Richard Quinn is a freelance writer in New Jersey.
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Explore This IssueJune 2016
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A Who’s Who of Communication Tools
Alternatives to email have proliferated in recent years, yet technology research firm The Radicati Group reported last year that there are 2.6 billion email users worldwide. Said another way, one in every three human beings uses email. Some use other services, such as:
- Facebook Messenger: A free instant-messaging service available on both desktops and mobile devices, it offers real-time connectivity. The service had 800 million users as of January 2016, according to statista.com.
- Twitter: The online social networking site offers private messaging. People must be connected to each other to use the service. The company reports 320 million active monthly users.
- Skype: An application that allows video and voice calls. Set up as a so-called “freemium” model, meaning basic services are free but premium services can cost monthly. Statista.com reported 300 million active monthly users last year.
- Google Talk: At 10 years old, the grandfather of instant messaging services allows for both real-time texting and video calls. Part of Google+, which statista.com last year said had 300 million active monthly users.
- Vine: A video-sharing service where users can transmit six-second clips, Vine is owned by Twitter. In May 2015, it reported 100 million monthly views.
- Periscope: Live-video streaming service available as a mobile application, the service was launched in March 2015. It is also owned by Twitter. It had a reported 10 million accounts as of August 2015.
- Evernote: This organizational app allows for shared files and has a talk function. Statista reported 150 million users as of July 2015, up from 100 million a year earlier.
- Slack: Another organizational app that aggregates information from other apps giving a user access to communications from various tools in one spot. It recently launched additional phone and video services. The company has reported 2.3 million active daily users, 675,000 of whom pay for the service.