Chikka: I.M. Free!

Chikka, a Manila-based company who quietly released Chikka Text Messenger on beta ten years ago, released their latest version that might start to change the way we remember what Chikka is in our lives.In 2000, as world Internet and mobile players were discussing the next “killer app” in the form of a mobile instant messenger that might hopefully soon be created, Chikka never had any doubts in releasing their first ever Text Messenger service. Since then, Chikka has served over 68 million people who had registered on-line and via mobile. And this year, the company is releasing the latest version of its Chikka Text Messenger.

“Back in 2000, Internet penetration in the country was a mere 2% but many had mobile phones and we were already a texting culture,” said Chikka founder Dennis Mendiola. “We enabled Filipinos to connect to an on-line IM community via texting which was second nature to us.” He also added that “Chikka is more relevant than ever. We observe for example that a lot of casual messaging previously exchanged via text has shifted to the social networks. Our latest version is being released, combining the cool convenience of sending an IM message when one is on-line with the personal warmth, immediacy even urgency of receiving a message as text, instantly read on ones phone,”

The new Chikka version features P1.00 replies during off-peak hours. I personally think that this move isn’t bad specially for us Filipinos who would fight over a 25-cent change to almost any of our trade transactions. Unlimited text packages are also available for consumers who spend most of their time sending IM’s or text messages.

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