Snapchat is a popular messaging application that helps to protect your privacy with its disappearing "snaps" and "chats". It also makes it easy to find new users to message back and forth with, and create some really creative notes. But it might just not be the messaging app for your mobile device that you're looking for. First of all, it only really works on mobile devices, and doesn't have a lot of support on desktop computers. Other people may not like the fact that auto-deleting messages is mandatory. On the flip side, some may be concerned that their Snapchat messages aren't protected against screenshots or other methods of preservation or interception.
Many of Snapchat's alternatives do what it doesn't. Wickr and Dust, for example, have very secure encrypted messaging systems, and allow you to keep messages longer. Or, if you're looking for unique features that better balance protecting your privacy with making it easy to connect with others, try Telegram or WeChat.
If you need a little more to go on than those recommendations, then here are summaries of five of the most popular alternatives to Snapchat.
If security and privacy are your top priorities in a messaging app, look no further than Wickr. All messages sent over Wickr are encrypted in a way that lets only the sender and the receiver see the unscrambled message. Wickr messages are also designed so that they contain no information that could personally identify you or your device. And, similar to Snapchat, you can determine how long a recipient can view one of your Wickr messages before it expires (up to 30 seconds). Oh, and did we mention that Wickr is completely free to use?
Clipchat is comparable to Snapchat, in that the messages that you send and receive through it delete themselves after being viewed. However, there are two major differences. First, you can only send photos or videos, not text messages. Second, the amount of time that a message lasts cannot be chosen by the sender; it is fixed at 5 seconds. ClipChat is also free to use.
Another Snapchat alternative, Dust allows users to send messages that can be viewed for between 20 and 100 seconds before they are deleted (they are also deleted if not viewed within 24 hours of being sent). Dust also has a feature called "blasts", where you can send a single message to all (or a specific group) of your friends and followers at once. Like Wickr, Dust uses heavy end-to-end encryption, so not even they know what's in your messages.
Telegram is an alternative to Snapchat that works on mobile devices and desktop computers. Similar to Snapchat, it allows for the exchange of photos, videos, or text messages with multiple followers at once. It also allows you to send and receive "secret chats" which are encrypted, can only be accessed on a specific device by each person, have to be joined by mutually-accepted invitations, and can be set to delete themselves after a certain period of time.
A Snapchat competitor from China's Tencent group, WeChat allows you to send text, voice, and video messages. You can also exchange pictures, GPS locations, or even money! A lot of popular brands also have WeChat profiles, which let you follow news about them, or even access their services over your mobile device!
Have you tried any of these messaging apps like Snapchat? Were they a snap to use, or did they make you feel like snapping your phone in two? Are there any other messaging applications that you like to use, and would recommend to us and our users? Let us know in the comments below, or on our social media feeds.
Oh, and if you'd like to replace Snapchat with one of these other services, we can show you how to get rid of your Snapchat account.
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