woodard-Ortiz, owner of The HeartFull Journey, is an ally for heartbroken moms who are going through separation and divorce. Her goal is to help moms love themselves during and after divorce as a way to build a foundation to attract a new, satisfying relationship. Sara lives in Danville, IL with her daughter, Olivia, and their cats, Bianca and Katniss. When Sara is not working on her business, you can find her playing Minecraft or drinking coffee at a local cafè.