Are there people you know who you only talk to online? Social networking sites with chatting capabilities combine the static elements of social networking with the instant gratification of online chatting. Many major sites are combining the two to serve the needs of their users while smaller niche sites are also popping up with both networking and chat available.
Social Networking and Chatting
Social networking is a broad concept that includes all sorts of networking websites, from business to personal. People use these services to network with others, catch up with old friends, and share common interests. Users can update their statuses, create blogs, share photos, and interact in numerous other ways.
On the other hand, a chat room is a less formal way to communicate. Some chat rooms can be entered by simply typing in a user name and password while others require a bit more information for your profile. Conversations occur in real time.
Social networking sites with features like chat rooms give users the best of both worlds. The biggest social networks are getting on board with chat rooms. Sites like Tumblr have added chat and Google has upgraded their system in the past few years. The demand for chatting and social networking in one place continues to grow.
Popular Social Networks with Chat Functions
All the social networking sites mentioned below have mobile applications to download. Chat features for these sites either have a separate app, like Facebook Messenger, or the chat is available within the main app.
If you are looking for chatting only, one of the most downloaded mobile applications in the world is WhatsApp. You only need WiFi to communicate and don't even need a cell phone plan. This reliable application also works well for long distance communication or for staying connected while traveling.
Facebook is easily one of the most popular social networks on the Internet. There are countless ways to communicate with friends on the network, and the addition of a chat room adds just one more way to keep in touch. More than 900 million people use Facebook Messenger each month. Facebook is great for general social networking.
The chat window on Facebook is visible at the bottom of the screen when you're logged in. Clicking on it will connect you to the chat if you aren't already, and show you a list of your friends who are also online. To open a chat window, simply click on the friend with whom you wish to speak. Facebook also makes it easy to start group chats with family members or friend groups.
With more than 5.8 million active daily users, the online messenger site Slack is gaining in popularity. It is designed for getting work done with teams of people. Users can set up channels for different topics like #emails, #general, #administration, and so forth. It is a highly rated platform among its users because of "its rich set of tools and options."
Users are assigned to an organization and are added to channels to streamline processes. Notifications are set based on user preferences. This online messenger is becoming a social networking site of its own; friend groups use it to stay in touch because the platform is free. Slack redefined the chat room while also improving business processes at the same time!
Google is known for its comprehensive suite of applications including everything from email to social networking to word processing. If you are using any of Google's social networking features, you can login to Google Hangouts to chat with your email contacts and any Google user.
One of the biggest advantages of Google Hangouts is the seamless nature of transitioning from text chat to video chat. It is reported this update occurred so Google could better compete with Slack. A user can talk to a friend, drop in links, and add photos to the chat, even while on a video chat. Google Hangouts are good for large groups; their video chats accommodate up to 10 people, and those using for work or education can have video calls with 25 people.
Want to build professional connections or network with others in your area? LinkedIn has a chatting feature that allows you to message people you are connected to as well as people you haven't connected with yet. LinkedIn says, "We believe conversations make everything you do on LinkedIn more meaningful and powerful."
It is popular among recruiters looking for qualified candidates, staying in touch with previous coworkers, and following up after in-person meetings. You can also add people to chats for group conversations. Because LinkedIn is a professional network, the content and uses for chats tend to relate to career-focused content.
With more than 166 million daily users, Snapchat is doing well in the world of social networking. One part of Snapchat used regularly is the chat feature. When a user sends a Snap to another person, it is possible to respond through chat. The difference between this chat option compared to most others is the chats disappear! The Snapchat 2.0 update boasts features any user would love. Snapchat has "figured out how to pull every way humans communicate - video, audio, text, symbols and, drawing."
Once you read and respond, the message you just read goes away. Snapchat chats are mostly reserved for friends responding to whatever photo you just sent. It is not typical to have long conversations on this platform as conversations are mostly through photos.
Users asked for it and Tumblr responded by adding a chat feature to the social media site. It is a "microblogging" platform that allows users to post all types of multimedia including clips, GIFs, photos, and text on their personal blog pages.
Users can follow other blogs and also make them private. Chats in this platform are sent to other users, most of which go by their user name not their real name. The company proudly released the interface in beta mode first, so it now has minimal bugs and works as expected. According to Pew Research Center, Tumblr's largest demographic is ages 18 to 29.
Social Media Tips
While chat rooms can be a fun place to catch up with friends and meet new people, there are a few things to keep in mind when participating.
- Remember that your profile information can be visible to those with whom you are chatting. If you don't know someone very well, be careful about how much personal information you share, both in chat and on your profile.
- It's easy to get hooked on networking and chatting, so try not to lose track of time while engaging in these activities.
- Be wary of people who join chat rooms just to stir up arguments. These folks are known as "trolls," and they seem to enjoy saying outrageous things or upsetting people. With most social networking sites, these trolls are usually easy to report.
Open Lines of Communication
Spending time on social networking is becoming more commonplace in our daily lives. Take advantage of the features available to you on social media including real-time chat!