Send Text Messages for Free Using a Messaging App

Send Text Messages from Your Computer
You can send free text messages using AOL Instant Messenger and Google Voice. Jessica Peterson/Getty

Looking for an easy way to send free text messages? Many of your favorite messaging clients allow you to send free text messages to a cell phone. 

Depending on your wireless service plan, you may incur charges for text messages in certain situations. Using a messaging app is a great way to ensure that you avoid any extra data charges. Plus, when you send messages from your favorite messaging app, your conversation is stored within the app, making it a handy place to access all of your conversations.

Lastly, it can sometimes be more comfortable to message from your desktop or laptop computer, with full use of your keyboard and screen.

One thing to note when sending text messages through a messaging application is that the recipient of the texts may still incur charges, depending on the plan he or she has with their wireless service provider. 

Here's how to send text messages using a messaging application

While all messaging applications allow you to communicate with other users on that platform, only some of them enable you to send text messages to a mobile phone. Here's some to consider:

How to Send a Text Message from AOL Instant Messenger

AOL Instant Messenger, otherwise known as AIM, is one of the original messaging platforms. Today it boasts an impressive list of features, including free text messages, group chats, file sharing and social media integration. To send a free text message, download the client and log in on your desktop (or use the web client by logging in at www.aim.com), and click the mobile phone icon in the upper right of the menu.

Enter the name of the contact you'd like to send a text to and click the start button to proceed. For step-by-step instructions, check out Send text messages for free with AIM

How to Send a Text Message from Google Voice

Google Voice is a free service which allows you to perform many functions related to telephone calls.

You can set up your own Google Voice phone number, have your calls forwarded, and transcribe your voice mails. You can also send free text messages. To get started, sign up and log in for Google Voice by clicking here. Click the "Text" button at the top of the menu on the left side, enter your contact's name or phone number, and your message. Click here for step-by-step instructions.

While for many people, texting directly with friends works just fine, in other cases, it may be beneficial to use a messaging application to send texts. This is especially true if your mobile data plan has a limit on how many texts you can send each month. AIM and Google Voice are two great options if you find yourself in this situation. Have fun!

Updated by Christina Michelle Bailey, 9/7/16