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Best Instant Messaging Applications for iPhone

written by: Arnold Zafra•edited by: Simon Hill•updated: 5/19/2011

Still can't decide which IM apps to use on your iPhone? Here we've gathered ten of the top lits to help you decide.

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    IM+

    IM+ Quite interestingly, what could possibly be the best and most feature-rich IM app for iPhone happens to be the most expensive as well. While other IM apps are either free, or will only cost you a mere $0.99, IM+ will set you back for $9.99. And what do you get for that amount? Like I said, a feature-rich IM app on your iPhone that supports most, if not all, of the major IM clients including - GTalk, Yahoo, MSN Live Messenger, ICQ, MySpace, Facebook and more. And while you may have to spend $10 dollars to get this app, it will not cost you per message sent anymore. You can send photos, voice and messages and of course IM for free. And with the iPhone's push notifications plus multitasking if your iPhone is on iOS4, you'll always be connected to your online buddies. Other features of IM+ include speech recognition, Skype Chat, Twitter integration, custom status and geo-location, built-in browser, animated emoticons, Emoji, and more. (Price: $9.99) (Download link.

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    BeeJiveIM with Push

    BeeJive IM with Push Next to IM+, BeeJive is also one of the most lauded IM apps for the iPhone. In fact, it was selected as one of the best apps in 2009 by the iTunes Rewind. Like other IM apps for iPhone, Beejive will not charge you extra for messages you send. It lets you stay connected to your online buddies as well through push notifications and iOS4 multitasking support. The IM app supports AIM/iChat, MSN, Yahoo Messenger, GTalk, Facebook Chat, ICQ, Jabber and MySpace IM. It allows you to send and receive files including photos and voice notes. As a chat tool, this app lets you chat in real-time, quick switch between multiple simultaneous chats, group chats with multiple buddies, full unicode support - that is let you chat in any language, landscape option, chat history, and hyperlink and emoticons support. The app also has a great account and buddy managements system that allows you to manage your buddy list easily, merge multiple IM buddies, sort/group/search your buddy list, control your online status and availability, set alerts, sound and vibration settings. (Price: $9.99) (Download link)

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    AIM

    AIM for iPhone If there's one company who have pioneered the IM/chat market it has to be AOL. For their iPhone app, they've got AIM app. Unlike other IM apps, AIM for iPhone lets you chat only with your friends in the AOL network. But for its Facebook chat feature, you can chat with your friends even if they are not AIM users. Once you've connected your Facebook account all your friends and groups will be available in the app's Buddy List. Other features of AIM for iPhone include - post photos to your Lifestream, connect to anyone on the AIM network worldwide, see who's available before you contact them, view expressions and update status, send IMs and SMS text messages, view buddy list and IM conversations in landscape mode and more. (Price: $2.99) (Download link)

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    Fring

    Fring Although Fring is a VOIP app, it also serves as an IM chat facility for iPhone and lets you communicate with your friends from Fring to other social services including GTalk, Twitter, Yahoo Messenger, AIM, ICQ, and MSN Messenger. Fring also supports push notification and lets you stay connected with your online friends anytime. (Price: Free) (Download link)

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    Yahoo Messenger

    Yahoo Messenger If you're a heavy Yahoo Messenger user then you have probably accumulated thousands of friends on YM, and you'll definitely want to have this app on your iPhone. Why? To let you stay connected with your YM buddies, any time and anywhere. Yahoo Messenger app for iPhone lets you IM friends and family right from your iPhone. It supports both Yahoo Messenger and Windows Live Messenger so you can send IMs to your friends in those two IM clients. The app also lets you set your online availability, share photos, emoticons and links, and send SMS text messages for free. (Price: Free) (Download link)

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    Messi.im

    Messi.im Simply put, this IM app lets you send your friends an instant message including video, your location and picture using your iPhone. And since the instant message is sent over the internet, you don't have to pay anything for SMS or MMS charges. The app also supports Push notification and also allows you to send quick emails to friends who are not yet using the app. Other features of the Messi.im iPhone app include - readcheck to see if your friends have read your message, avatar pictures, block unwanted users, connect with friends immediately, live type, several push sounds, and push reminder. (Price: $0.99) (Download link)

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    Meebo

    Meebo Here's one of the oldest multi-protocol IM platforms making its way to the iPhone. Meebo is an integrated, all-in-one instant messaging app that supports major IM networks - AOL/AIM, Yahoo!, Windows Live Messenger, Gmail/GTalk, Facebook, MySpace and more. Meebo would not have lasted this long if it wasn't a great IM client. For its iPhone app, Meebo features push notifications, works over 3G or Wi-Fi, allows multi-nework access protocols, automatic reconnect, access integration, searchable and synchronized chat history, built-in browser, and advanced chat session management. For its chat feature, Meebo for iPhone lets you swipe to switch between multiple conversations, rotate for landscape mode, preview message from the chats list, use emoticons, search chat history, and sort chats by most recent or full view. (Price: Free) (Download link)

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    eBuddy Pro Messenger

    eBuddy Pro Messenger eBuddy Pro Messenger boasts of having more than 5 million downloads. That makes it one of the largest and most popular IM apps for iPhone. It's a multi-client IM app that supports AIM, Windows Live Messenger, Yahoo, Facebook Chat, GTalk, MySpace, Hyves and ICQ. This iPhone IM app lets you personalize your chat experience using various themes. It also lets you stay connected online with push notifications. You can also change your display picture easily using photos from your camera or photo library and you can send pictures and images to your buddies while in chat mode. Other features of eBuddy Pro Messenger include - landscape mode, horizontal keyboard, swipe to switch between chats, shake to send a buzzer, get new message alerts and one buddy list for all your IM accounts. (Price: $4.99) (Download link)

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    Windows Live Messenger

    Windows Live Messenger Windows Live Messenger for iPhone and iPod Touch is a fairly new app. It may have taken Microsoft a while to finally come up with this IM app but it is certainly worth the wait. The app lets you use your iPhone to IM your friends, view and comment on your friends' photos and status updates from Windows Live, Facebook and MySpace. It also lets you see what your Messenger friends are sharing on Flickr, YouTube and other social networking sites. The app lets you chat with your Windows Live Messenger and Yahoo Messenger friends, and that's even while you are on the move, of course since you're using your iPhone. It also supports push notifications so you'll get alerts whenever a friend has sent you an IM. (Price: Free) (Download link)

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    Nimbuzz

    Nimbuzz Nimbuzz is not just an iPhone IM app but also a VOIP app. But for its IM feature, the app uses your accounts on Yahoo, MSN, AIM and even your social networking accounts in Facebook, MySpace or Hyves. It also has push notification feature and lets you send photos and videos to your friends in the Nimbuzz network. (Price: Free) (Download link)