With limited funds you might find the purchase of a 4G Android or other high-end smartphone to be an unnecessary extravagance. That said, it’s not like you aren’t going to go without a mobile phone these days, and forbidding yourself to buy a smartphone in 2011 is like refusing to give-in to buying a text message-enabled phone in 2001. You might save a few bucks going for an older model, but in the long-term its futile resistance to an inevitable purchase. Either way, the high-dollar upfront cost of the device plus the hefty addition of data usage charges can potentially be reduced with the simple act of downloading an app.
The Facebook Messenger app that is.
Released this last Tuesday, the Facebook Messenger app is essentially the messenger within the social networking site removed and isolated into it’s own individually accessible app. Users can instantly bring the window up and send a message, photos and web links included, to anyone else with a Facebook account. If another person has the same app, then you can conceivably practice text messaging without the actual use of your carrier’s SMS service.
Which means, theoretically, that you could never have to use text messaging again and can get rid of that service as part of your mobile plan.
It’s all part of Facebook’s plan to eventually take over inter-personal communications. By offering smartphone users an app that enables them to fluidly access the social network’s messenger service, Facebook is creating an incentive for consumers to prefer their service and at the same time, provoking mobile carriers to engage in warfare over the potential loss of text messaging revenue in the near future. The SMS system has made carriers big bucks for years and they won’t give it up without a fight.
In the meantime, go through your smartphone and figure out who you’re text messaging the majority of the time. Chances are overwhelming that these individuals have Facebook accounts. Tell them to get this app and spread the word and say goodbye to text messaging. More importantly, say goodbye to the ridiculously inflated costs of SMS service.
But don’t get too excited. This can possibly save you plenty of money in the short-term depending in your plan, but the phone companies aren’t stupid. Eventually they will transplant the price of text messages into the cost of data usage once they see enough business move from one to the other.
How will you know when this occurs? When they announce “free unlimited text messaging” to be part of their new plans.