In this continually developing generation of technology, messaging has become an easier way for people to communicate, rather than having a simple conversation by phone or face-to-face.

Out of all the messaging apps out there, I find Kik Messenger to be the easiest instant messaging app for mobile devices, including iOS, Windows Phone, Android, Symbian and Blackberry.

And you can get it free at the App Store or on Google Play. Kik is very similar to the iPhone’s iMessage, as it has free messaging across different operating systems, offline messaging, individual chats, picture mail and no messaging fees.

Kik uses a smartphone’s data plan or Wi-Fi to transmit and receive messages, in order to dodge the text messaging rates set by phone service providers. It uses a username instead of a phone number, allowing for more privacy than text messages.

What sets Kik apart from the other messaging apps is its provision of group chat, transmission of videos, sketches and other content, as well as its easy accessibility and navigation. I use it all the time, even at school. Because Naches Valley High School uses iPads, I get the chance to message my friends (especially the ones who don’t go to my school) on Kik.

Kik Interactive was founded in 2009 by a group of students from the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada, who all had the ambition to create new technologies for smartphones. Kik Messenger was the first app developed from Kik, which also produces other apps that let you sketch, change fonts, make videos, create cards and play games.

Now, it is well received among users, with an average rating of 4.4 out of 5 based on reviews found in the iTunes store. As of late November, Kik Messenger had more than 29 million users. My personal rating is 5 out of 5. Kik’s just that great.

• Ciara Hansen is a sophomore at Naches Valley High School and a member of Yakima Herald-Republic’s Unleashed journalism program for high school students.