Are you a user of the messaging app WhatsApp? For iOS users, using WhatsApp required a one-time $0.99 fee while Android users get to use it for free, but only for a year. After the first trial year, Android users need to pay an annual fee of $0.99 for the service.
If you are part of the crowd who don’t like paying for messaging apps, we’ve got 10 awesome alternative free messaging apps you can try.
Not only are the following messaging apps the perfect alternatives for iOS and Android users, we also looked into getting alternatives for other mobile operating systems like Blackberry and Windows Phone. This way, you can contact more of your friends regardless of the mobile OS they are on. What was that beep? Did you just get another WhatsApp reminder to upgrade? Time to make the switch.
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Telegram is a popular messaging platform that is simple to use and offers secure messaging services across different devices. It prides itself on being one of the fastest messaging services through a global distributed network.
Telegram offers a secure platform of communication as chats, groups, and media everything else is encrypted. There’s also no limit on sending and receiving media through the app and you can backup your chats in the Telegram cloud.
Signal is a user-friendly messaging app with a greater focus on user privacy. You can use it to send and receive text, voice, and video messages and calls to anyone across the globe.
What’s most interesting about Signal is that it offers reliable end-to-end encryption for all messages and calls. Also, the app is fast even on slow networks and you can switch between light and dark themes.
Zalo is a feature-rich messaging app with a high level of privacy. It allows you to make seamless video and voice calls on both WiFi and 3G. There is also a bundle of cool emoticons and stickers and it integrates with Facebook and Google+.
Viber is very similar to WhatsApp as it uses mobile contact numbers to identify users. You get an access code sent to your mobile number via text message. It’ll then access your address book to see if any of your contacts are connected to Viber; you can then instantly connect with them.
Unlike WhatsApp, Viber allows you to call users, provided your smartphone is connected to the Internet.
LINE registers your phone number into its database where you can then connect with your phone contacts who are LINE users. An advantage of LINE is that it allows you to reply to messages by installing a PC or MacOS program, provided you register your number with an email account.
Besides text messaging, you can call other LINE contacts through the app with an Internet connection.
KakaoTalk Messenger also uses your mobile phone number to send you a 4-digit verification code when you register for an account. It then goes through your contacts to find for other KakaoTalk users, similar to how WhatsApp does it.
There is also the ability to start group chats, send pictures or audio notes, and share calendar and contact information. Oh, and it does calls too, to other Kakaotalk users over an Internet connection.
The Facebook Messenger app for both iOS and Android has been around for some time now and since you’re connected to most of the friends you want to communicate with, Facebook Messenger can be a great WhatsApp replacement. Only drawback is that you can’t use it to communicate with friends who are not on Facebook.
Skype recently merged its contacts with old MSN or Hotmail accounts and its contacts, connecting you to some pretty longtime friends. Nostalgia aside, Skype is not only a great way to call for free, it also allows for text messaging with your contacts.
Unlike WhatsApp, you’ll have to approve contacts before you can start sending messages but its reliability and stability make it a suitable replacement.
Groupme caters to people who want to chat in a group. You log in with your email and then verify your phone number by sending an SMS with a code to the provided number.
What’s unique about this app is that it supports group messaging over SMS. So in the event where someone in the group doesn’t have a 3G connection, the person can still receive group messages for a small fee. Each message sent or received will be charged as an SMS sent to the United States.
You register on Kik with your email address, then choose a unique username to allow other users to find you. The app is very simple and does a good job in sending messages to individuals or groups.
There are no calling capabilities but you have the overall basic messaging functionality supported on a wide variety of mobile systems, for free.
WeChat is one of the most popular messaging apps in China. Similar to how you register with WhatsApp, you start by entering your phone number. An SMS will follow, giving you the verification code.
You can then connect your Facebook and email account to let people find you more easily. Other functionalities include sharing pictures, WeChat contacts, your current location, and the ability to video chat through the app.