The walls of the old communication model are coming down rapidly as cell phone service providers are loosing traction in the international market. The past years have been plagued with high fees for international calling and text (SMS) messaging. Today, many new apps are surfacing that allow free SMS messaging, and sometimes calling, no matter where in the world you or your contacts are.
Whatsapp , a cross-platform mobile messaging app, has been in the news recently for being acquired by Facebook back in February for $16 Billion. Whatsapp connects with your smartphone after downloaded to check your contacts to see who else of your friends has the application. Once connected, you are free to send free SMS messages to your friends regardless of which country they are in. While this may not seem like a revolutionary idea in the United States, in Europe this has allowed many boundaries to come down.
There are many other apps similar to Whatsapp. There’s Viber, which not only allows free SMS but also free international calling, Kik, which is similar to Whatsapp except it doesn’t require a phone number and has more of a visually appealing interface. Another common free communication app is Skype, which is more known for it’s ability to allow face-to-face video via a computer screen.
This is important for communications professionals to be aware of due to the new trend in free international communication. This is crucial to understand for personal and professional use, especially if your business is international. What once was a difficult task is now convenient, fast, and free. It will also be interesting to watch where free international communication apps like these go in countries where the telecommunications businesses have a stake in their countries government.