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Online Messaging - the Low-Down

Discussion in 'Domain Name News' started by Acorn Newsbot, Apr 24, 2013.

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  1. Acorn Newsbot

    Acorn Newsbot Junior Member

    Jan 2006
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    Where once the telephone took over from the telegram, and the email has almost entirely replaced the letter, online messaging applications have begun to oust text messages and mobile phone calls. As well as being a fantastic resource for shopping, learning and entertainment, the Internet is also a brilliant communication tool.

    In the early days of the World Wide Web, email forums and Internet Relay Chat (IRC) channels provided near-instant communication between people across the world. As technology developed and social networking tools came on the scene, the range of communication options and the ease with which people could get in touch increased exponentially.

    Just how big is social media messaging?
    Social media channels now handle vast amounts of messaging data each day. During 2012:
    •*Facebook’s 845 million active users posted 2.7 billion likes and comments every day.
    •*Facebook users also uploaded 250 million photographs each day.
    •*Twitter users sent 175 million tweets each day.

    Even the “lesser” social messaging platforms have recorded some impressive usage statistics:
    •*Text messaging replacement WhatsApp announced up to 10 billion messages being sent each day by its users.
    •*Apple’s instant messaging app iMessage transfers around 2 billion messages, pictures and videos each day.
    •*Snapchat users send 150 million self-destructing photographs daily.

    And as each of these services matures and attracts new users, these message volumes are only set to grow.

    What is so great about these social messaging services?
    There are a number of differences between these social services, each of which provides slightly different tools depending on your specific needs.

    Microblogging and status updates
    Social media heavyweights Facebook and Twitter are primarily designed for publicly broadcasting and sharing information and photos. Facebook status updates are usually only available to your “friends”, people following your profile. Your messages can be almost any length and include pictures, links, videos and virtually anything else you want your friends to see.

    Twitter is slightly different. Each of your “tweets” is limited to just 140 characters (letters number and spaces), including any links to websites you may be sharing. You can also attach images and videos to tweets which are also broadcast publicly, making them available to any other Twitter user worldwide.

    For purely visual social sharing, Instagram allows users to create a publicly-accessible photoblog. Images are uploaded and provide a “stream” of your pictures, allowing your followers to see what you see. Most smartphones have an Instagram app available allowing users to upload and share pictures on the go.

    Instant messaging apps
    Instant messaging apps are generally designed to replace traditional text messages on mobile phones. WhatsApp is a well-known example of an instant messaging app proving very popular with cost-conscious users looking to reduce their mobile phone bill. Messages sent via WhatsApp are free, allowing users to send each other multimedia messages with photos or videos at a fraction of the cost of an MMS (Multimedia Service) message via their mobile provider.

    Apple’s iMessage service is quickly gaining popularity, allowing users to send multimedia messages from their iPhones, iPads and iMac computers. Again, the service is completely free to use, the only cost coming out of the user’s data contract. If the messages are sent via Wi-Fi connection they are 100% free. However, iMessage use is restricted only to people with Apple devices.

    For people interested in sharing personal photos, newcomer SnapChat allows you to send a photo to another app user directly. To maintain your privacy, the photograph self-destructs within 10 seconds of the recipient opening it.

    Staying safe with social media messaging
    Most social media messaging apps are incredibly easy to use, helping to explain their popularity. However, this simplicity also lulls users into a false sense of security, often meaning they accidentally share sensitive information with the wrong audience. Here are our tips for staying safe:
    •*THINK! Always consider the potential repercussions of a social media update before you click Send. Do you want a potential burglar to know you are away for two weeks?* What would your employer think if they saw that particular photo? Are you damaging your future employment chances? There is always a risk your private social messages could become public, so you should also bear this in mind too.
    •*Always check who you are sharing your messages with. Sites like Facebook and Google+ allow you to choose who can see your posts. If you are sharing something that you don’t want the whole world to see, make sure that you select the appropriate group when posting. You can find out more about choosing an audience here.
    •*If sending a “private” message via Twitter, Facebook or any other messaging app, triple-check that you have selected the right settings.
    •*Never leave your profile logged in. Whether on your laptop, tablet or smartphone, you should never leave your profile logged in, otherwise anyone with access to those devices will also have access to your messages. They could also post offensive material which appears to have been sent by you.
    •*Respect the privacy of people sending you messages. If someone sends you a sensitive message, or limits its potential audience, you should respect their decision and not circulate it more widely. After all, you would expect your friends to exercise the same discretion with your personal messages.

    Social media messaging is a great way to stay in touch with anyone anywhere, and often completely free. Whether broadcasting publicly, or sharing with a small circle of friends, just be sure you are adhering to these best practices to keep your sensitive information safe.

  2. Domain Forum

    Acorn Domains Elite Member

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