RIM has found success with its BBM service for Blackberry, and Apple have announced iMessage for communicating between iPhones, but a cross-platform messenger app has yet to step out and really lead the field. Yes there is WhatsApp and Kik amongst others, but neither have the market penetration to be the truly universal messenger app that we all yearn for – and Samsung is going to step into the ring with the launch of its ChatOn service.
ChatOn will be available for the platforms Samsung produces devices (Android, WP7, and its own Bada), but also on Blackberry, iOS, and even feature phones – that is truly cross-platform. The service will support group and 1-to-1 conversations and will support text, images, calendar appointment, and contact sharing on feature phones, whilst adding support for sharing other media like videos on smartphones. The availability in 62 languages from the word go will probably not hurt either.
Samsung will be facing some serious competition from Facebook which launched its cross-platform Facebook Messenger last week and obviously already has a massive userbase, although they have still only launched in the US so far. The Facebook app does not support feature phones to the same extent either, so that backwards compatibility may give the ChatOn Network a quick boost.