There’s no wonder that instant messengers are replacing those conventional SMS and MMS. About 90% of readers reading this article might use instant messaging applications to communicate with their known people. AOL gave the concept of instant messaging, and today, the IM market is so crowded that it is challenging to choose which IM is best for you. For your ease, in this article, we’ve handpicked and reviewed the 9 best IM (instant messenger) apps for you.
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This IM platform needs no introduction. The most used IM and with 2 billion+ users worldwide, WhatsApp isn’t just a #1 IM application, but one of the most used applications worldwide.
WhatsApp is straightforward to set up and might be the best IM if you want simplicity, straightforward concept, and don’t care much about your privacy. In terms of protection against hackers, WhatsApp uses end-to-end encryption in all your messages and is certified by ISO and CEN.
WhatsApp allows you to do video calls, texts, audio chats, send stickers and GIFs. Just like Facebook, it also comes with a status feature where you can upload what’s going on in your mind or life. Your contacts can see your status, and it will disappear after 24 hours. Its integration with Facebook will make it easier to share your WhatsApp statuses on your Facebook story in just one click.
You can also access your WhatsApp from the PC browser through QR code scanning. But, note that the web WhatsApp is not independent; it’s linked with your phone’s WhatsApp. Overall, besides WhatsApp’s new privacy policies, it’s a No 1 and highly recommended IM application.
2. Facebook Messenger
The Messenger application is integrated with the Facebook platform. You can say it’s an IM for Facebook users only. It lets you DM all your Facebook friends through a dedicated IM platform: Messenger. Messenger offers all the basic and advanced features that you can expect from a modern instant messenger.
You get all those typical video callings, audio calling, audio and text messages options if we talk about its features. Another unique and helpful feature of Messenger is “ChatHead.” It allows you to keep the chat icon floating on the edge of the screen, which makes it extremely useful when multitasking.
All the chats on Messenger are end-to-end encrypted, and it’s certified from ISO, SSC, and ESO. Moreover, it allows you to create a room of up to 50 Facebook users and a link to share it with anyone. You can also turn on the vanish mode, in which the system will permanently delete all the sent messages for you or everyone once you exit the Messenger application.
Telegram is not new; in fact, it’s been in the market for 8 years. However, the application got popular in the past few months as an alternative for WhatsApp. Boasting millions of users in recent months, Telegram is considered the most secure, user-friendly, and super-fast instant messenger.
It allows you to perform all the basic and advanced things you can expect from a full-fledged modern IM application. Telegram comes with video calling, audio calling, text and audio messaging, stickers, etc.
Talking about deep insights, Telegram offers free cloud storage, and Telegram will save your data in its cloud for 40 days. Unlike WhatsApp, Telegram has no file size limit for incoming and outgoing documents or multimedia. Moreover, it doesn’t compress the video and image resolution as WhatsApp does.
In terms of its security, Telegram is a complete secured package. It uses 256-bit AES and RSA symmetric encryption. So there’s no way they can collect your data. Therefore, in terms of security, it’s an entirely secure IM platform. Just for your information, Telegram earns through donations and funds from its users.
4. Signal Private Messenger
Signal is a full-fledged IM platform that offers you all the basic and advanced features you can expect from an instant messaging application. First of all, if we talk about its privacy, you can trust Signal blindly because it is an entirely open-source project. Therefore, anyone can view its privacy & security. According to Forbes, Android Authority, and TechVerge, Signal is one of the most secure IM platforms before WhatsApp.
The app offers end-to-end encryption and is one of the first IM platforms to adopt encryption in its text and multimedia messages. The app allows you to send audio and text messages along with cool pre-installed stickers. Moreover, it will enable you to perform video calls, audio calls and send multimedia or documents to other Signal users.
WeChat has over 1 billion users worldwide, and about 950 million users are from China alone. The application is mainly used in China (about 95% of its base is from China). Specifically, if you’re from China, WeChat is a critical application on your smartphone.
WeChat isn’t just an IM application. Instead, it’s a complete social media application (like Facebook), works as an online money wallet, and a full-fledged instant messenger. However, if we look at its messenger side, it offers all the basic messenger features you need.
Another great thing about WeChat is that the application is among the best unified messenger apps. It offers more than 500 people in one group and a group calling of 9 people at a time, making WeChat best for group chatting.
Snapchat got its popularity during the Covid-19 pandemic when everyone was in their home. Snapchat is not an instant messenger service; it’s mainly a photo-sharing application. Users can share and upload their snaps (pictures captured from Snapchat using a filter provided by the application). However, just like any other social media service, Snapchat also comes with a built-in instant messenger.
It allows Snapchat users to chat and contact other Snap users personally and instantly. However, in terms of security, Snapchat didn’t reveal any specific encryption. Therefore, it’s not sure if Snapchat offers any certified encryption as other IM platforms provide.
7. ICQ Messenger
ICQ is a Chinese-based instant messaging service that works as an excellent alternative for WhatsApp and WeChat. Just like any other IM service, it offers you audio calling, video calling, text and audio message, and group chatting as well. However, unlike other platforms, ICQ doesn’t compress the multimedia messages when receiving from other users. Moreover, it offers you 5 GB of cloud storage for your chat’s data.
The best thing about ICQ is its independent web-based service. You can independently use the ICQ account from their website without any link with the application.
LINE is mainly used in middle-east Asian countries as their primary instant messenger. The service has over 620 million active users, out of which 490 million users are from middle-east Asia alone. It offers all the standard features that other instant messengers offer, plus certified encryption in all their messages.
Moreover, Line is among those first IM platforms which offered audio calling features in a standard IM. The most impressive thing about Line is the HD quality video calling. No, we’re not talking about marketing “HD” terms. LINE offers a true 720p resolution video calling. In contrast, most IMs are only limited to 360p or 480p. Overall, it serves as a decent alternative for WhatsApp and any other IM.
The main reason why we added this IM application in this review is due to its privacy and security policies. Dust calls itself “world’s most secure and encrypted instant messenger.” In the era where user data is the most precious asset for tech giants, we must highlight at least one app specifically made for privacy concerns. Unlike other conventional instant messaging applications, Dust uses military-grade encryption on its servers. To be precise, Dust uses the same encryption as US Military uses for their data encryption.
The most beautiful thing about this application is its “screenshot notification.” The application will notify you if someone takes a screenshot of your messages. Moreover, the app also lets you delete the message for everyone for “oops” moments. Overall, Dust is the best choice if you care too much about your privacy and want a super secure instant messenger.
In the past few years, instant messengers have picked a firm grip on the social media market. Today, instant messengers cover 60% of the social media market. There are thousands of IMs available for you to use on your smartphone, so which one is the best? That’s what this article is about. We’ve handpicked and reviewed the 9 best all-in-one messenger apps for you.