Fun Friday: How Do You Message On Your Phone?

It’s time for a fun friday.

I want to know how people message on their phones.

Here’s how I do it:

Kik – I use Kik to message most of my family, my co-workers, and a few friends

iMessage – I have to say that iMessage is great. I use it to message with my daughter Emily and many people I work with. I think of iMessage as SMS+ and it’s pretty great.

Hangouts – My older daughter Jessica often will send me a Hangouts message. I think she does that when she’s at her computer and she isn’t sure if I’m on my phone or on my computer. Some of the people I work with will sometimes do that too.

I would say I use Kik about 60-70% of the time, iMessage 30% of the time, and Hangouts the rest.

How about you?

I’ve created a poll to make collecting this info easy, but I’m also interested in the color around this topic which should make good fodder for the comments.


Comments (Archived):

  1. Anne Libby

    Slack DMs have entered my message stream…

    1. JimHirshfield

      We’ve been testing Slack out. What do you think of it?

      1. Anne Libby

        I kind of “heart” it!I am also at the testing stage, I am alpha testing it for a “team” of people who all work in different places. So far, so good. That said, activity is light. I’ll have a better feel as I grow alpha group, which I’m doing slowly.One downside for my use case: the invites get stuck in spam. (And in fact, at least one email provider saw something in the invite header that set off phishing flags, and blocked the invite.)How is it working for you so far?

        1. JimHirshfield

          Likewise, not enough activity yet for me to judge.

          1. Drew Meyers

            We use it, and i’m a big fan.

          2. JimHirshfield

            This just in…One-Year-Old Business Software Maker Slack Valued at $1.12 Billion…

          3. JamesHRH

            Stewart is the SV founder that big media just loves to portray.I have only spoken to him once or twice, seen him present once. Comes across likes a professor, basically. He appears to have no interest in business at all, projects an interest in everything that is not businessy about SW startups and yet he keeps coming back to the game.He must drive young, $$$ obsessed investment banker types batty.

          4. LE

            So I look at that and see that under the photo that his name is “buttervield”. And I think well at least Jim’s name isn’t hirschvield although oddly enough that probably would stand out enough to not be “hirshveld”.But then in the body copy it does say “butterfield”.

          5. JimHirshfield


        2. Dale Allyn

          Anne, if you’ve not already, you may like to shoot them (Slack team) a note regarding the email headers. They’re very responsive to such things. A very skilled engineering team there.

          1. Anne Libby

            I did! Thanks, Dale.

      2. Bruce Warila

        We use Slack and we like it a lot. However, we started out looking for a private messaging/commenting product that worked like Disqus. If given the choice, I would take Disqus-style threading over Slack chat.

        1. JimHirshfield

          Hmm. Interesting. You mean nested conversations is what you prefer over standard IM format? I like that.

          1. Bruce Warila

            Yes. And, every other bit of Disqus. I would take “private Disqus” over any other messaging product I have tried… (Except for the spammy “Martha Sunshine is now following you on Disqus” alerts that I can’t seem to turn off.)

          2. JimHirshfield


      3. Tyler Hayes

        Love it.Was not easy to want to convert from IRC. I am so glad I did now.

        1. JimHirshfield

          NSFW IRC, you mean?

  2. Rohan

    The only contender you missed is GroupMe.

  3. Sebastien Latapie

    I’ve been using iMessage as default, followed by facebook messenger, and more recently Snapchat. I’ve actually surprised myself how often I use their messaging feature.

  4. andyswan

    After switch from android I was blown away by iMessage. It’s awesome. No need for anything else except GroupMe for some of our larger more persistent friend groups.

    1. William Mougayar

      Why were you blown away by iMessage vs. Android’s? I went the opposite direction and finding messaging to be fine on android.

      1. Jessie Arora

        Agreed. I switched to Android and use MightyText (which is iMessage+ for Android) and it’s awesome. I have used Whatsapp with international family members for years and have noticed more US friends joining in past 1-2 years.

        1. chrispa

          ooo – I need to check MightyText out. I use Hello sms on android and I like it (but it’s nothing special – all the texting apps seem to be the same.) Thanks!I used Kik a bit with my kids….but they have moved to imessage.

        2. William Mougayar

          Trying MightyText now. thanks.

        3. Dan

          I use mighttext pretty heavily and it’s great…except when I first set it up and a call came in and I had my watch (pebble) vibrate, phone in pocket vibrate, bluetooth headset around neck vibrate and computer pop up an alarm. I kinda freaked out before changing all my notification settings and leaving the watch at home.

          1. Jessie Arora

            Yeah, I use the Chrome extension and sometimes feel overwhelmed with all the alerts but they are easy to manage.

      2. andyswan

        Real time connection between iMessage users. See when they typing, fast messages…felt like what’s app or kik but better because native

        1. JamesHRH

          Wow, which is what BBM was a decade ago. What a waste.

          1. andyswan

            Ya they had it all with BBM. I also like the way my texts just move to my laptop or phone or whatever. Though I’ve heard this causing more than one divorce…

          2. JamesHRH

            I think I mentioned it here in the last little while, but the Apple desktop is hub angle is definitely showing some life lately….iMessgae integration is awesome, Family Sharing on iTunes about 8 years late but still really good…..Safari to iCal calendaring has suddenly appeared everywhere and works super slick….

          3. thomasknoll

            Yeah, main reason I am slowly shifting more of my network from my google voice # to using imessages, because the conversation travels with me to the ipad/laptop

        2. William Mougayar

          I see.

      3. dovcohn

        Mobile-Desktop integration Apple users is phenomenal, especially with the new Yosemite – iOS 8 integration. Messages and notifications move seamlessly from my phone to my Macbook, depending on which device is active. I love that.

        1. William Mougayar

          Right…I saw that previously. The Xiaomi has its own native Messaging app too, and I find the nuances minimal between all these. Messaging is just a utility for me. They all sync to your contacts now and let you attach things, listen to voice mails, auto-respond, etc.

      4. Dan Kahn

        Likewise, I miss MightyText (for Android) since switching back to iOS.

  5. awaldstein

    iMessage mostly. Handful of clients simply text and it’s not changing for them.

  6. LIAD

    mega-groups on Whatsapp.Everything else iMessage – lots of those sent through the Mac app. (seemless sync with iphone, can knock out messages with photos etc in a flash)Failover to old-skool SMS if the message turns green when you send it, then offer up a quick prayer of pity for the person not on iOS

  7. JimHirshfield

    SMS wins over any messaging app in our family because we all have unlimited texting. That negates the benefit of Kik (which I have, but rarely use) or WhatsApp.

    1. Ben Kinnard

      Benefits of WhatsApp (and Skype) are bigger when you are abroad – for domestic use they are basically the same

      1. JimHirshfield

        Right. International texting is expensive…so I get what you’re saying.

        1. Dale Allyn

          Exactly, so I use iMessage (Apple Messages now), LINE, and WhatsApp for international stuff. All free for that use and fortunately just about everyone knows it.I’ve stopped using Google Chat or whatever it was/is called because every one of my contacts left it behind (and gmail is less prevalent among my Asian contacts anyway).

  8. JimHirshfield

    Hangouts is the default messenger at work, it would seem. I think that’s just a function of us using all the Google Apps, esp gmail.

    1. Vasudev Ram

      Do you have any problems with it? I and some others seem to have issues with it now and then. Skype seems to work better for me.

      1. JimHirshfield

        It works just fine. It’s mostly just there. IOW, we all use it, so it’s useful. Not really a tech or features thing.

  9. William Mougayar

    Too many…1/ Kik with Fred only 2/ Hangout, Skype or Facebook Messenger with startups I communicate with 3/ Viber with family & some close friends4/ SMS/Text when people are running late5/ I reinstalled WhatsApp for 1 friend on it

    1. awaldstein

      I bet this would change if you either and/or lived in an urban and public trans based reality and traveled extensively.

      1. William Mougayar

        How so- more viber and whatsapp?

        1. awaldstein

          More text, more calls, more WhatsApp.Different world when you get out of your car, have 5 meetings a day all by public trans and being on the move is the norm.Just different.

          1. William Mougayar

            I’m on Facebook Messenger, Skype and Hangout for that all day.

          2. awaldstein

            Great discussion.FB messenger used to be a mainstay but except in very specific communities not so much in the last 3-6 months.

  10. aminTorres

    I’ve always used iMessage and resisted Whatsapp for the longest time… but Whatsapp dominates the market in latin american countries. I am constantly shocked how everyday more and more people in the Dominican Republic use Whatsapp for personal and business.Yesterday, my mom told me that her doctor confirmed her appointment via Whatsapp.(my mom is a cancer survivor) and she arranges and travels 4 hours to Santo Domingo to meet a doctor without any need of other communication means. This is particularly impressive to me as my mother has never owned or used an email account or a computer for that matter. My brother set up a iPhone 3G for her about 5 months and all of the sudden the lady is a texting pro.Same thing for my dad, he makes me a video everyday of something happening in the farm. A cow giving birth (i know) the gras freshly cut… and again, these are people who never even learn how to type. Love technology.

    1. William Mougayar

      Amazing stories. Family first…even with technology.

      1. aminTorres

        hehe, that reminds me, the city hall was fixing a dirt road near his land and me made a video while driving his moto-bike, so all of the sudden I am teaching a 54 year old man about texting and driving safety hehe.

        1. leapy

          That’s great – you need to buy him a go-pro next 🙂

    2. kirklove

      Same. My wife is from Paraguay. They use WhatsApp nearly 100% of the time for communicating. The penetration there is remarkable.

      1. JimHirshfield

        Kirk no Kik?

        1. kirklove

          I Kik with precisely one person. He runs this blog. #pimp 😉

          1. bsoist

            Outside of using it to reach my daughter, and sometimes a few of her friends to find out where she is, I’ve used it just a few times to connect with three other people – one writes this blog, the other two read it. :)RE: WhatsAppI’ve run into a couple of overseas developers I was considering hiring who told me that was the ONLY messaging method they would ( could? ) use.

          2. ShanaC

            you guys seem close

          3. kirklove

            He’s been known to ghost me on occasion, yes 😉

          4. fredwilson

            got to keep the MAUs up!

          5. William Mougayar

            same with me.

    3. Mariah Lichtenstern

      Great story!

    4. Christie Ma

      I’ve had a similar experience with my parents (who live in FL) and their adoption of WeChat (to stay connected with family in China). My mom now uses WeChat to message me and my father finally bought his first smartphone a few months ago.

  11. Toby Schulz

    Cyberdust with work/friendsWhatsapp with family and close friends

  12. Susan Rubinsky

    Wish you included Snapchat on the poll. I use it all the time to communicate with younger people. My son, in particular, always responds to my snapchat but not necessarily to other messages.

    1. JimHirshfield

      Do you include a selfie with each Snapchat to your son? Maybe it’s your glare that gets him to respond 😉 something not found in your other texts to him?

      1. Susan Rubinsky


    2. thomasknoll

      I actually *really* love the “other” half of snapchat, the texting+facetime version. But, none of my relationships really use that side.

  13. JimHirshfield

    I use Disqus to message all you peeps. 🙂

    1. Kasi Viswanathan Agilandam

      I use reply to message you 🙂

      1. JimHirshfield

        I upvote you to upvote you.

        1. Drew Meyers


  14. Bernard Desarnauts

    I do mostly iMessage/SMS, whatsapp with my close friends in europe, and facebook messenger for a few others but more as a replacement for Chat than SMS/messg

  15. Ana Milicevic

    Whatsapp is my main messaging vehicle. Fred – it would be really interesting to add someone’s location to this poll: Whatsapp still has a ways to go in US adoption (if it ever gets there) but it’s become the de facto messaging standard in so many other locations.

    1. Drew Meyers

      In santiago chile, pretty much everyone uses whatsapp

      1. Robert

        Agree, that location matters a lot. In Spain WhatsApp is huge, in the UK less so.

      2. awaldstein

        throughout europe as well but less it seems than a few years ago as wifi is more prevalent.

  16. Chris O'Donnell

    Primarily texting with family. I’m trying hard to not depend on Facebook for messaging, to the point that I don’t even have Messenger or the FB app installed. I use the mobile Facebook website, which does give me access to messaging still, but the only people that contact me that way are far flung friends that I don’t hear from regularly.

  17. jason wright

    iTexting, which sounds so iMessage only between Apple devices?

    1. Dale Allyn

      iMessage is now “technically” named “Messages” in the Apple OSs. Using it between Apple devices is free, even if one has no texting plan on their phone, for example. It can also be used (seamlessly) to send traditional text messages to non-Apple phones, as well as manage AIM and similar service conversations. All done in the same UI as if they were all one service.Images and voice messages, as well as VDO can be included, but not actual VOIP calls like in LINE and some others.It’s quite good, but not without hiccups sometimes. Can sync/mirror to laptop and desktop devices if desired.

  18. Tom Labus

    Text and Skype. But I’ve started calling people up recently.

    1. JimHirshfield

      Calling people up? What’s that?

      1. jason wright

        Snappy chat brevity

  19. William Mougayar

    Things people will do for friends. I have Kik and WhatsApp installed just for 1 friend each.

    1. thomasknoll

      Everytime Fred mentions Kik, I install it to give it another go. But, I don’t even have one friend who uses it.

      1. andyswan

        You’re obviously not spending enough time on chatroulette getting Kik invitations from drooling men.

        1. thomasknoll

          I knew there was a sekrit!

      2. Oscar Jung

        me too 🙂

      3. William Mougayar

        I have a lot of friends that sync-up on it, but none seem to use it.

  20. Kasi Viswanathan Agilandam

    I don’t use text except for sending greetings on New Year eve and other festival days (roughly about 10-days/year).Use email to send messages to friends ….if anything urgent … i just call. Indian Calling cost is much cheaper now-a-days … it just cost 1c/min to U.S.A and local calls are 0.1c/min.P.S. one of odds who uses his cellphone to talk.

  21. pointsnfigures

    What about email? At Stocktoberfest, I met an engineer who told me about some new messaging apps that looked pretty cool-but I haven’t tried yet: Wickr, Talko, Telegram My family used to use Kik, but don’t because we started to get spammed by outsiders on it.

    1. JimHirshfield

      Yes! I’ve been Kik messaged by randos 3 times in the last 3 weeks. WhatsApp with that???

  22. Lance

    iMessage primarily because of the Apple network effect, photo adding and syncing across devices (many other apps do that last one too). WhatsApp because a few of my friends are wed to it, and as many have said already, they are overseas and do so because it’s free for them. HipChat or Skype with work groups, HC with Engineering and Product, Skype with Sales & Marketing. Candygrams to…you know who you are.

  23. LaMarEstaba

    1. Messages: it keeps iMessages as well as normal SMS on my iPhone. It syncs with Messages on my computers (I use a laptop and desktop seperately), so it’s really easy to use.2. Google Voice: What I use for people who leave me voicemails, aka my mother3. Whatsapp: for people outside of the US4. Cyberdust: really just for Mark Cuban’s daily posts5. Hangouts, but it’s primarily for video calls6. My nieces occasionally send me pictures on Snapchat. It’s normally of them posing at Krispy Kreme or next to a tank of crabs…Snapchat as used by teenagers is different from Snapchat in college and afterI uninstalled the FB mobile app from my phone. it’s so slow and crashes a lot, anyway. I never installed FB’s Messenger app. I was very creeped out when I learned about FB’s hyper-local ad targeting (will serve up ads if you live or have recently been in a certain radius of a business).… I just use FB in Chrome on my phone. Much faster, better experience, less creepy

  24. Cam MacRae

    Predominantly use WhatsApp because that’s what everyone has installed, but depending on the other party might use iMessage or Hangouts.WhatsApp seems to be under the pump at the minute as isn’t a reliable as it once was.iMessage also exhibits some weird behaviour from time to time.Hangouts is rock solid, but irritates me because it mirrors conversations from my phone to my laptop — takes a few cognitive cycles to discover if I need to take any action or not.

  25. Kasi Viswanathan Agilandam

    How many of you CAN text without seeing the ‘key pad’ or ‘cell phone’?….I have seen many of the young lads texting while in office discussion …. they keep the cell phone under-the-table and texting … looking at you and nodding as if they are listening to you. …

    1. JimHirshfield

      fire those people

      1. Kasi Viswanathan Agilandam

        seriously? will you do that?I just warn them and leave it at that…

        1. Tom Labus

          no cells in meeting rooms

          1. Kasi Viswanathan Agilandam

            We try restricting cell phones during discussions… but still some people sneakily use it.

          2. pointsnfigures

            turn mine off during sit down meetings-never check it. focus on what i am doing.

          3. Kasi Viswanathan Agilandam

            Yes. that is what i do … switch it off during discussions. General lecture or training … i keep it in silent mode and anything very-urgent i take it outside the meeting room.

          4. Tom Labus

            Hey, you set the rules

        2. JimHirshfield

          Well…I think you answered your own question when you said “warn them”…warn them of what? (my read: stop or you will be let go)

          1. Kasi Viswanathan Agilandam

            not to the extent of ‘let go from work’…but ‘let go from discussion’.I have not fired or seen someone getting fired because of texting during discussion.I think it is more to do with the culture….Indian people carry their family/friends to work … not like U.S…. where you work while you work. That is why i believe many Indians working for U.S. customers work 12-14 hours (of which only 8-hours is productive).

          2. LE

            Boy if anything screams out for “easier said than done” that’s it.I remember in the 80’s when we wanted to ban smoking at my small company. This was way before smoking was typically banned as it is today (hard to believe actually considering what it’s like now).One guy was the absolutely best employee hands down and he smoked. And he worked in the pressroom around chemicals and solvents (wasn’t a fire hazard just mentioning).We ended up letting him continue to do that in the Pressroom only because there was a door that could be opened to ventilate. But mainly because he was simply to valuable to lose. And he was addicted plain and simple. Upstairs though we had no problem. Nobody was so valuable that we weren’t going to draw a line in the sand. My manager also smoked as did many others but they weren’t as valuable so I was willing to take the chance with the rule change.That pressman, I believe is still at that company over 30 years later – he’s outlasted everyone. And no question I made money from him and considering the crap that came and went, in retrospect, it was the right decision. He was really key (speed and quality).The power of a primadonna. If you have a good restaurant or in many types of small businesses there is no doubt who calls the shots. And it’s not always the boss or the customers.

        3. bsoist

          I know some schools who have moved from “don’t bring your phone to class” to “bring your phone and put it on the desk where I can see it”Something like that might work. Like the “first one to pick up their phone pays for dinner” rule some people use.

    2. Anne Libby

      I’ve been inviting people to put their phones away at events I’ve been hosting. My perception is that people are mostly relieved.(Some who count on “taking note” on their phones, not. From now on I’ll also have (paper) notebooks available.)

      1. Dale Allyn

        I love paper and pen. Analog is so under-appreciated IMO. ;)I never quite got/get the note taking on a phone, or even sitting at a laptop and banging away in a meeting as if one is a court reporter.

        1. Anne Libby

          I recently saw an article that said that professors are starting to prohibit laptops in class, and that there was some study that laptops in these sorts of settings were actually harmful to the learning experience. (I wish I had saved the link to that one.)Definitely true for me. If my laptop is open, I’m likely to see something that moves my attention out of the conversation…so best to shut it, and put it away. Same with my phone.

          1. Dale Allyn

            For me, Anne, if I write something (rather than type it) it commits to memory better than just hearing or seeing it. For example if I write a grocery list I can shop without the list in hand (I frequently forget the list at home anyway ;). If I type something it is easier for me to recall than if i had just listened, but not as clearly or well established in my memory if I’d written it down.So my process is to scribble stuff down (I do this a lot during phone conversations as well) and then transfer those snippets and blobs to other areas such as devices, emails, outlines, etc.

          2. LE

            For me, Anne, if I write something (rather than type it) it commits to memory better than just hearing or seeing it.Same here. The act of writing or typing is critical to visualizing and remembering for me.

          3. Anne Libby

            Yes, me too! Unless I’m taking notes when meeting with a client, where the info will wind up in some of my work product, I rarely ever even look back at the notes.Here’s a link I did save, related:

          4. Dale Allyn

            Thank you for the link, Anne.

          5. LE

            I’m likely to see something that moves my attention out of the conversationAn old trick that I used to use and recommend for anyone cold calling is to have something to hand the person when you approach them.That way they don’t stare at you they stare at the object that you hand them (I call it a “prop”).This is similar to when you do public speaking having something on the screen or overhead. Audience doesn’t stare at you as much they look at the overhead and that can put a person not familiar with public speaking more at ease.

      2. Kasi Viswanathan Agilandam

        Young minds don’t follow rules … they like breaking rules sometimes for the fun of it. But when it comes down to punishment stage then … they “they say sorry with this EYE and expression” and you have to let them go.

        1. Anne Libby

          One of the interesting conversations I’ve been having with people here is that part of what we’re doing when we hire recent grads is teaching them how to have a job.(This is not a “millennial” problem. I needed to be taught some of the same sorts of lessons back in the day. Minus today’s tech.)

  26. kirklove

    Working with a remote team I use Slack 80% of the time with a dash of Hangouts. Slack is a pretty great app with a neat “personality”For personal communications it’s iMessage and a lot of WhatsApp as that is what Lili’s family uses like all the time. Ha.

    1. Anne Libby

      The Slack iOS update notice was really fun

  27. Robert

    I use WhatsApp a lot. When it was bought by Facebook many people in Germany switched to Threema, which I also use with a limited amount of people. It’s supposed to be more encrypted and more secure. I substituted iMessage for Hangouts when I switched to Android and occasionally still send text messages (but only if people don’t have WhatsApp).

  28. travismetcalf

    Apple’s OS X Messages app, now that it can handle SMS, has transformed the way I communicate. I don’t need to reach for my phone when I am at my computer. All my messaging is integrated into one application (AIM, Hangout, iMessages, SMS, etc…). When I am mobile it’s a mix of the iOS Message app and the Trillian app (rocking it old school).I’ve tried WhatsApp and KiK but the people I communicate with most often don’t use those services.

    1. bsoist

      Is SMS in messages new to Yosemite?

        1. bsoist

          Good to know. Hangouts is slow on mobile, so this might be a better option for my son and I.

  29. Brandon G. Donnelly

    I use iMessage/SMS probably 80% of the time, with the balance being Facebook Messenger and Snapchat (more recently).But I also knows lots of people using WhatsApp and BBM (I hate this ugly app). Most of the time they message me and I don’t respond for weeks because I forget to check. That, or I’m trying to get people to stop messaging me on these platforms :)Generally, I find there are too many messaging options.

  30. maxkalehoff

    Messaging works but is a mess at the same time. I use Facebook Messenger, because people message me there. I use Hangouts because Google Messenger merged with it. Now my SMS messages get all jumbled with my native Google Hangouts and other phone calls, and it’s tough to tell which is which. It’s almost like Google is trying to make SMS, phone calls and native Hangout arbitrary. Sometimes people direct message me on Twitter, as a form of messaging. It all makes for a somewhat disjointed experience across apps. It’s only my Android’s physical layer that kind kind of aggregates them onto one screen, one place, one screen — if that makes any sense.

  31. JTio

    Hangouts and Slack with a dash of WhatsApp.Use Hangouts for pretty all things personal. It is the iMessage for Android now that it holds Google Voice and SMS.Have one WhatsApp group that I started for my family before Hangouts. I tried moving them all over to Hangouts on a trip last year but that didn’t work (I think because we were all on Beluga and when it shut down my family was mad at me for picking a service that didn’t last so they didn’t want to try a new service like Hangouts even though it was from Google). :(I use Slack for business. Love Slack.

  32. jason wright

    no love for iPimp?

  33. c1ndygao

    wechat is huge in Asia and becoming big here too. just as weibo is not exactly twitter, wechat isn’t just another messaging app. it reflects the tendencies of in that part of the world to want everything in one app. wechat has a much more robust social element (photos, profiles) that some even use for e-commerce and ‘dating’ (you can chat to others based on location). it also was the first to introduce instant voice messaging.both whatsapp and kik have both borrowed from wechat, in terms of voice messaging and heavy use of emojis.

  34. Dale Allyn

    iMessage is my main tool of choice for messaging as it is a good “multi-tool” allowing for iPhone messaging, messages with Mac users (most of my contacts), texting, AIM, etc, etc. Messages show up on my phone, my desktop, and my laptop.LINE is very big in Asia, so having friends and contacts there I end up using LINE quite a lot. I use WhatsApp to communicate with a couple contacts who prefer it, but once Facebook bought them I’ve limited use of it and removed access to my contacts for the app.As mentioned elsewhere in these comments, Slack is a powerful tool, especially for business. The iOS app is very well done.

  35. Steve Amara

    Whatsapp and Viber are very popular in Africa so I’ve got used to these because it’s the best way to connect with my family/friends back home. And last time I was home (Cameroon), I was hugely surprised to see how much Whatsapp has replaced text message there. Even for business!Slack for business, and Couple with my wife. voila!

  36. leapy

    My kids all use Slack with their friends. My wife and her family (UK, Turkey, Brazil) combine emails with instant messaging through HOP and everyone else messages/Voip through Viber.

  37. bsoist

    SMSMost of my messages are SMS. I use it a lot to communicate with real people, but I also send a lot of texts to IFTTT and get a lot of notifications this way.HangoutsMy switch to Android brought this on. I have one friend who has an iPhone but doesn’t do SMS so he used to rely on iMessage to get me a lot, and my son always liked doing messages from his mac. They both get me on Hangouts now and I use it for Google Voice SMS and voicemail. I used to have SMS in hangouts too, but found it too slow for my SMS use.SkypeI tend to use this a lot when working with clients or partners on projects. Also get a lot of messages from people I’ve hired in the past looking for more work.Facebook MessengerI use this several times a week for certain friends who are heavy Facebook users.Cyber DustMy son and I use this a lot too. Only other use so far is to ask Mark Cuban questions about his thoughts on K-12 education – and to file bug reports and feature requests. :)KikUse very infrequently – mostly to keep tabs on my daughter.

    1. William Mougayar

      Cyberdust is getting mentioned here a few times. I’m gonna have to try it.

      1. thomasknoll

        +thomasknoll =)

    2. awaldstein

      Reading your list made me realize that for almost all of the larger/longer development projects I”m involved with, it’s predominantly Asana based.It’s not a messaging app but it is the skeletal structure for these projects. And a pretty decent one.

      1. bsoist

        I’ve used it and I like it. The tool varies from project to project, but any time I can keep project related messages “inside” the project, I prefer that – and the first thing I do is turn off email notifications. 🙂

        1. awaldstein

          As an aside the really great thing about Asana is sharing graphics in context. That alone makes it useful.

  38. Mario Cantin

    With wife, friends and clients I use SMS exclusively. With my parents who live 500 miles away and who don’t have smartphones, we use Skype. With overseas developers and designer, I use Hangout, Google chat, or Skype. I’m so 2010, right?

  39. Erhan Ulgen

    I use whatsapp, imessage, sms, kik and facebook messenger. I like kik messenger as it feels more private and not depends on the phone number. I use it with my close family/friends. I want to use kik more and avoid facebook messenger and whatsapp for more privacy concerns, however I can’t believe that you still cannot send multiple photos (must be a simple feature) in kik messenger, which makes me not use it most of the times.

  40. LE

    In no particular order of course.

  41. LE

    I also suspect that many people who voted use imessage but think that they are using text messaging on the iphone the distinction is not that clear.

  42. markslater

    facetime.We just had a baby on tuesday and the kids were not allowed in to Mass General to meet their brother due to enterovirus issues. So we facetimed and it worked perfectly!!

    1. Dale Allyn

      Congratulations, to you and yours, Mark!

    2. Anne Libby

      Congratulations.And so true, I wasn’t even thinking of FT as a messaging tool. I use it all the time with family.

  43. LE

    iMessage – I have to say that iMessage is great.People also think that having a colonoscopy is a big deal until they have one and after it’s over (and the results are negative (which means no issues)) they are surprised that they put up such a big fight.Edit: By this I mean that some things that you send from the iphone go by way of imessage and some things go by SMS.

  44. dan_malven

    Wow! What a geekfest!;-) Fun Friday topic on Halloween is about messaging and not Halloween related? I lodge a formal complaint against the proprietor of this establishment!

  45. Zachary Reiss-Davis

    I use iMessage where possible when I’d otherwise be using text messages (direct phone-to-phone with friends). I use text messages with people with Android phones. I use Skype with work colleagues. I use Hangouts for things that don’t need an urgent response, or is platform (mobile / desktop) -agnostic, with friends. I occasionally use Whatsapp with people traveling internationally with Android phones. And I’ll reply to Facebook Messages people send me, but not start new conversations there on my own.

  46. LE

    Here’s a helpful trick you can use in a pinch to sendan SMS from the command line.On the Mac (or Linux system etc.) open up a terminal window and do this:——————————$ mail <somephonenumber>@txt.att.netSubject: from LE of AVCDid you know you can send text messages fromthe command line?^D <– means hold down control key and type “d”——————————Below graphic shows what is received on the cell phone. Each carrierhas a different email gateway obviously you can also use an emailprogram but that might include more garbage. Besides using the terminalmeans that you can automate and shell program something.For example you could use “cron” or “at” to automate and send thingsat a certain time as a reminder. To one or many people. Learning shell programmingis about as simple as it gets by the way…and fun.

    1. Vasudev Ram

      That’s cool.IIRC, I used to do something like that on my first mobile phone (not a smartphone) – before smartphones existed. I had a BPLMobile phone plan (India) and after doing some one-time settings, could send email to people via the phone by sending a text message to some fixed number, plus including the email address of the receiver in the message, IIRC. (It was a feature supported by that carrier.)And now that I think of it, for a while, I used to access the Internet by email, before Internet access was common in India (it only came in 1995, except for research univs.). Used to use UUCP email (at the company where I worked) and tools like archie and gopher to get pages of info on all sorts of topics, from the net, to my email account. Lots of fun and learning that way, though it was a slow process – sometimes the response to a request via email would arrive the next _day_ :)Also used to access the Internet FAQ archives – – by that method or by ftp’ing to .

  47. jonathan hegranes

    As far as the “other” category, that’s probably the bulk of my messaging — consisting of Twitter DMs, WeChat, and Slack.

  48. thomasknoll

    For my team, we use slack for everything. It is both desk top and mobile communication platform of choice, for both work and fun.Personally, I use iMessage a ton for closest friends. That is on my “physical” phone number (which I do not even really know without looking up). Where as my google voice number, 415-935-3547, is on my twitter bio, in the footer of and just about everywhere. So, everyone else is in google voice/sms which is also tied to hangouts/gtalk.Facebook isn’t even installed on my phone, and FBMessenger is *definitely* not installed on my phone. So it usually takes me two days to see those and respond to them on the desktop.And, I am using cyberdust more and more often. Whenever possible actually. Where possible = someone is willing to install that app too.Oh, and tangential, but I banned email at my company:

    1. David Barnes

      Your article about banning email is the most useful one I’ve read. I don’t have the power to ban email in the company I work for, but I can start using alternatives in the way you’ve laid out. Thanks and good work.

      1. thomasknoll

        Thank you David! I cannot even begin to tell you how awesome it has been. But I would like to hear more about your experience shifting things that direction.

  49. Space Invader

    Well, if I may, I’m running something still very incipient for brazilian (or portuguese native speakers) Windows Phonefilos —> , created lately, with an article a day at least publishing vow. I’m working alone here, so don’t expect much please, and this is not my priority. Anyway, I’m investing in it and looking forward to hiring a web designer.Thank you very much in advance, best regards! SI.

  50. thomasknoll

    Seeing quite a few AVC community on cyberdust. I’d love to follow you! Willing to add details to this hackpad so we can get connected?

  51. Oscar Jung

    For us that are international message platforms are more important. I feel I can text everyone in the US but overseas it get expensive and not everyone have an iPhone. My GF is in Austria. Therefore I use WhatsApp, Viber or Skype. Viber and Skype is great because I can switch to talking for free and most 3G and 4G is more than enough. Why is Viber not in the poll? I would use viber if the emoticons were as good as the ones in Whatsapp.

  52. Ryan

    Besides super young kids that want to talk to randos that they meet online without giving out their cell numbers, I haven’t heard of anyone using kik…

  53. nick l

    Kik for my familyimessage for most of my friends (since they’re mostly iphone users)SMS for any friends who don’t happen to have iphoneWhatsapp for my international friends (used to live abroad)

  54. Justin Fyles

    For persistent groups, I use Whatsapp to chat with my former coworkers and European friends, and WeChat/Weixin to talk to my college friends. WeChat suffers from some serious feature bloat, but some of them are very awesome and unique. Everyone should check out WeChat’s new “Sight” feature – it’s great.For one-on-one chat, I use Google hangouts for my friends on Android, and iMessage for my friends with iPhones.Because everyone is so fragmented across platforms, I use our app Cast ( when I want to coordinate a group of friends to one place.@aminTorres:disqus Interesting, it’s the same with Weixin in China! EVERYTHING is done over Weixin. Many businesses don’t even use a CRM, they just Weixin their customers.

  55. ShanaC

    Too many

  56. obscurelyfamous

    iMessage, with all of its problems, is still the most consistently good messenger I’ve used. Whether mobile or desktop, it’s my preferred way if I had the choice.Hangouts and Facebook Messenger captures most of the rest.

  57. Robert Metcalf

    It would be interesting to see the poll results in terms of how many people use X number of messaging systems. I’m apparently a luddite and just use one!

  58. ijuarez

    here in Peru whatsapp is the king! #wasapear

  59. BillMcNeely

    I am starting to use for Slack for business. I guess others are too at a $1.1 B valuation

  60. Mariah Lichtenstern

    I use Google Voice to text b/c I appreciate the email notification and archive. Especially since I don’t keep my phone at the hip and I’m not fond of how slow texting is. My overseas contacts tend to message me by Hangout or Skype (the later I don’t leave open). Friends & family often messages me through Facebook. The native message app on my phone is seldom used because it sends from my cell as opposed to my G-Voice and I don’t want people confused about the best number to reach me at.

  61. Richard


  62. Matt Zagaja

    Mostly iMessage, Facebook messenger for a few people, and then Google Hangouts at work and for some others. I’ve found once people get iMessage working on their Mac they end up not using Google Hangouts as much.

  63. JustinHK

    Cross-platform messaging is really important to me for efficiency. If I’m on my laptop and somebody sends me a message, I don’t want to have to look at my phone when it’s much faster to respond rapidly on my keyboard. Likewise, I want to be able to do it without interrupting my workflow too much – e.g. I don’t want to have to go to my browser to respond to a message.Because of those reasons I’ve come to strongly favor Hangouts – I can seamlessly move between phone and computer and keep those conversations going. Facebook Messenger has a similar efficiency play on Android phones with the chat heads, but they fail on the desktop side.The new Mac OS SMS integration might sway me since it allows cross-platform communications, but I prefer Android devices and you can’t access or search the history nearly as easily as I can with Hangouts’ gmail history.

  64. Tom Maxwell

    I use Facebook Messenger mainly because I was never too social in high school, so I didn’t have many people to text, and so I developed — and continue to develop — lots of real-world relationships with people on the internet through communities on the web. Adding them on Facebook and chatting through Messenger feels a lot more intrusive into the life of someone I don’t really know than asking for their phone number.Also Messenger is beautiful, in my opinion.

  65. Marissa_NYx

    My kids & their friends used KIK , some as young as 9 (too young), many parents cracked down and banned its use. I always wondered why did the kids pick KIK – maybe the cute, short name ?

  66. Jesse Bouman

    I seem to be in the minority, but Snapchat is my go-to chat app. I use it on a daily basis with my closest friends. We switch to iMessage if info (like address) needs to be referenced later on.

  67. matthughes

    Email … not to be forgotten.

  68. Erin

    I use viber every day and love it. It’s free to text and call viber to viber internationally… especially awesome if your boyfriend is in another country. And the stickers are fun too.

  69. sigmaalgebra

    Sorry, e-mail. You know, the SMTP stuff. Rignt, as inthe old RFCs.Works great!I have easy, effective means of record keeping.I have no smartphone, but I don’t really need/want one.Instead, I want just one phone, the one next to mycomputer, which can dial the numbers, has all myrecords and notes, etc.

  70. AlexBangash

    I have started using Telegram. Does anyone else use it? There is always a VC trying to find the next big messaging app. Whatsapp, viber, hangout, messenger and SMS. Messaging is now becoming almost an app feature.

  71. Da Ge

    email, and Google Hangouts with Google Voice phone number, I most often use

  72. Sean Hull

    Let’s not forget Viber, WeChat & KakaoTalk. And then there’s LINE, FireChat & rather new Talko. I keep all of these apps in a single iphone folder, so the little red dot shows a cumulative total for all unanswered messages from all apps. I have AirBNB messager in there too.

  73. James Ferguson @kWIQly

    Afraid Kik may be the victim of a network effect.Because I have all I need by the incumbents – I have not even bothered to inform myself what (if anything) kik would do for me.This is not anti-kik – it just means they occupy no position in my mind.However if everyone started using kik – I guess I would have someone to message !Is #NetworkLoneliness a thing ?

    1. James Ferguson @kWIQly

      Checked the spelling of loneliness – Saw this article – Gottalove a low tech solution

  74. Lancewlars

    Slack. I found it a while back as I was browsing the a16z portfolio. Slack has three outstanding features. 1) Slack gives me the ability to seamlessly integrate chat on the computer/laptop with phone messaging (similar to iMessage). I hate nothing more than having to pick up my phone to respond to a text message, when I’m already typing away on my laptop. Yet, when the laptop goes into my backpack, the transition to phone messaging must be seamless. 2) Slack allows “heavy content” to be integrated nicely into the flow of a conversation. My memory is very contextual, so the fact that Slack allows an aesthetically pleasing way to place/find files, links, etc, in the context of a conversation helps me to find those files more easily (especially when I can’t remember the name). Finally, I love the ability to segregate conversation topics. This feature allows for quick, topical review of what has been said in any particular thread, even going back over a considerable stretch of time without having to wade through the meandering maze of “text consciousness”.

  75. Marco Moretti

    I have only spoken to him once or twice, seen him present once. Comes across likes a professor, basically. He appears to have no interest in business at all, projects an interest in everything that is not businessy about SW startups and yet he keeps coming back to the game. Weight Loss Tips

  76. awaldstein

    email and text are everything i are more important than i cause i have customers and partners that text me and i do what i have to.if you have employees who drive for you, calling is the only safe way to communicate with them.

  77. William Mougayar

    keep most emails short and bulleted…if more than 3 points are made, you’ve lost 95% of the recipients.

  78. Dale Allyn

    Rule #1: Please exclude me from all group chats if possible. Thank you. :)I hate group chats because typically someone(s) in the group continue to banter on and it pings everyone else until the convo. is deleted.

  79. bsoist

    yes – use email for business stuff

  80. bsoist

    I am fairly rigid about my email use, so I do tell people that SMS is the best way to get me if you need to – business or not – but it should not be for important discussions. A short message telling me what you need and where I might get more information or how we might discuss it further ( without resorting to email if possible ).

  81. LE

    Don’t text me for business unless we have a meeting and you’re late or have some other relevant, relatively urgent message.So to be clear you’re going to tell a buyer at Whole Foods rule #1? Or Target? Or someone who wants to book you on a morning show?I got a phone call last night from an important customer at 11:00pm. Not only doesn’t it bother me I’m totally fine with it. [1]Anyone else have rules to share?Sure let’s start with the golden rule.”He who has the gold rules.” Followed by “the customer is always right”.[1] Because it gives me an opportunity to differentiate myself from other people who might be competition.

  82. LE

    3) Never start a group business chat without my permission, especially with one of my employees in the group.I think you have to take the above rules and separate the ones that you use for vendors and the ones that you use for customers.Maybe these rules are ok for the person who designs the bag for your bread and you can call the shots with that person but it would be foolish to impose restrictions like that on people that pay you money or people that provide value to you in some other way (help for example).Back in the day the place that we colo’ed equipment at had a service outage. I happen to have the cell phone number of a guy from the data center. So I called him (it was a Sunday). He got angry and said something about it being his day off bla bla bla. So of course I told his manager. Had the manager not agreed with me and apologized I would have definitely ended the business relationship for sure. I didn’t really give a shit that it was his day off. You know why? Because my customers wouldn’t give a shit and I don’t make excuses or pass the buck. There is no crying in baseball you either win or you don’t. Other than death I don’t want to hear an excuse and I don’t give reasons other than death or near death.That attitude that the employee had of course (let’s call it “blue collar”) is why he’s working for someone and I’m not.

  83. thomasknoll

    hmmm interesting. I banned email at my company ( ) and require everyone to use slack for messaging instead.

  84. JimHirshfield

    And use email for business stuff.

  85. awaldstein

    One of the challenges with working with boutique and independent retailers is the order process–comes through from everywhere.Can find a good service or app. Considering building one but nervous as I’m not convinced that I can get everyone to use it.And yup–this company is not in a position to get everyone to play by their rules.

  86. Dale Allyn

    I’m a big fan of email for contact with customers (second to telephone, if we’re talking distant contact). I keep any emails which contain any useful content or guidance, and email is quite searchable for later reference.I use text (iMessage, WhatsApp, text) only with a couple very close business contacts, and typically for stuff like scheduling a phone call or confirmation that an action/transaction has occurred, or inserting an urgent message into something which is transpiring on their end.The rest of my short messaging is social/familial.

  87. JimHirshfield


  88. Dale Allyn

    I take phone calls from customers 24/7/365, and happy to get them – even if they’re just asking a question about something they’re considering doing that does not include a direct benefit to me. Fortunately, most calls come at times which most would consider to be pretty convenient.I also try to reply to emails very promptly, and that often means at 2:00 a.m. or similar. My contacts are in a broad range of time zones.Fortunately for me, text messaging is not a preferred contact method of the majority of my business contacts, so I’m spared the use of a method I least prefer.

  89. LE

    Exactly.I suspect that a great deal of the traditional work ethic has been sapped out of some young people (involved in the internet) simply because there are so many “just hold your hand out and grab” opportunities out there. Not a school of “grind it out”.If you’ve ever tried to build a traditional “customer is always right” business back in the day by cold calling or direct mail or word of mouth (on a non global level) from the ground up with no “OPM” and “runway” no way you would ever think of copping an attitude toward a customer. Or telling them that you want to reschedule a meeting because your child has a ball game or because you need some time off.

  90. Dale Allyn


  91. Dale Allyn

    Link breaks due to the inclusion of the closing parenthesis.Here’s the long and ugly link 😉

  92. Guest

    gah! thank you, fixed the original.

  93. Dale Allyn

    My pleasure!

  94. John Revay

    I think w/ iOS 8, you can remove yourself from group chats..and possibly mute them…

  95. Dale Allyn

    Thanks, John. I’m using iOS 8.1, but wasn’t aware of the ability to remove oneself from a group chat. I’ll look at that. Thankfully for me, it doesn’t come up that often now.

  96. John Revay…Take charge of group messages.Start a group conversation and give it a name like “Soccer Team” or “Road Trip.” Easily include who you want, drop who you don’t, and leave the conversation whenever you want. Or turn on Do Not Disturb and then read through the messages when you have time.

  97. Dale Allyn

    Thanks, John. Great tip. And thanks for the link.

  98. Dale Allyn

    My reply including thanks seems to have disappeared. Maybe it will show up later.From the Apple page you linked, the DND feature stands out to me because it allows setting Do Not Disturb by conversation, not systemwide. Great stuff.