Whether it’s chatting with your friends, family, or coworkers, you’d want a bit of privacy and security. However, WhatsApp, while very popular, doesn’t have a great reputation when it comes to privacy. It’s owned by Facebook and, because of that, has lost some of the trust from its users security-wise. Moreover, recent controversies over privacy holes in WhatsApp have made consumers more concerned. Is WhatsApp safe? Can we still trust it given all these security problems? Consequently, many people are looking for a Whatsapp alternative to stay in touch with family and friends. If that sounds like you, you’ve come to the right place.
10 Best WhatsApp Alternatives
Here are the best chat apps that are a perfect WhatsApp alternative you can download in 2020.
Unlike WhatsApp, Kik doesn’t require users to input their mobile number to start messaging. Instead, Kik requires email addresses so that people don’t have to reveal their mobile numbers if they’re uncomfortable with it. Once you sign up with your email, Kik has you create a username. You can then use this username to share with friends so you can chat under that alias.
Kik, while not as widely known, still offers the very best features you might expect from a chat app. It offers the basics like media sharing via emojis, stickers, GIFs, photos, and videos. Moreover, Kik also provides users with a handy group chat function that’s certainly necessary for most people.
Furthermore, Kik also gives features that aren’t present in WhatsApp. For example, Kik has in-app bots that allow people to play quizzes and find information and news. If you like chatting with friends without having to disclose your mobile number, give Kik a shot. It’s completely free on iOS and Android.
Another WhatsApp alternative popular among many people is LINE messenger. LINE is feature-rich just like WhatsApp and offers loads of versatility and convenience. For one, LINE has end-to-end encryption which is great for security. However, LINE also knocks things out of the park as a messaging app. This is because it has all the features you need: messages, voice & video calls, stickers, and more. It even provides message filters and locks for customization and privacy.
That’s not the end of it, either. The app provides users with a timeline to see users’ status updates and changes in profile photos. It also has cool features like LINE Out and “Keep.” LINE Out allows you to make international calls to non-LINE users while “Keep” helps you save pictures, messages, etc. Moreover, LINE has LINE Pay to help users make payments, making it more than just a simple chat app. Lastly, it’s available for free on multiple platforms like Android, iOS, Windows, macOS, Windows phone, and on the web.
Previously known as Riot.IM, Element is a fun WhatsApp alternative if you’re into customizing your chat app. No, we don’t mean just customizing colors or font. We mean customizing bots and tinkering with open-source software. Through Element, you can not only send encrypted messages or make video calls but also make bots. Element has in-house bots that perform different functions, but users can also program bots to do different things. This makes this messaging app more flexible and enjoyable, especially for developers.
Moreover, Element provides public chat rooms, kind of like a town square where you can interact with strangers. Of course, you can also make and visit private rooms through private links. If you’re keen on privacy, then Element is a great WhatsApp alternative because it doesn’t require your phone number. Instead, it provides user IDs that people can use to chat. Lastly, the app is available in seven languages, making it great for multilingual or international users.
4. Signal Private Messenger
What better secure messaging app can you find than Signal Private Messenger? If you think that’s exaggerated, think again because its company Open Source Systems powers other messaging apps’ end-to-end encryption. The company decided to deliver a messaging app and, as expected, it has a ton of security features.
With Signal, you can be sure that your messages are safe and secure with their privacy-centric features. These features include screen security, meaning nobody can take screenshots of messages to protect your privacy. They also include encryption for not just messages, but also calls, backups, and every data the app houses. Moreover, the app provides self-destructing messages for added privacy. It’s safe to say that this messaging app is the winner between Signal vs WhatsApp when it comes to privacy.
Of course, Signal doesn’t have many other special features like other apps on this list. It’s not as fancy or feature-packed as its competitors. That’s because Signal is more simple than its counterparts and doesn’t add bells or whistles. However, it’s a great WhatsApp alternative for anyone who values privacy the most when it comes to chatting. Moreover, it’s completely free to download on both iOS and Android.
Skype used to be the best messaging app before the explosion of Facebook and other apps. However, just because it’s old, doesn’t mean it’s outdated or unpleasant to use. Skype is one of the best WhatsApp alternative chat apps if you’re looking for something strictly for business.
This is owed to Skype’s reputation more than it is to Skype’s feature set. You can still use it as a personal chat app if you prefer, especially if you favor calls over text. That’s because Skype has one of the best voice and video calling quality in the chat industry.
Moreover, Skype also excels in video calls, especially group video calls. Skype retains its great quality even when you add multiple people to a video call. That’s in contrast to many other chat apps that only do well with a handful of people.
Furthermore, Skype has multiple platform support beyond iOS and Android. It’s also available on macOS, Windows, and on the web, all for the price of zero dollars.
If you’re looking for a chat alternative, then Snapchat might not come to mind immediately. After all, it’s a social media platform not unlike Tiktok or Instagram. In fact, Snapchat was where self-destructing videos and photos were first popularized. However, it does make for a great WhatsApp alternative if you’re looking for one with a large user base. Even better, because Snapchat is a full social media app, it’s a great alternative to the Facebook ecosystem. Well, at least when it comes to social media.
Snapchat has multiple chat features that are absent from WhatsApp, making it a great chat app alternative. For instance, akin to its nature, Snapchat allows for self-destructing messages. Moreover, Snapchat notifies users when someone has taken a screenshot of their conversation.
Of course, Snapchat also has great chat features that are must-haves on chat apps. For example, it allows users to make group chats, individual/group calls, and share other media. That makes it a great WhatsApp alternative, especially if what you want is not just chatting but also social media.
Telegram is no stranger in the world of free chats and chatting apps. It’s a big competitor and a great WhatsApp alternative for people looking for something secure. Of course, if you put them head-to-head, Telegram vs WhatsApp, the latter still has a bigger user base. However, Telegram still has a loyal user base, and for good reason. It’s free, open-source, and knocks it out of the park when it comes to delivering quality chat features. This includes groups that can house 100,000 people, public channels and chats, and file sharing (1.5 GB max).
In addition, Telegram bots also enrich users’ experience by asking bots to give useful tips or even play games. Hence, Telegram isn’t only a chat app, it’s a great place to bond with friends and family through games. Furthermore, Telegram has multi-platform support, and you can use it on those platforms all at once. You can seamlessly switch from your phone to your laptop without any hindrances. Of course, Telegram also has a call and video call feature which is a must-have for chat apps nowadays.
Lastly, on the privacy end, Telegram offers passcode locks on its chat app. It also has self-destructing messages and secret chats to keep your conversations extra secure. Telegram also has end-to-end encrypted messages which is always a good thing for privacy. It’s available on iOS, Android, Windows phones, Windows, macOS, Linux, and on the web for free.
Threema isn’t as feature-rich as WhatsApp or other competitors, which might make you think it’s not a good alternative. However, Threema is great if you’re looking for a simple messaging service with terrific data encryption. Unfortunately, many people take their privacy for granted because relinquishing it offers convenience in exchange. However, for those of you who are concerned about privacy the most, Threema should be worth checking out.
With Threema, all your data is encrypted, including messages, files, and even statuses. Moreover, Threema allows users to back up their data with encryption, which is not something every chat app offers. Furthermore, Threema does not use or collect users’ metadata and has provisions for chat privacy like fingerprint/password protection. These features make Threema a chat app that’s jam-packed with privacy features — enough to keep you safe.
On the other hand, Threema does have other things going for it aside from privacy features. This includes group polls, agreeing/disagreeing with messages in-app, anonymous chats, and more. However, Threema does lack the ability to make calls. Moreover, it’s a paid app which makes it less accessible to the general public. Hence, you may want to reconsider downloading it if these don’t suit your taste. Otherwise, it’s $2.99 on iOS, Android, and the web.
Most people opt out of WhatsApp and find alternative apps because of privacy issues. It’s understandable considering it’s also now under Facebook — and Facebook doesn’t exactly value privacy as much. Hence, people try to look for a WhatsApp alternative that ensures their privacy is kept safe and intact. Viber is one of those alternative apps that can protect your privacy with features that match Whatsapp’s too.
Of course, Viber, like any good privacy-centric WhatsApp alternative, features end-to-end encryption in all your calls, texts, and media sharing. Viber also supports multimedia capabilities such as stickers, file-sharing, online statuses, voice/video messages, and even games. It also lets you create public accounts or backup data to Google Drive. Furthermore, you can have a Viber login on multiple platforms simultaneously, bringing you a seamless experience across platforms.
These features alone already make Viber a great alternative. However, Viber’s most compelling feature is probably its ability to conduct international calls. Through Viber Out, you can make international calls for a price, even to those who don’t use Viber. Above all, you can download it on multiple platforms for free, including iOS, Android, Windows Phones, and Windows.
The Wire isn’t as widely known as other group chat apps on this list, which is a shame. That’s because Wire is a great WhatsApp alternative not only for its aesthetics but also because of its features. It is open-source, has end-to-end encryption, and supports use on multiple platforms all at once. That means seamless switching between devices, whether you’re in the office or on the go.
Moreover, Wire also provides group video calling which, unfortunately, not all chat apps have. You can video call with up to ten people at a time, so it’s perfect for calling relatives and friends. Moreover, Wire enhances privacy with features such as self-destructing messages, deleting messages from devices that received them, etc.
Lastly, it’s available on all major platforms like iOS, Android, Windows, macOS, Linux, and the web for free. For a relatively new chat app, it’s already a great WhatsApp alternative for anyone looking for one.
WhatsApp may be big, but that doesn’t mean it’s the only chat app out there. There are great WhatsApp alternative apps you can download right now. Some are small and new, while others already have a thriving user base and growing communities. Regardless of which you choose, finding a WhatsApp alternative is beneficial for anyone who values privacy a bit more. The only challenge now is trying to convince your family and friends to make the switch too.