July 2, 2015 12:52 pm

Keeping it social with instant messaging apps for your Lumia

With our mobile phones in our pockets, we’re connected to our friends and family in a variety of ways: email, text, and voice calls. But instant messaging apps can make staying social even easier..

Keep the conversations flowing with any one–or all–of these apps on your Lumia.

Skype (free)

Skype_chat

With Skype installed, it’ll integrate with your People hub enabling you to instant message, voice call, or video call your contacts at a touch of a button.

Within the instant-messaging feature you can send simple written text (as well as emoticons); share your photos, location and drawings; and deliver video messages.

Messenger (free)

Messenger

With almost 800 million daily active mobile users on average, Facebook is one of the biggest social networks for smartphones.

Facebook’s Messenger app allows you to get all your messages and chat with friends without ever opening the dedicated Facebook app.

Messenger shows you when your contacts are online, when they’ve seen your previously sent messages, and supports stickers to inject some fun into private conversations.

Group messaging and location and photo sharing are also supported.

WhatsApp (free)

WhatsApp

As of April 2015, WhatsApp reached 800 million active users.

Signup is done using just your mobile phone number, so there’s no need to create an obscure username. Additionally, WhatsApp will take a quick look at your contact list to see which phone numbers it has in its database–populating your friends list instantly.

Once connected, you can use WhatsApp to send photos, videos, your location, voice messages, and text messages. The latest edition of the app also includes WhatsApp Calling, which allows you to make voice calls domestically or internationally for free..

Viber (free)

Viber

Much like WhatsApp, Viber uses just your phone number to create your profile, making signing up fast and simple.

Send funny or cute stickers to your friends, along with text and the ever-popular emoticons 🙂

Need to share your location and a photo? Viber can do that, too.

In terms of customization, Viber has the option to change your chat backgrounds. This is a good way to visually differentiate between groups of friends or family members.

If you remember the walkie talkies of yesteryear, Viber has it’s own version: Hold & Talk. It’s like an instant voice message; your friends will hear you as you speak.

LINE (free)

LINE

The increasing trend of using stickers in chat apps continues with LINE, though it has sticker sets with characters unique to the app. LINE users are familiar with Brown the bear and Cony the rabbit, for example.

Stickers aside, you’ve got the ability to send messages, photos, videos, voice messages, and your location, as well as make voice calls.

LINE is also the new owner of MixRadio, the personalized music streaming service.

There you have it, five great instant messaging apps to help you chat more with the world. The only question is: which one will you use? Let us know below.

Note: Some of these services are delivered via WiFi, 4G, 3G, 2G, or EDGE. Refer to the individual app and your provider for costs.