Messaging apps have transformed the way we used to communicate, and now it’s much better and more convenient than it was decades ago. Since they added tons of useful features, messaging apps have become more popular than social networks.
The more choices you have, the more difficult it can be to decide. So, how do you pick the best messaging app for you?
If you can’t decide which one is right for you, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve done the heavy lifting by sorting out a list of the best messaging apps with a set of specific features that set them apart from the crowd.
1. WhatsApp (Android, iOS – Free)
Whatsapp is the most popular messaging app, which lets users send messages, files, make voice and video calls, etc over cellular data or WiFi, regardless of their location.
You’ll need a phone number, and all data are end-to-end encrypted. Facebook has acquired the app in 2014 since then WhatsApp has grown its audience to over 1 billion daily active users.
When it comes to features, Whatsapp used to fall behind its direct competitors, but not anymore. The app has brought many new features, such as emoji, dark mode, self-destructing messages.
However, its simplicity and reliability are what make it the best of its kind. With low mobile data, you can get it to work, you may not be able to send media files but your messages will go through.
WhatsApp now lets you delete and revoke messages after you’ve sent them. This is handy if you’ve sent a message to the wrong recipient. Now you’re able to delete that message as long as you and the receiver are using the latest Whatsapp version.
In its place, your recipient will see a “This message was deleted” notice. But, you can only delete messages for up to seven minutes. Otherwise, you won’t be able to do that.
It used to have a $1 fee per year, with the Facebook acquisition it’s now free. Most people are worried about their info being shared with Facebook, but WhatsApp has allowed users 30 days to opt out of that option.
If you’re a new user, you’ll get the chance to change your preferences. If you miss that opportunity, you’ve got two options. You can either stop using the service or accept Facebook to share your data with third parties.
2. Viber (Android, iOS – Free)
Viber, another well-known and popular messaging app with over 800 million users, is one of the closest competitors to WhatsApp. It does what a text message is intended to do.
When it comes to features, Viber offers more than WhatsApp does. What makes Viber stand out is its “Viber Out” feature. With that feature, you can call non-vibers anywhere in the world at low rates.
This app is an all-in-one communication app, it has many features that users might not even be aware of. You can send money, big files (up to 200 MB), back up your messages to iCloud, etc.
Businesses have access to a public account, where users can join them to stay updated. They recently rolled out self-destructive secret chats, a feature that multiple messaging apps have incorporated lately.
3. Facebook Messenger (iOS, Android, Mac, Windows, Web – Free)
With over 1 billion users, Facebook Messenger is the second most popular messaging app. It is more than a messaging app. Messenger gets not only you connected but also makes your conversation more productive.
Once you’re connected, the app makes sure it can take handle most of the common tasks in the conversation. Whether you want to send money, request an Uber/Lyft, share your location, receive details of an online order, Messenger got your back.
The app has even its own automated assistant that offers suggestions to you and your group during your conversations. Messenger can also integrate with different other apps to give you a better user experience.
A few years ago, the company introduced a new version of the app for children under 13, Messenger Kids. It’s not sure if parents will trust Facebook with their kids after how the company’s been treating its adult users.
With so many features, the app has become too cluttered. The head of Messenger promised to simplify and streamline the app this year. So expect to see a heavy update coming up soon.
Contrary to what many people think, you don’t actually need a Facebook account to use Messenger. With your mobile phone number, you can use the app. So, don’t worry if you don’t have a Facebook account.
4. LINE Messenger (Android, iOS – Free)
LINE serves over 200 million people. It’s one of the most popular messaging services in Asia, however, it’s still unknown in certain countries.
This app is a robust and promising messaging app with quite some awesome features. It offers free calls, videos, and messages between Line users. It has a “LINE Out” feature similar to Viber, where you can call non-line users with VoIP rates, which are cheap when compared to mobile minutes rates.
Here’s an interesting fact about LINE. Some countries ban messaging apps that offer free calls between users, however, LINE manages to get its app working in those countries.
This is a clear advantage for LINE to grow its audience. You can follow the official accounts of celebrities, brands, companies to keep in touch with their updates.
5. WeChat (Android, iOS – Free)
This app has lots of great features that many other messaging apps will eventually start using. WeChat Moments is where you can post photos or videos, people can like and comment on them.
Payments is another innovative feature adopted by Facebook Messenger lately. WeChat has been using it since 2013, it allows users to send money, pay bills, etc.
Another great feature of this app is WeChat Shake. Whenever you want to talk to somebody, just shake your phone and you’ll be matched with other people that are shaking their phones too.
It’s an awesome feature, you can make new friends and get to know more people. You can use Friend Radar to find friends nearby.
6. Messages (iOS – Free)
iMessage is Apple’s built-in instant text messaging service. The app lets you send texts, photos, videos, voice notes, location, etc to anyone who’s using iMessage on iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Mac, or Apple Watch.
You should note, your Mac needs to run macOS X Mountain Lion or later in order to use iMessage. Follow this step-by-step guide to set up iMessage on your Mac.
With your Apple ID, you automatically can send and receive text messages across all your Apple devices. iOS 10 brought a myriad of new features to iMessage. Now you can send stickers and games, share music from Apple Music, send drawings, or send animated GIFs.
That’s not all, the blue bubble messaging app keeps getting better and better. Recent iOS updates have brought even more features to the app. There are countless new features for users to discover, and the biggest ones are, of course, Animoji and Memoji.
Introduced with the iPhone X, besides the animated emojis, iPhone users can create customizable avatars built by choosing skin, eyes, hair, lips, accessories, etc. iMessage is by far the best text messaging app for iPhone.
The only downside of iMessage is it’s iOS-only and don’t expect Apple to expand it to other OS anytime soon. The company believes that keeping iMessage iOS-only brings more value to owning an iPhone.
7. Snapchat (Android, iOS – Free)
Snapchat is best known for a self-destructing photo and video sharing than a messaging app. What makes this app so popular, specifically among youngsters, is the self-destructing nature of its text messages.
Users can send each other short videos, photos, or messages called Snaps, which are only visible after a predetermined amount of time before disappearing.
The app has made a reputation with its creative and funny filters, lens, and doddles that teenagers love so much. They have been an inspiration for many other messaging apps. Follow this beginner’s guide for the best Snapchat hacks, tips, and tricks.
What we like most about the photo- and
We got many other good messaging apps like Telegram, Signal, Slack, Skype, etc. You should base your choice on your needs and what your friends are using. What might be the best messaging apps for you, may not be the case for somebody else.
If you need accessibility, an App just to text, WhatsApp should be your choice. With over 1 billion users every day, it’s likely most of your friends are already using it.
Do all your contacts have iPhones? There is no need to look any further, iMessage, the best messaging app for the iPhone, is the right choice for you. You’re looking for features, more doing? Viber, LINE, WeChat, Facebook Messenger should be under your consideration.
If you’re concerned about your privacy, Signal and Telegram are the best encrypted messaging apps. Signal even has its code accessible for independent review, so anyone can verify how strong is its encryption.
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