Any good Skype/MSN alternative for text chatting?

I originally used Skype for video and MSN for text chatting, but once Skype gobbled up MSN, I got put off using it since there are many times I’d prefer not being online for voice/video chatting.

What I really miss from MSN is custom emotions. Sure, there were some users that went overboard with them, but I personally found it made using MSN far more enjoyable, especially with creative use of them.

The following is a random example where MSN was open in a screenshot I took several years ago, in this case about a new espresso maker:

To give another example - although Kate Perry’s music video Roar (link) didn’t use an actual IM app (if it is, please mention), I’m sure it wouldn’t be quite the same had it been done with a Skype app. :disagree:

Another feature I use to like with MSN was ability to send pictures, especially the earlier versions which made it easy to send huge attachments that were too big for e-mail and didn’t involve a tedious web based file sending service.

If anyone is using an alternative to Skype/MSN that supports custom emotions or file transfers, please mention it here. :iagree:

I haven’t tried it but maybe someone can post about the Google chat features.

I do have a Google Voice phone number & it’s free at least for now.
The reason I mention that is it’s tied to Google chat & gmail.

I use whatsapp to talk on my smart phone…I talk internationally…doesn’t cost a dime

I use Skype but I must admit the icons are lacking.


Facebook Messenger

None of which can replace MSN Messenger.

Since I started this thread, I’ve done a fair amount of research into this and basically came to the following conclusion:

[li]The WLM (MSN Messenger) protocol appears to be the only service that supports sending/receiving custom emotions. The other main protocols - Yahoo Messenger, AIM/ICQ, Google Talk and Skype do not support sending custom emotions.
[/li][li]Every Instant Messenger client that supports custom emotions either relies on the WLM protocol to send the emotion or only displays custom emotions locally. For example, if I add a custom emotion and use it, the other end will only see the text unless they add this same graphic emotion to their client also.
[/li][li]No third party messenger supports Skype natively. Those that support the legacy WLM protocol (Pidgin, aMSN, etc.) will stop working once Microsoft fully shuts down its WLM service in March 2014. So if I do decide on another messenger client, I need to get my buddies to switch also.

One I’m tempted to give a try is Google Talk. Its software client certainly looks a lot less clunky than Skype. Its interface is very basic - Contacts list with an option to set online status/message and a chat window with a simple text entry. Interestingly for a Google product, it doesn’t have ads, at least for now.

ICQ was the best of all, but it died so many years ago.

SK’s NateOn was good for transmitting large files which was virtually impossible with MSN Messenger, but more than half of Westerners seemed to use MSN Messenger and more than half of South Korean office workers seemed to use MSN Messenger only.

Skype was a little bit better for video communication, but the interface seemed ugly and fast text chatting seemed inconvenient. Since Microsoft’s acquisition of Skype, I think it’s being fast forgotten even by Microsoft itself.

Tencent’s WeChat has 460 million. WhatsApp 300 million. NHN’s Line 260 million. Kakaotalk 120 million. The world’s largest non-mobile messenger is either Facebook, Yahoo Messenger, AIM, MSN/Skype, or Tencent’s QQ. Tencent’s market value is a little over US$100 billion. WhatsApp was started by two former Yahoo employees and is wanted by both Facebook and Google. Kakaotalk was started by some fomer employees of NHN of Naver which in turn was part of Samsung. Line is a product of NHN.

Numbers are important because they mean advertising income. The founders of WhatsApp will not sell Whatsapp at the price of Skype when it was sold to Microsoft. WeChat and Line were started by large IT companies in 2011. WhatsApp and Kakaotalk were started by former engineers of large IT companies in 2010 and 2009 respectively. At first, most Western users seemed to use WhatsApp. Most Chinese users chose WeChat. Most South Korean users chose Kakaotalk. Most Japanese users chose Line. That’s no more true. There are more than 100 million non-Chinese WeChat users and more than 200 million non-Japanese Line users. Two thirds of Kakaotalk users live outside South Korea.

Most non-mobile messengers by now support iOS, Android, and Windows Phone. Likewise, most mobile messengers support Windows, Linux, and Mac OS.