Messaging apps have become one of the most necessary things to have on one’s phone, and that won’t be changing anytime soon. Aside from that, you have a lot of options to choose from depending on what you want or need from an app.
It is also evident that the need for privacy and protection of user data has become a hot topic that can’t be neglected any longer. Users have taken a liking to some messaging apps due to their strong encryption and security features while others prefer something that is easy to use and has a better user experience and interface combined.
The good news is you can use different messaging apps for various aspects of your life. Some are best suited for messaging friends, others for finding people with similar interests as you, or just to chat with fellow co-workers and much more.
Today, we get to share our top 5 messaging apps you should definitely have on your phone while pointing out what makes them great options.
The Best 5 Instant Messaging Apps
Considered as the world’s number one contender when it comes to messaging apps, Whatsapp is very popular and comes preinstalled on almost every Android device. Even if you haven’t used it before, you have definitely heard of it.
Whatsapp has over 2 billion users around the globe with an estimated 1.6 billion users accessing the app on a monthly basis according to statistics shared by Oberlo. It is free, easy-to-use, effective, and has a massive user base.
Of course, it is not perfect given the fact that it doesn’t have massive features like other apps such as Telegram and it is often easily hacked and has suffered several data breaches in the past few years. There is also the continuous grooming concerning about its privacy policies, including its terms and conditions which are under the spotlight with many concerned about their data being shared with Facebook.
Even though your messages will continue to be private, some users are not comfortable with the plans to share other data with Facebook and have left the app for other options.
A worthy contender that may soon become one of the top messaging apps in the world, Telegram has steadily gathered a large user base over the years since its launch on 14 August, 2013. It has over 500 million monthly active users and its numbers have increased by 150% since 2018.
Telegram was also the most downloaded app across iOS & Android in January 2021 and boosts over 55.2 million daily active users. The app itself is easy to use, has a massive set of features such as the capacity to allow users to save images, text messages, multimedia files and documents to the cloud, including sending any type of file via the app up to 1.5GB. It also has one of the best UI’s (user interfaces) on the market.
The app gives you the ability to create and use bots, share your live location, create channels and groups capable of having over 100,000 users. One can also make use of proxy servers instead of a VPN. Whether your tech-savvy or a casual user, Telegram fits all your needs and is often way ahead of Whatsapp when it comes to innovative features and much more.
The only issue about the app that worries some is that end-to-end encryption isn’t default and one has to take extra steps to ensure it is activated. However, the app does provide features to ensure better security which you can make use of.
If you’re looking for an app that is secure, private, and has good end-to-end encryption features then Signal is your best pick. The app recently become popular thanks to the controversy surrounding WhatsApp’s new terms of service that have left many worried.
Despite having a similar user interface to that of Whatsapp’s, it hasn’t gotten the love it deserves yet due to its unattractive design and UI. It also doesn’t have many features like Telegram and its more focused on privacy and security as its main core.
If you’re tired of people sending work related messages via Whatsapp, then Slack is the best option for you. It’s the best app for organisations and companies looking for a messaging app option that is formal and fun at the same time.
Slack helps you stay in touch with your co-workers while making it easier for you and your colleagues to be more productive at work, especially if you’re working from home.
With Slack, you can easily add and chat with other staff and also the app allows you to chat in private or create a channel to talk with your entire team easily. The coolest thing about it is that you can customize it only to receive specific notifications. So, don’t worry about being bothered by unnecessary messages or notifications.
The app also has a browser version that can be accessed on your PC. Slack offers a free subscription to the platform for small teams and the app itself is also available for free. Paid subscriptions are available for organizations with more robust needs.
WeChat is a multi-purpose messaging, social media and mobile payment app developed by Tencent. It was released in 2011 and went on to become the world’s largest standalone mobile app in 2018, with over 1 billion monthly active users.
WeChat has some unique features of its own that you might want or need that other apps could be lacking such as WeChat Pay, which lets you use it as a wallet to make payments. It also has some social media features other messaging apps lack. For example, you can search and follow verified accounts or search for moments and stories on your favourite topics, like food or video games.
On top of that, WeChat is an excellent instant messaging app in general. You can invite friends, share your current location with them, post short videos called stories, and find people near you using the app.
However, the biggest let down about WeChat is that it only censors’ users with phone numbers from mainland China and its surveillance is far-reaching. It does not offer end-to-end encryption and has backdoors that allow third parties to read the messages you send and receive as reported by Nord VPN.
Other notable mentions include apps like Discord, which is more targeted towards gamers and people who play and love the same games.
Now that you know the best messaging apps out there, its high time you get started right away by downloading the ones that work best for your needs. Which one do you think is best app to date? Let us know about your opinions in the comment section.
Author: Allan Bangirana
Allan Bangirana is a freelance writer for Newslibre & Spur Magazine. He is passionate about tech, games and occasionally writes about entertainment, lifestyle and so much more.