WhatsApp has been notorious when it comes to disruptions. Many countries across the globe have been hit with cases where the chat app is temporarily banned or blocked, something that means reaching out to loved ones becomes a hell of a problem.
Sometimes these WhatsApp outages are as a result of technical problems, but at times it is as a result of authorities’ orders to do so. Even though WhatsApp is the most used chat app in the world with over a billion users, an outage on the platform should not prevent you from keeping in touch with your friends and family as usual. But with the huge number of messaging and calling platforms around, it can be a little bit tricky when it comes to choosing the most appropriate one to serve as an alternative to WhatsApp.
If you are in the market for a WhatsApp alternative, we have the answers to all the questions you are asking. Take a closer look.
Facebook bought WhatsApp for a massive $19 billion back in 2014. At the time, rumors began escalating, with claims that the social networking giant was out to kill the chat app as it deemed it a threat to its own Facebook Messenger. Two years down the line, the two apps still co-exist in the same environment, offering the same basic communication features, but with Messenger drifting outwards to offer more premium services such as booking a cab, sending money to friends and so on.
In addition to keeping in touch with your Facebook friends via the app, Messenger also lets users add their phone numbers so as to also contact those who are not using Messenger. You also get the ability to make video calls via this app, a feature you won’t find on WhatsApp.
Messenger is available for free both in the Play Store and App Store.
Viber is a leader when it comes to the Asian region. It offers users with free messaging and calling services, with the latter services extending to include video calling. You will get stickers, end-to-end encryption and many others features on this app. It also allows for group chats to be conducted and it gets even better as the app can be used to make voice calls to non-users, but at a small cost as opposed to the free communication between Viber users.
WeChat is the leading app in China when it comes to chats. Other than that, it also offers users with free voice and video calling services. The app has even become the reference line for Facebook Messenger as far as monetization of services is concerned. Whether it is hailing a cab, making a flight reservation or making an online payment, this app has it all. However, most of these services are only applicable in China and a few other regions.
Telegram is famous for its tough encryption protocols, but it is yet to hit the same scales as WhatsApp when it comes to figures. You will be sure that no one can access any of your messages and the app has also been opened up to third-party apps, for instance, bots.
Telegram also packs a special feature that sees users’ messages disappear from the recipient’s device after a certain period of time. This a cool feature that you won’t find on WhatsApp.
Skype is the king of online communication. It was here before the likes of WhatsApp, Messenger, Viber and WeChat, but it has been surpassed by these players in terms of numbers. Still, it remains as a solid WhatsApp alternative thanks to the huge array of features it offers. You get the usual text and calling services, but it adds video calling services as well as SkypeOut services where users can make affordable calls to landlines and non-users of the app via their phone numbers.
Skype is available as a free to download app on both Android and iOS devices, just like the rest of the pack.