Mobile IM - is it really IM?
I've been using MIM this past week - an embedded client and a Java client, trying both out for size. It's Wireless Village stuff - OMA IMPS standard for the technical - which means a protocol aimed specifically at wireless devices. The server has a peering connection with Google Talk and I'm just waiting for an MSN client so that I can also use MSN.
Now, there are reports around that when users come up against a mobile version of MSN or Yahoo (or other desktop IM services), they rapidly run out of enthusiasm for the venture. Why? Well, suddenly IM becomes not so instant. Moreover, multiple conversations - which youthful users are accustomed to - just don't happen on a mobile (the interface can't do it very well, or at all).
When IM-ing with deskbound buddies, I found the disparity obvious. Fairly long and rapid responses versus my pithy and slowly typed bullet points (and yes - I can use predictive text quite well).
Positioning here is that this is mobile IM and therefore it is IM on the phone, which it clearly isn't - the experience is quite different. However, when it comes to swapping pings with another mobile buddy, it's a different story. It's like texting, but better. There's presence to see if the buddy is online, which texting doesn't have. There's a chat session visible on the screen, which texting also doesn't have (as texting interfaces almost always assume "fire-and-forget", not a session).
Let's see how Three's huge promotion of Mobile MSN Messenger works out - "free for life" (if you pay for a beefy tariff of course).
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