Chikka IM V4 is text messaging software designed by Chikka Philippines and released in 2000. It partnered with local network operators like Smart Communications, Sun Cellular, and Globe Telecom in the succeeding years. Using this program, users can send text messages or SMS to mobile numbers of participating networks free of charge through free SMS credits. SMS stands for Short Messaging System. Chikka means ‘small talk’ in colloquial Filipino language. It is the first ever instant messaging desktop client that facilitated PC-to-mobile communications.
Chikka IM V4 works by allowing users to register mobile phone numbers as buddies. A name is assigned per number. Users then click on the buddy name and an input message box pops up. The user types in the message and clicks Send to send the SMS. Registered users may receive messages even if they are offline. Chikka IM V4 lets users detect whether a person is online or using their mobile phone. People who receive the Chikka text messages may reply to the Chikka message and even save the Chikka number used by a registered person for sending text messages at another time. Chikka messages costs vary from network to network. However, when a buddy replies to the Chikka message or sends a text message to the Chikka number, the registered user’s free SMS credits increases.