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Digital Skills Blog

5 ways to make the most of instant messaging

14th April 2017

SmartphoneThere are hundreds of instant messaging apps available to keep you up to date with friends, family and colleagues. From Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp to Skype and Google Hangouts, there are now loads of ways to stay in touch for free over the internet. With so many options out there, here’s how you can make the most of what is available.

Get creative with your images

Many apps like Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp have creative tools to let you customise photos instantly within the app. Add filters and stickers to images or draw on them freestyle with the pen tool. Facebook even lets you draw on other people’s images within the chat as a reply. Share feedback on photos or designs without typing a word.

Screen share with Skype and Google Hangouts

Screen sharing functions in video chat is the quick way to collaborate wherever you are. Both Skype and Google let you share your screen with the person you are chatting to. Work on projects together and gain instant feedback to stop endless streams of emails back and forth.

Group chat

The majority of instant messaging apps support group chats which allow for free flowing conversations between any number of people. Organise your time through group messages with all the important people in your life. Groups chats make organising events and managing calendars simpler, saving time for more important tasks.

Read receipts and notifications

Two huge benefits of instant messaging apps are read receipts and notifications. Not only do they keep you on your toes but it also means you can keep an eye on who is not reading your messages. Especially useful on group chats, read receipts mean you know who in the group hasn’t seen the message giving you the information you need to make sure urgent comments are never missed.

Voice message

For when you’re struggling to explain something in text, many instant messengers will let you send voice messages or even start phone calls. Record a voice clip if you know the recipient is busy or start a call over the Wi-Fi to chat it through. The best bit is it won’t use up your phone contract minutes, all you need is an internet connection.

Instant messengers allow you to communicate in the best way for you. If you’re a hands on creative who likes to put “pen to paper” or someone who likes to talk things through face to face there are ways to do both. Have a play around with the platforms out there and find the perfect one for you and your style.