I want to send a message but which channel should I choose?

There is so much choice around for sending messages

The use of messenger services is on the increase. To investigate this further, I asked a simple question to friends as to what their preferences were for using poplar messenger services. My simple survey question was ‘Which method do you prefer to use for messaging friends?’ I asked this question to friends and contacts on Facebook and Twitter. I received 50 votes or responses to this question. There were some respondents who provided more info than was asked for, and I have reflected their views in my comments below.

Messaging systems voting results

Messaging systems voting results

  • SMS – 4%
  • WhatsApp – 56%
  • Facebook Messenger – 40%

A couple of people said that they preferred SMS but still voted for either Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp based on others using it more so. Two respondents stated that they preferred WhatsApp for sending and receiving pictures.

Sharing of telephone numbers

One thing that I find interesting here is that whilst more people have Facebook Messenger, a greater number of those surveyed preferred to use a different platform for their messaging. One of my thoughts prior to this survey was that we were becoming less personal with our contacts nowadays. There seemed to be less sharing of telephone numbers between friends nowadays. I thought that part for the reason for this was that there was a greater reliance on Facebook Messenger which had led to this not needing to share numbers.

I know that with some apps being able to import contacts from other portals and platforms that we no longer have to physically hand our numbers out to people, so to me it is pleasing that people are exercising their choice and not going for what seem to be the easier option of Facebook Messenger. The interoperability between apps should make it easier for consumers to choose what they are more comfortable with using.

WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger?

Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp?

So many options available

With me being in my early forties, I am aware that I am starting to reminisce earlier times of just using text messages rather than all the new options we have today. Even in the workplace, teams will have discussions over what channels to communicate with and for what form of information to use when. If I think of my work, we have desk phones, mobile phones, instant messaging – Jabber and Skype For Business, email, Microsoft Teams for collaboration, SharePoint, OneDrive, and some teams have used other tools too such as Slack and Trello. The messaging and collaboration tools market is getting very competitive, and consumers often find it confusing if they are having to use multiple different tools for different types of conversation or message.

Be in charge of what you want

We all have our preferences when it comes to different platforms and messaging services, and how we interact with others depends on the tools we use and how comfortable we are with them. I see value in reviewing what tools and services we use on a regular basis, and seeing whether it meets our preferences, needs and whether we are happy using them. We will always have choice. Some will say too much choice.

We don’t need to be like sheep and just go with what other people use, but we can lead on how we want to use the services ourselves. We can decide on what our own preferred default is.

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