Chikka shutting down after two decades of free texting service

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In a time before smartphones ruled our lives, the Philippines was considered the texting capital of the world, and Chikka was one of the forces that helped establish this.

But all good things come to an end. The company behind Chikka has declared it will be closing shop by the end of March.

According to a post on Chikka Philippines’ Facebook page, users have until March 31 to use the free text service offered on the website and app.

Long time users of the service offered their thanks and shared fond memories of being able to reach out to loved ones despite limitations on their budget, through Chikka.

Some netizens lamented that there’s a reason now to top up their pre-paid cell service.

More than being just a means to reach out, it appears Chikka also helped to facilitate a lot of romances during its time. Fans of the service humorously reminisced about using Chikka to reply to former suitors-turned-husbands, and even girlfriends.

But one netizen may have summed up everyone’s sentiments, through a hugot.

Chikka began as a small program for Windows PCs which allowed users to send text messages for free. While recipients would be charged for replying, the ability to send texts at zero cost still proved useful for thrifty Filipinos. This is especially true when sending group texts.

When smartphones entered the market, Chikka spawned an Android and iPhone app which also offered free texting capabilities. JB

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