Best Content Sharing with Messaging Apps

The more popular messaging apps become, the more they become personal and private social networks (like Grouptime). Users privately share photos, moments, links, voice messages, locations, videos, calendar dates, etc. with family and close friends. That raises the question, which messaging apps are the best for content sharing. The capabilities of the various messaging apps actually strongly vary depending on the content type:

Exchanging and sharing photos

In addition to sending text messages, sharing photos is probably the most prominent uses case with messaging apps. Nowadays all popular messaging apps enable users to easily exchange single photos. The newer and better apps allow users to send multiple photos at once (Grouptime, Line, Kakao Talk).

Grouptime displays the photos in large and without bubbles in the chat, so users can view them nicely and directly without the need to open single photos. If several friends post their photos to a chat, this creates a great album of an event or a party, and it is great to easily exchange photos with friends.

Some apps enable users to add a caption (description) to a photo. Good examples are group messaging apps like Grouptime, Touch, Groupme.

Location sharing

Messaging apps are pretty good for private location sharing. You simply select your location, and send it to selected contacts or a group of friends. Since finding one’s location with the GPS or network stations is not very accurate (sometimes it is half a mile/kilometer away from the real position), some messaging apps offer a selection of locations around the position user. These messaging apps use location databases like Foursquare or Google Places to offer a wide selection of venues. With Whatsapp or Grouptime the user can simply choose the location where she is at (e.g. shop or restaurant), and send it – automatically including the address – to her friends. This is also great for giving directions.

Location sharing with Grouptime

Location sharing with Grouptime

Contact sharing

Not a very prominent use case, but for those of you, who regularly need to exchange contacts from your address book, check out ChatOn or Line.

Sharing moments

In general, messaging apps are not really made for sharing moments. The bubble style chats are mainly good for texting. There are some messaging apps, that have started walls or news feeds for sharing similar to Facebook. However, you always share publicly with everybody.

If you look for an app where you can privately share moments with selected people from your contacts, maybe Grouptime is something for you. Unlike other group messaging apps, Grouptime works with instant posts like a private social network. For sharing moments with private groups like family and close friends the app is pretty awesome.

Sending voice messages

Exchanging voice messages is mostly a standard feature of messaging apps in these days. Power users have turned to specialized apps like Voxer, which operate more like a walkie-talkie.

Calendar sharing

Currently there are only two messaging apps that enable users to share dates from their calendar: Grouptime and ChatOn. We prefer Grouptime, because the group messaging and sharing capabilities are better to exchange dates.

Link sharing

Nearly all messaging apps detect links in chats. However, most of them don’t offer any functionality around sharing links. If you want a preview of links or YouTube videos (like in social networks like Facebook), try Grouptime.

Group sharing of links with Grouptime

Group sharing of links with Grouptime

The future of content sharing

In the near future the content sharing with messaging apps will offer better functionality and more content types (documents, drawings, music, etc.). In addition, we will see better integration into 3rd party services. Some of these upcoming features have already become visible in very basic versions in a few messaging apps. Still, this is just the beginning of content sharing with messaging apps.

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Easy Photo Sharing with Messaging Apps

Photo sharing has become a standard use case for messaging apps. If you want to privately share photos with family and friends, messaging apps are increasingly used for quick and easy photo sharing. While the large social networks like Facebook and Twitter are great for more public broadcasting selected images, messaging apps offer a great environment for a private and more personal exchange of photos with selected people and groups. Today I want to briefly discuss what features are required for good photo sharing and what the messaging market currently offers:

Sharing Multiple Photos at Once

Nowadays nearly all better messaging apps for iPhone and Android enable users to send a single image (from an album or directly taken). All popular messaging apps like Whatsapp, Facebook Messenger, Kik Messenger, etc. offer this feature, which is fine for quickly exchanging pics with single users. However, especially if you want to share several photos at once, sending single messages in a row can become tiring, and getting several push notifications in a row on the receiving end can be quite annoying. Grouptime recently launched an awesome feature and now allows users to send multiple photos (up to 10 pics) at once. This is great for two reasons: First, several images can be quickly shared at once, and second, the images are shown in a row and make nice photo story in the chat.

Grouptime: Easily Exchange Multiple Images at Once

Captions of Photos

Another feature required for good photo sharing are captions. Captions allow users to add a description to photos, without having to send an additional message. So far the only messaging apps offering captions seem to be Grouptime, TextMe and PingMe.

Large Photos in Chat

Most messaging apps simply display a photo in a small speech bubble like everything else in a chat. For photo sharing this is not really appropriate because the images kind of loose their beauty. Pics should be presented as large as possible in the chat. Some messaging apps have understood this, and now show beautiful, large photos in the chats. A good example of this is again Grouptime (see screenshot below).

Grouptime Shows Large Photos in Chat

Group Messaging Makes Things Easier

Of course to easily distribute photos to several people at once, messaging apps should offer at least simple group chats. Thereby you avoid having to share the same content over and over again in 1-to-1 chats. Besides, the more sophisticated the group messaging and sharing capabilities of messaging apps are, the more powerful the photo sharing with a messaging app gets. Messaging apps that allow you to define groups for e.g. family, friends, etc. make it very easy to share pics with selected individuals with one click. I guess, that is the easiest way to quickly share and exchange photos with family and friends. The messaging app with the best group messaging and sharing capabilities is Grouptime. Other apps with good group chats are Whatsapp, GroupMe and ChatOn.

Summary

Overall the photo sharing features of messaging apps are quite good. Grouptime is already a very good messaging app for photo sharing, and offers to exchange several images at once. This feels as if you are sending complete photo albums. If the innovation in regard to photo sharing with the messaging apps continues, soon there will be no need for special photo sharing apps anymore.