by March 5, 2012 0 comments



Today everyone wants to stay connected with their family, friends and colleagues round the clock. Some use social networking sites, some use IM while others use SMS to remain hooked up. However, the two most used options are IM and SMS. Now with the cap of 200 SMSes per day, many users especially the youngsters, who are addicted to this for long, face dilemma. But there is a solution for this –Instant Messaging. With messengers like BlackBerry, eBuddy, Gtalk, Whatsapp getting popular amongst the young generation, common man and corporates, would it be correct to say that SMS is on the wane or will decline in the coming years? Read on to find the answer.

Snapshot

Applies to: Mobile users

USP: Learn how IM will take over SMS
Related articles: None

Search engine keywords: SMS vs IM

Instant Messaging

IM gives many advantages over other means of communication. IM is fast. The moment you press send button, it flashes on the screen of receiver’s device. And there is no possibility of a message being lost. If the other person is not connected, he will get the message once he is connected. This offline message feature is an added advantage. IM service also lets you exchange information in real time. IM lets you organize your contacts. You can separate your family contacts or create a different group for your family and business. This will actually prevent you from sending the right messages to the wrong person. This also lets you have multiple chats at the same time. Almost all IMs let you share files which can be a text, image file or a document. You can easily send files to multiple contacts at one go.

Another advantage of IM is that you can chat with anyone in this world who has connectivity. It can save you from paying hefty bills. Today you can get the connectivity at a mere Rs 100 a month. This lets you connect 24 hours and you can exchange messages for endless number of times, which in case of SMS will be costly if you are sending national or international SMSes.

The negatives

One of the major disadvantages of IM is security. With IMs we share files, documents, etc which can contain viruses or spyware which not only can infect your handset but also infect the handset of the person at the receiving end. This in turn can compromise the security of the handsets and can leak the private information as well. If you are using IMs, then you need connectivity 24 hours. You can be connected to GPRS, EDGE or 3G. This actually takes a toll on your phone battery and drains it at a faster rate. So you might need to recharge your phone battery twice or thrice a day. IM can also affect the productivity in organizations. In most organizations, social networking websites and IM (excluding official IMs like Office Communicator and others) are blocked but employees can use their mobiles for chatting with friends and families while working (or not) in office. This can drastically distract the employees. Most of the IM clients require you to sign in if you have restarted your phone, or were disconnected. You may miss out a conversation if you forgot to sign in.


SMS

Unlike IM, SMS is a very safe way for communication. You can’t get any malware or virus through a text message, which makes it safer than IMs. For marketing companies, SMS is an easy way for marketing and branding their clients and products. That can be useful for such marketing companies but may not be for the receiver.


The negatives

With the restriction of 200 SMSes in a day, people who send more than 200 messages can face problems. IM can be an option for them. You may end up paying heavy phone bills if you are sending national and international messages. If you have an antivirus installed in your system then you can safely send attachments using IMs which is not possible with SMS.


The last word

Though IM has its share of cons like battery consumption, security and mobile handset portability, IM has full potential to replace SMS as an easy way of communication in the coming years.

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