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Yahoo's Hub jumps into Android messaging arena, adds free-to-send SMS

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Yahoo has launched a new messaging app, Hub, for Android 2.1 and up. Hub competes directly with BBM and iMessage, allowing users to send and receive free SMS messages, alongside individual and group chat.


The mobile market has no shortage of messaging apps — RIM's BlackBerry Messenger, Apple's iMessage, Kik, WhatsApp, PingChat (now called Touch), Facebook Messenger, and others all offer some degree of SMS-like functionality without the fees typically associated with that kind of service. Yahoo has decided to throw its hat into this crowded ring with a new Android app called Hub. The app offers single and group message chat service that exists alongside Yahoo's popular Messenger service rather than being integrated into it. Hub also includes the ability to add participants to a conversation mid-stream, although it lacks the ability to tell when the other party is writing a reply, a feature that both RIM's BlackBerry Messenger and Apple's iMessage have.

Hub also allows users to send free text messages, even to people on other platforms, and with no requirement that the recipient install the app. Right now, Yahoo supports free SMS messages in Canada, Indonesia, India, Kuwait, Malaysia, Philippines, Pakistan, Thailand, the United States and Vietnam — although recipients might still be charged, depending on their carriers.

Yahoo is the latest in a long list of companies vying to supplant RIM's once-dominant BBM messaging service. With RIM facing stiff competition on all sides, the company will need to hit big with their BBX phones in 2012 if it wants to keep its mobile messaging crown