Digital Marketing

Will social messaging apps replace regular SMS applications?

Social messaging apps

It seems like we’re reading about a new social messaging app every week. iMessage, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and many more have all become part of our daily lives. And, we have to grapple with newer apps like LINE, WeChat, Telegram, and others. Who knows what’s next in the realm of mobile app trends?

There are some who’ve said that SMS is dying. But many people still use SMS applications – and not just to message their mother. SMS is increasingly being used by businesses to keep customers informed during every stage of their buying cycle. And there are people who have opted out of third-party messaging apps entirely, choosing to only communicate via SMS applications to simplify their lifestyle despite the cost of sending messages.

The beauty of these apps is that each can be used for their own purpose. Here’s a quick run-through of what some of the available social messaging apps can offer.


By far the most used third-party social messaging app, WhatsApp has become ubiquitous for people the world over. Because of its generic messaging appearance and ability to function on just about every available smartphone, WhatsApp has become the social messaging option for everyone with access to the internet. It’s particularly popular for messaging friends and family who live in another country, negating the need for expensive international charges.

WhatsApp Business, which allows businesses to connect with customers, is a new offering that is currently being rolled out around the world and Clickatell has been authorized as a WhatsApp Business solution provider. Read more about the WhatsApp Business early access program or start the application process by logging in to your account today and applying to make use of the WhatsApp Business API via the Clickatell gateway.

Social messaging via Facebook Messenger

Facebook Messenger has become the go-to communication option for many people. This is large because it’s free, relying only on your internet connection, and offers the same features to every user irrespective of the device they’re using. This means no arguments between Android and iPhone users over the optimal social messaging option to choose from.

The Facebook Messenger is now available as a channel within Clickatell Touch – our omnichannel live chat solution which enables businesses to connect with their customers via multiple channels, all from one easy to use interface.


While Tinder is thought of as a dating app, it is, at its core, it’s an online social messaging app. If you haven’t yet heard, it works like this: you upload a photo and information to your profile and if other users like what they see, they swipe right. You do the same with the people you see. When you both swipe right, you’re a match and you can begin chatting online until, possibly meeting IRL (in real life).


For those who like to communicate visually, Snapchat is an increasingly popular option. It allows users to send photos over an online connection, either directly to friends or to all of their followers, with the addition of text, extra information like weather and location, and fun filters. What’s equally loved and hated about Snapchat is that snaps are only visible for 24 hours. Similar ephemeral communication apps include Whisper and Tango.

In a nutshell

As you can see, all of these options offer something a little different. They all take the basic premise of mobile messaging and expand on it, adding their own unique spin. But the regular and recent algorithm changes being made to social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram have shown us that third-party applications might change at any time. Who knows when social messaging apps, currently being used free of charge, will start charging for their use? Who knows when third-party messaging apps will completely change the way they work and the services they offer?

There are times when there’s no denying that the original is the best. SMS is used to reach more than six billion people around the world – about 85 percent of the world's population. Even the most basic feature phone can send and receive text messages, making it an ideal option to reach anyone, anywhere and at any time. There will always be a time and place for SMS applications.

If you're interested in reading more about why SMS will always underpin the biggest marketing and mobile app trends, read our article on the topic. It explores why SMS will always hold its own among other marketing options. Or, if you’re ready to get your SMS campaigns started, read more about Clickatell Platform or sign up for a free account today and enjoy free testing in our sandbox environment.

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