Everyone uses their phone to chat with friends and family. Sure we use our phones to make calls, which remains the central feature of every phone, but there are so many other features that are becoming more widely used than the calling itself.
Messaging has become an extremely popular and inexpensive medium to stay in touch with loved ones. Just look around you when you’re in a restaurant or bar, it’s very likely that half of the people will be busy messaging someone on their phones.
From big businesses to 13 year olds, everyone uses messaging platforms for different reasons.
Thanks to a ton of app developers out there, our choices are endless when it comes to chat apps. Luckily, most of them are free and have a ton of useful and unique features. Here we’re listing 6 of the best:
There is a reason why over 1 billion people worldwide use this app and why it was bought by Facebook for $19 billion. It is extremely easy to setup and use and is designed to be similar to the native messaging app on your iPhone.
Because it’s free to use and also ad-free and feature rich, it has become a favorite for the majority of people. Users can send texts, videos and image messages, documents and voice notes to other users around the world either separately or in-group chats.
Recent updates have added features such as voice and video calling too. Making international calls couldn’t get any easier!
It is great for privacy as there is complete end-to-end encryption between users. The WhatsApp Web feature lets users send and receive messages from their computer browser.
Skype is the second most used chat app across the globe. Besides offering free voice and video calls, it also includes a paid option that lets you call on any number, even non-Skype numbers and landlines anywhere in the world.
Moreover, you can also use the app for chatting purposes if it’s not convenient for your contacts to have an audio call with you, or if you are in a rush and simply want to get a message across. It lets you send text messages, photos, audio and video files.
What’s more, since the past two years, Skype has become even more alluring for workplace communication with its new feature Skype for Business. According to Microsoft, it is “a complete, enterprise-grade communications solution at global scale as part of Office 365.”
The app is also a good substitute for FaceTime due to its cross platform functionality (available for all mobile devices, PCs and even TVs) allowing you to message or video call anyone in the world using any device. It has support for group video calls too, for up-to 25 people.
This is an official Facebook app for users who don’t really want to waste time on Facebook, but want to use it to stay in touch with other people. This is one of the best and most useful messaging apps available on the internet simply because of Facebook’s large user base. You can message any of your hundreds of friends on Facebook and also those in your phone’s contact list.
You can send voice messages, photos, videos, smileys and many unique stickers and emojis. Voice calls are absolutely free all over the world. You can even use Messenger without a Facebook account by just adding numbers and contacts manually. The app is free but there are paid stickers available.
You can activate your location to let your friends know if you are nearby and you can alter app settings accordingly to let your friends know if you are available to talk or not. You can just click on a contact while talking to them and the app will direct you to their Facebook page from where you can take a glimpse of whatever is going on in their lives.
Kik has over 300 million users and is one of the best messaging apps available. You can send text messages, pictures, videos and even self-drawn sketches. You can edit pictures in the app itself and send them as memes.
The best thing about the app is that it protects your privacy. You don’t have to share your phone number or email address with anyone, just your user-name. You can have one on one or group chats and can also make new friends.
This is a free all in one messaging app. Unlike other apps, it’s not a dedicated messaging service, but instead it combines all the features of the various social accounts (such as Messenger, Skype, Facebook) and presents them to you in one platform.
This app also lets you send pictures and audios but the multimedia messages are first uploaded to IM servers after which the link is then sent from one user to the other.
Multimedia files can be automatically re-sized if you want to save data. The ’pro’ version comes with a ’neighbors’ function that allows you to find and communicate with new people in your area, who share similar interests. The app has Peer2Peer encrypted messaging to always assure privacy.
Twitter isn’t an app specifically made for messaging or chatting, but it is good at it. Everyone knows you can send out 140 character tweets which is a really interesting (and creative) way to communicate with your friends and family.
What’s unique is that you can even connect with people you don’t know if they share your interests. In theory, you could even message your favorite celebrities or other influential people and they could reply.
Besides sending directed tweets to communicate, you can also DM (direct message) them. Direct message lets you have a private chat with anyone and gives you the ability to also send multimedia files. A unique feature is that it gives you the option of live streaming videos too with the periscope button which you can share with everyone who follows you.
ABOUT Audrey Throne
Audrey Throne is a mother and a professional blogger by choice. She has completed her masters in English literature from university of Birmingham. As a blogger she wrote quite a few posts on health, technology as well as management. Currently, she is associate with citeninja Team.
Find her on Twitter: @audrey_throne.