Best WhatsApp Alternative Apps You Can Use in 2021
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In this article, we have mentioned apps that focus on both privacy and features. You can check out the entire list of WhatsApp alternative apps by using the table of content below and use it to jump to any app that you want.
1. Telegram Messenger
Telegram Messenger has been known as the best WhatsApp competitor for a while now and nothing’s changed. The open-source messaging app is still the best WhatsApp alternative out there. Along with the usual messaging features that both WhatsApp and Telegram pack, the latter brings other features like super groups of up to 100,000 people, public channels, usernames, ability to share files of up to 1.5 GB, pass code lock, self-destructing messages and end-to-end encryption in secret chat among other things.
Then, there are Telegram Bots, which really enhance the experience. The bots not only bring you important info on the go but there are several game bots that let you play games inside the messaging app. Other than that, unlike WhatsApp, Telegram can be used on multiple platforms at once, so you can start texting on your phone and then continue it on your PC. I also love the voice call feature here which works quite well.
That said, Telegram lacks video calling feature. But it makes up for it by bringing really unique features that are not found on WhatsApp. So, if you don’t care about video calls, you cannot go wrong by choosing Telegram Messenger as your messaging app.
Availability: Android, iOS, Windows Phone, Windows, macOS, Linux, Web (Free)
2. Signal Private Messenger
Signal Foundation, the organization that powers the end-to-end encryption technology in WhatsApp Messenger and Facebook Messenger, offers its very own messaging app dubbed Signal Private Messenger. As you’d expect, Signal brings a number of security benefits when compared to WhatsApp. It offers self-destructing messages, screen security (prevents anyone from taking screenshots), and more.
Plus, Signal brings encryption to its backups, calls, group calls, and every other data in the app. Even the files that you send using Signal are protected. Furthermore, according to Apple’s App Store listing, Signal doesn’t link any data to your identity.
It’s a great app for anyone who wants to securely converse with other users. That’s why, Signal is quite popular with journalists. Signal Private Messenger is for people who are looking for a simple and secure messaging app and if you are looking for something like that, it is the best WhatsApp alternative for you.
Availability: Android, iOS (Free)
Discord is no longer just a platform for chatting with your fellow gamers. While you can explore a variety of Discord servers to engage with your interests, Discord’s DM functionality is often overlooked by many. You can use Discord’s personal messages feature to send messages, emojis, emotes (if you have Discord Nitro), GIFs, images, and even documents. Furthermore, you can make voice calls, video calls, or even browse together after sharing your screen.
Combined with neat integrations from Spotify, Twitch, YouTube, Battle.net, Steam, Reddit, Facebook, Twitter, Xbox Live, and GitHub, Discord has got you covered for all your messaging needs and is arguably better than WhatsApp.
You can also create group chats on Discord with a total of 10 members. If you need more capacity, you can always create a server. If you ask me, I’d recommend uninstalling WhatsApp right away and installing Discord. You will find the link to download Discord below and I can assure you that you won’t regret the decision.
Availability: Android, iOS, Windows, macOS, Linux, Web (Free)
One of the main problems with online messaging apps like WhatsApp is that they rely on an internet connection to work. And if you are out camping in the woods even the normal text messaging apps will not work. That’s where offline messaging apps come into play. These apps don’t require a mobile network or internet connection to work.
Rather, they create a peer-to-peer Bluetooth mesh network or Wifi Direct-based network on your phone and allow you to send messages to your nearby friends. If you are looking for such an app then you should use Bridgefy. Bridgefy offers three main types of messaging service; Person-to-Person mode, Broadcast mode, and Mesh mode.
You can send messages to a friend, broadcast them to entire group, and even use users as nodes to send messages to long distances. It is quite helpful during music festivals, sports events, natural disasters, and other such situations where you won’t be getting reliable mobile service.
In fact, Bridgefy and other such apps have become a bastion for protesters around the world as it allows them to evade internet censorship imposed by their governments. The app is free to download and use, and the best offline WhatsApp alternative in my opinion. You should check it out.
Kik is a great messaging app for users who don’t want to use their number to operate a messaging application. While chat services like WhatsApp require users to use their number, I know many users who are not comfortable with sharing their personal numbers to these platforms.
For those users, Kik is a great service as it only requires you to use your email ID. Once you sign up for the service using your email ID, Kik will create a unique user name for you which you can share with other Kik users to chat.
The best part about using Kik is that you are not losing out any messaging features. You still get access to all the important features including text messages, emojis, stickers, Gifs, photo sharing, video sharing, and group chats among other things.
Another unique feature of Kik is that it supports bots which is something that you do not get on WhatsApp. Using bots you can play quizzes, get fashion tips, latest news, and more. That said, the main USP of Kik remains its non-requirement of a phone number and if that’s something you want, definitely check it out.
Availability: Android, iOS (Free)
While Snapchat technically is not just a messaging app rather a social media app, I use it more and more as a messaging application thanks to some unique features that no other messaging application can offer. For example, I can send messages which can self-destruct after a set period of time. It also notifies me when someone takes a screenshot of my chats with them. Finally, it offers the best face mask collection of all the apps that I have ever used which makes this app fun to use.
Other messaging features are also here such as the ability to create group chats, voice calls, group voice calls, gifs, and more. I also love Snapchat because it is one of the most innovative chat services on the market. The features that users on WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger normally enjoy are generally copied from Snapchat. So, if you want to access these cool features and be the first to receive the latest chat features, Snpachat is the app to use.
Availability: Android, iOS (Free)
Skype is without a doubt one of the best business chat applications of the market. With the power of Microsoft behind it, Skype has left all the other business chat applications in the dust. However, that progress has worked against Skype when it comes to personal chats as the business moniker that it has earned keeps normal users away. But let me tell you that Skype is one of the best chatting applications on the market especially if you make a lot of video and voice calls.
I especially find Skype useful when I am using it to make overseas calls as the sound and video quality on Skype is far better than its competition. I also love Skype for its group video call functionality.
While most other apps don’t support group video calls, the ones who do often lag when you add more than three to four people. If you are someone who makes a ton of video calls with their friends and family, I can certainly recommend Skype over WhatsApp or any such chat application. You should check out our Skype tricks article to learn how you can use this app to its fullest.
Availability: Android, iOS, macOS, Windows, Web (Free)
Keybase is an open-source secure chat application which is great for users who want to communicate securely. Since this is an open-source app, there’s no private company which is looking at all your data. Anyways the data is end-to-end encrypted so at no point in time, the message is exposed to nefarious actors.
The app doesn’t even allow you to take the screenshot of the chats. The messaging app works more like Slack than WhatsApp, however, it’s not aimed at businesses, rather it is mainly targeting users who are concerned with their online privacy.
My favorite feature of Keybase is that you don’t need anyone’s number or email ID to connect with them. This allows you to remain in contact with users with whom you don’t want to share your personal information with. Finally, this is one of the few messaging apps which offer a native application for Linux operating system. If you value your privacy, you should definitely check it out.
Availability: Android, iOS, macOS, Linux, and Windows (Free)
Viber is another popular messaging and VoIP app that really stands toe-to-toe with WhatsApp when it comes to features. Firstly, the app offers end-to-end encryption in calls, messages and the shared media. Moreover, the messages saved in multiple devices are also encrypted, which brings us to the fact that the messaging apps packs in multi-device support, which WhatsApp lacks.
Like WhatsApp, Viber lets you make video and voice calls but the app goes one step ahead with its Viber Out feature, which lets you make international calls to non-Viber users at nominal rates.
Talking about the messaging features, Viber includes support for stickers, file sharing, last seen, voice & video messages, public accounts, backup to Google Drive and more. There is also a sticker store and Viber games, which are basically games you can play inside Viber. If you consider everything, you’d notice that Viber is an app that is very similar to WhatsApp. It packs in most of the features from WhatsApp and then some more.
Availability: Android, iOS, Windows Phone, Windows (Free, with rates for Viber Out)
Threema is a “seriously secure” messaging app, which should interest you if you are concerned about your security on WhatsApp. The app encrypts all the data, including messages, shared files, and even status updates. While it lacks WhatsApp features like voice & video calling, its security features are certainly impressive.
It packs in the usual messaging features, along with a web client that works similar to WhatsApp Web but includes a few unique touches like the ability to create a poll in groups, password or fingerprint-protect chats, anonymous chatting (no number required), and the ability to agree/disagree to a message. Threema is a paid app but if security is important to you and you want a simple messaging app, it is worth the money.
Availability: Android, iOS, Web ($2.99)
Another WhatsApp alternative you can use is LINE, which is a highly popular cross-platform messaging app that packs in a ton of features. Like WhatsApp, the app features end-to-end encryption, support for voice and video calls & messages and more.
It also brings quite a few unique features when compared to WhatsApp like LINE Out (lets you make international calls to non-LINE users), sticker store, a cool Keep feature (lets you save your favorite messages, photos etc.), and more. It also features a timeline in the app, where you can see any status updates and photo changes from your friends.
Other useful features of LINE include passcode lock, filter messages, themes, LINE Pay for payments, and more. There’s no doubt that LINE is a very capable and feature-rich messaging app, however, it does feel a little bloated. So, fans of WhatsApp’s simplicity might not like LINE much but if you aren’t bothered by that, you should give LINE a shot.
Availability: Android, iOS, iPad, Windows Phone, Windows, macOS, Chrome, Firefox (Free)
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What can I use instead of WhatsApp?
You can check out apps like Telegram or Signal instead of using WhatsApp on your smartphone.
Q. Is there a better app than WhatsApp?
Yes. If you want a feature-rich app that offers all the features you need, I’d recommend going with Telegram or Discord.
Q. Which is the best app for video calls other than WhatsApp?
Discord’s video calling is great if you often video call with friends. You can also check out Google Duo, a dedicated app from Google for video calling.
Q. Which is the most private messaging app?
If you value your privacy, you should install and use Signal.
Q. What messaging apps are associated with Facebook?
Other than WhatsApp, the messaging option of Instagram, Instagram’s Threads, and Messenger are associated with Facebook.
Best WhatsApp Alternative Apps to Use
There are a ton of other messaging apps that are pretty decent, like imo, Hike etc. However, if you are looking for an app to replace WhatsApp, the aforementioned apps are the best ones you can use. While none of these apps will match the user base that WhatsApp boasts of, they are more than good enough to replace it as far as features nad privacy are concerned. So, try out these WhatsApp alternative apps and let us know your favorite instant messaging app in the comments section below.