Before starting, it’s important to clarify that what you’re about to read is not intended to undermine the impact that chat apps have made. There’s no denying the fact that they’re simply amazing and have introduced unprecedented convenience and freedom into communications. That being said, simply ignoring the things that the likes of WhatsApp, Viber, LINE, and even Facebook Messenger have been getting wrong is hardly seems like a fair deal. The purpose of pointing out the shortcomings in these chat apps is not to blast them, but to actually highlight the issues that will hopefully get resolved in future updates. So let’s get started.
No Real Assurance of Privacy
Bringing this up this early may come off as a shock to most of you, especially those of you who’re already aware of WhatsApp introducing end-to-end encryption for its service. That all sounds greats, but has the threat of interception really been thwarted? Not really. As it so happens, almost all popular chat apps, including WhatsApp, are still very much at the mercy of spy apps that seem to be growing both in power and popularity with every passing day. These apps have the ability to give a third party unsolicited view of all the conversations taking place across the instant messaging services. Since this snooping is carried out discreetly and remotely, it’s not easy for a casual smartphone user to know if and when their device and chat apps have been compromised.
Loss of Focus
Well, to be honest, this is more of a subjective criticism than an objective one. Why did people feel the urge to switch to chat apps? Wasn’t it because they weren’t interested in communicating via calls? Some may argue that the migration from calls to chat apps was motivated by the desire to save some money because the latter are generally free. However, if that really was the case, then Skype’s popularity would not have plummeted after WhatsApp stepped into the scene. The fact is, people prefer messaging over calling because it’s substantially convenient. However, recently more and more chat apps are introducing free calling. What on earth is a free calling feature doing in a chat app? Additional features are always welcome, but they should be related to messaging, not calling. There is nothing more annoying than receiving calls on an app that was meant to be a chat app. If anyone wanted a calling feature, they would have installed a free calling app right from the start. The companies behind chat apps have certainly lost their focus and are now squeezing everything into one single package, probably thinking that “the more the merrier” works for everyone. It certainly doesn’t!
No Policing System
Although a lot of you would disagree with this one, introducing a policing system in chat apps has become absolutely essential, especially with them growing increasingly popular among kids. All kinds of messages, pictures, and videos are exchanged through these apps, and parents have little to no way of learning about these exchanges, or preventing such kind of communications. Third-party parental control apps do offer relief to some extent, but that doesn’t relieve companies behind chat apps of their responsibility to play a role in preventing kids from abusing the convenience and freedom offered by their messaging services.