WhatsApp is just one of many applications that extend the communication options and capabilities of your phone or computer. Some only work on phones, while others will work on standard computers as well as mobile devices. Here are seven of the most popular apps like WhatsApp.
Like WhatsApp, Kik Messenger is another phone-only app that lets people communicate in various ways over their smart phones. Unlike WhatsApp, though, it works through Internet or data streams instead of the regular phone service. It's also completely free to use (like WhatsApp is now), though it does show advertisements. Kik Messenger is modeled after BlackBerry's messaging service.
Developed by the Tencent group from China, WeChat is practically its own mobile-exclusive social network. It allows chat through text, voice, and video, as well as teleconferencing and the exchange of pictures, videos, voice messages, or GPS locations. It also contains features such as peer-to-peer payment services, as well as channels for public organizations that you can subscribe to or use to access their services!
LINE is the brainchild of Japan's Naver Corporation. It contains many similar functions to WhatsApp, including address book importing, group creation, and multiple chat formats. It also contains other functions such as social games, the ability to customize your messages or interface with stickers and themes, and the possibility of "hidden chats" that get deleted after a set amount of time. LINE is available on both phones and computers, though you can only access your account from one specific device of each.
Viber is similar to LINE and WeChat in that it tries to be its own social network in addition to a communication tool, with features like public chat rooms and custom emotion stickers. Two things stand out about Viber. First, like WhatsApp, you will never see advertisements while using it. Second, you can use the mobile version of the app to make phone calls to home and mobile phones for a flat subscription cost, instead of taking your chances with long-distance phone rates.
Though it's one of the less feature-rich WhatsApp competitors on this list, this multi-function communication tool from Microsoft is popular because of two reasons. First, it's mostly free; like Viber, it only charges for calls from the Skype app to home or mobile phones. Second, it's easy to set up and use, without a whole lot of extra bells and whistles to distract you from what's important: communicating with the people who matter to you.
Want to know just how easy it is to use Skype? Take our Skype course and find out!
For a privacy-conscious app like WhatsApp, there's Telegram. Similar to WhatsApp, it works through standard telephone systems, but allows you to hide your phone number or other information from anyone. Telegram also has functions similar to WeChat, such as exchange of videos or pictures or the ability to set up public message broadcasting channels. Telegram's standout feature is its "secret chats", which are access-restricted to only one device per person, have to be joined by mutually-accepted invitations, are encrypted, and can be set to automatically delete themselves. It's available on both mobile devices and standard computers.
Yep, even Internet mega-corporation Google is in on the multi-mode communication app game. Google Hangouts offers text messaging, voice and video chat (including group chats of up to 10 people), and file exchanges through mobile apps or Internet browser extensions (except Chrome, which is made by Google and has Hangouts built in). Like Skype and Viber, Google Hangouts allows for phone calls to home and mobile numbers (which are free in the United States in Canada), but you need the "Hangouts Dialer" add-on to do so.
Do you have a favourite among these alternatives to WhatsApp? Did we miss one that you like to use? Leave a comment here or on our social media feeds, and let us know!
We'll finish up our course by showing you how to delete your WhatsApp account. It's a useful lesson if you want to forget about WhatsApp and pick up one of these alternative services!
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