WhatsApp IM Client for iPhoneDespite our inclination to play Angry Birds and watch YouTube videos, the primary purpose of a cell phone is still for communication. However, in this day and age, there’s so much more to mobile communication that regular old voice calls and text messages. And that’s why you may consider some of these iPhone instant messenger clients.

It used to be that instant messengers were the realm of desktop computers, allowing for instant communication between people from all around the world. These days, though, we spend just as much time (if not more) on our smartphones than we do on our computers…and we still need to communicate with one another. And so, having the right IM client on your iPhone lets you keep in touch with friends, family, and colleagues in an easier, faster, and even more robust way.

WhatsApp Messenger

WhatsApp Messenger for iPhone

WhatsApp Messenger for iPhone

Strictly speaking, WhatsApp Messenger isn’t an instant messenger in the conventional sense. There’s no official desktop client for WhatsApp (at least not yet), but it’s one of the best travel apps for Android and it’s just as great on the iPhone. In effect, it replaces your regular SMS text messages, letting you send messages via a data connection (3G/4G/WiFi) instead, including the ability to send images. You don’t need to populate your contact list either, since it can pull this directly from your iPhone’s internal directory.

iTunes App Store: ($0.99)

IM+

IM+ for iPhone

IM+ for iPhone

Who wants to bother downloading individual IM clients for iPhone for each of the different IM protocols? It just makes more sense to have one app that can manage them all and one such example is IM+. It works with Facebook, AIM, Google Talk, Yahoo!, Windows Live Messenger, Jabber, and even ICQ. While it’s not a core feature, IM+ can also be used to view Twitter feeds. The “Pro” version with added features is $9.99.

iTunes App Store: (Free)

Trillian IM Clients for iPhone

Trillian iPhone App

Trillian iPhone App

Given its popularity as a desktop program, it’s not all that surprising that Trillian for iPhone is just as popular and just as robust. It too can handle multiple IM protocols, like Windows Live Messenger and Facebook Chat, but there’s also Trillian to Trillian messaging. As an added bonus, you can upgrade Trillian for iPhone so that it will synchronize with Trillian for Mac, making for a seamless conversation between the two platforms.

iTunes App Store: (Free)

BeejiveIM with Push

BeejiveIM with Push

BeejiveIM with Push for iPhone

Widely regarded as one of the most visually appealing IM clients for iPhone, BeejiveIM with Push is also one of the most expensive at a penny shy of ten bucks. That said, you do get support for nearly every IM protocol you’d want, plus the ability to share voice and image files. You get landscape support, group chats, chat history, hyperlink support, and even SMS out.

iTunes App Store: ($9.99)

eBuddy Messenger

eBuddy Messenger IM Client for iPhone

eBuddy Messenger IM Client for iPhone

eBuddy will support everything from Yahoo to GTalk, MySpace to AIM, and all of this works with push notifications even when you exit the app. You can switch between chats by swiping and participate in group chats too. Maybe you’re the type of person that likes to customize the look of everything? If you upgrade to eBuddy Pro ($4.99), you gain the ability to try on different themes.

iTunes App Store: (Free)

imo Instant Messenger

imo Instant Messenger for iPhone

imo Instant Messenger for iPhone

Like several of the other IM clients for iPhone on this list, imo Instant Messenger will also work with your existing IM accounts. You can use Facebook Chat, Jabber, Skype, AIM, Google Talk, and more. There’s also support for voice calls, photo sharing, push notifications (up to one week sessions), and a searchable chat history. Sharing voice notes is pretty handy too.

iTunes App Store: (Free)

Image credit: apple.com

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