Communication over distant places has become easier than ever before because of messaging applications. Otherwise, there was an age where the primary means of contact between people living in different cities was only written letters. This means of communication took several days and even months. So, in case of an emergency, this kind of communication was not feasible.
However, this is not the case in this digital epoch. Communication is now just a matter of seconds with the help of the internet and messaging applications. These messaging applications have merged into everyday life in the modern day.
They have proven to be a boon in the recent time of Covid pandemic, where people were able to connect with their friends and family over the internet. More interestingly, messaging apps have also served as a means of communication for many small businesses and startups.
Now, a lot of questions may arise in your mind: What exactly is a messaging app? Which messaging apps are the best? How to choose the right messaging app?
Well, don’t worry! We have got you covered. This blog post answers all your questions. We shall explore some of the best messaging apps available today in this article.
What is a Messaging App?
A messaging app, popularly known as a chat application, is a software program that enables people to send and receive messages in real-time through their computer systems or mobile devices. Not only do messaging apps transmit text messages, but also they are now capable of transmitting audio and video signals over the internet.
Earlier, text messaging via the phone network (conventional text messaging) was the primary mode. However, with the advent of instant messaging apps, people hardly send text messages through their mobile network.
One of the most admirable things about an instant messaging application is that you can access it anywhere with an internet connection. As instant messaging applications are something more than SMS or MMS texting applications, they let you send diverse kinds of messages, such as text, audio, video, and gifs.
Today, businesses also leverage messaging applications for branding by connecting with customers informally and instantly. Also, these apps provide flexibility to working teams to share important updates instantly rather than conducting meetings.
How to Choose the Right Messaging App?
The following are some features of an instant messaging application that differentiate the good one from an average one:
Compatible with Multiple Devices and Synchronization
These days, people use more than one device, such as a mobile phone, laptop, and tablet. So, it is obvious that they will want an instant messaging application that works and synchronizes across all their devices. The synchronization of the application across devices ensures that you will not lose any of the data or text that you send or receive.
This feature is especially useful for businesses for branding and helping their customers. A chatbot is basically a computer program that simulates human conversation. It allows people to communicate with digital devices and make them feel as if they are communicating with real humans.
Well, security is the foremost concern of every user leveraging an instant messaging application. Make sure the application you choose offers end-to-end security so that no third party can read your messages. Today, many chat applications use encryption to protect messages from being intercepted and read by others.
Other Communication Features
Some other significant communication features that you should look for in an instant messaging app are video calling, audio calling, file sharing, and team messaging.
10 Best Messaging Apps You Should Consider in 2022
Here is a curated list of the 10 best messaging apps that you can choose to connect with your family and friends over the internet.
Facebook Messenger is a one-stop solution for all your communication needs. It is an instant messaging app developed by Meta Platforms (formerly Facebook). The company originally created this app as a Facebook Chat but later revamped it and released standalone applications for Android and iOS devices.
More interestingly, the app comes with a website interface called Messager.com. Recently in 2020, the company released a dedicated desktop application for Windows and macOS.
This standalone comes with unlimited text, voice, video calling, group chat, and group video features. It lets you share videos, audio, stickers, photos, and files with other Facebook Messenger users. Furthermore, it lets you interact with bots, supports multiple accounts, allows you to play games, and secures communication through end-to-end encryption.
- Facebook Messenger lets you watch movies, TV shows, and many other things with friends and family over a video chat.
- It lets you express your feelings with emojis. If you fall short of or don’t want to use the available emojis, you can create your own customized emojis.
- You can make our chats look more appealing by choosing the theme and color of your choice. For every person you chat with, you can have different themes and colors.
- It provides you with suggestions to reply to chats depending on the message you receive.
- With the device’s face or fingerprint lock, you can keep Messenger safe from others’ access.
- More interestingly, Messenger also allows you to transfer payments to your friends and family simply by adding your debit card information or PayPal account.
Telegram is a cross-platform, cloud-based, and easily accessible instant messaging app. Initially, it was only compatible with Android and iOS devices. Later, there was the development of desktop applications for Windows and macOS. Also, it has a web interface called Telegram.org.
Along with text sharing, telegram also supports video calling, VoIP, file sharing, and many other features. You can even send your location to others, share contacts, and send stickers and documents. The servers of Telegram are spread across five different regions across the globe. You can find official Telegram web twin apps, namely WebK and WebZ. Also, it offers an end-to-end encrypted chat.
Recently, as of June 2022, Telegram has introduced a new feature called Telegram Premium. It provides extra features but is a paid subscription.
- Privacy is Telegram’s foremost concern as it encrypts messages. Also, there is an option of secret chat, where messages are self-destructive from both participants. This means that any content you send and receive disappears after the reading.
- Telegram lets you access chats from multiple devices as they are synchronized.
- It does not restrict the size of any kind of media or chat.
- The platform is open-source, and anyone can access its source code. As a result, you can customize it as per your requirements.
- It lets you create groups of around 200,000 members.
- Telegram is a reliable platform as it consumes as little data as it can to deliver messages. Also, it works well with a low internet connection.
WhatsApp or WhatsApp Messenger is yet another popular, free, and most-used instant messaging app by Meta Platforms. It is a cross-platform instant messaging and Voice-over-IP (VoIP) application. It lets you send text, videos, audio, stickers, emojis, documents, gifs, user locations, and many other sorts of content.
Moreover, this service has a dedicated application for Android, iOS, Windows, and macOS devices. You can even Whatsapp inside your browser, but it requires you to have an application installed on your mobile device. To use this service, you need to sign up using your cellular mobile phone number. In 2018, the company introduced a standalone application for businesses called WhatsApp Business.
- Send and receive messages to your friends and family without any SMS fees using an internet connection.
- You can create groups of friends, family, office teams, etc., to stay connected or to post an important update so that you can inform multiple people at once. Each group supports a total of 256 people.
- It lets you synchronize your chats on your mobile device and computer, allowing you to use any device that is more comfortable for you.
- Voice calls allow you to talk with other people using the internet connection and not the cellular network. Furthermore, video calls make it possible to have face-to-face conversations with people living in distant places.
- WhatsApp keeps all your chats, video calls, and voice calls secure by introducing the feature of end-to-end encryption in its latest versions.
- This application lets you share documents, PDF files, spreadsheets, and more of up to 100 MB without any hassle.
- A voice message is yet another admirable feature where you can record your voice message with just a single tap.
Slack is an intent messaging application especially utilized for business purposes. Still, most people have adopted it for personal use. Originally developed by Slack Technologies, Slack is owned by Salesforce currently. It comes with various Internet Chat Relay (IRC)-style features, including direct messaging, private groups, and chat channels created based on specific topics.
With Slack, you can search for files, conversations, and even people with whom you wish to have conversations. In addition, this application lets you make use of various emojis as your message, and other people can react to that message as their reaction.
Slack comes with applications for Android and iOS mobile devices. Also, it offers a web browser client and desktop client for macOS, Windows, and Linux platforms. It is even compatible with Apple watches, enabling users to send direct messages, send replies, and see mentions.
- Slack channels help you bring all your team members under one roof. There they can share ideas, communicate, provide updates on their work, and share important documents.
- Users can communicate with individuals or teams by immediately sending their messages or scheduling them later at a specific time.
- Digital HQ in Slack breaks down communication silos and enables teams, people, and business partners to come together to work on common goals and projects.
- Slack clips enable you to produce short audio and video and screen recordings. Also, you get the flexibility to speed up or slow down these clips while watching them.
- You can even send emojis and gifs to people by customizing them the way you want them to.
- Businesses can streamline their workflow by integrating Slack with a plethora of other tools, Google Drive, Salesforce, Office 365, and 2200+ others.
Skype is widely popular for video conferencing, video calls, and VoIP based on video telephony. Besides, it also supports instant messaging, file transfers, and debit-based calls to mobile phones and landlines. It is a proprietary application developed by Skype Technologies, a subsidiary of Microsoft.
You can use Skype on mobile phones, tablets, desktops, and video game consoles. More interestingly, it offers free Skype to Skype video calls but requires an internet connection. Through Skype, it is possible to send SMS texts to mobile phones. Not only this, but with Skype Connect, you can read and reply to SMS messages right from Skype.
- Skype makes it possible for you to connect with a single person or multiple people at once through group audio and HD video calls.
- During video calls, you can capture special moments or important notes using the recording feature. Also, the live subtitle feature allows you to read the spoken words.
- The instant messaging feature lets you reply instantly, react to messages, and mention the person to whom your message is intended in a group to make it noticeable to them.
- During a video call, Skype provides the feature to share your screen with others where you can deliver your presentation or watch anything, like images or videos.
- Another interesting feature of Skype is it allows users to connect with their friends who are not online by making a call to their mobile phones or landlines.
- Skype protects all your conversations and calls with end-to-end encryption.
- It lets teams organize meetings with a single click. Many companies also hold interviews on Skype as it provides seamless communication.
WeChat is an instant messaging, mobile payment, and social media application. It is China’s super application, also known as the ‘app for everything,’ because of the functions it provides. Apart from instant messaging, WeChat features broadcast messaging, hold-to-talk voice messaging, and video conferencing. You can share documents, videos, audio, images, and user locations through this application.
As it is a Chinese application, it tracks and analyzes all user activities and shares them with Chinese authorities when requested as a mass surveillance network.
Moreover, WeChat is a kind of application similar to Snapchat. It lets you click photographs and videos with a plethora of filters. You can connect with random people and integrate with social media applications, like Facebook and Tencent QQ.
- The instant messaging feature of WeChat lets users send text, images, videos, voice messages, and stickers. You can share live pictures, previously saved pictures, user profiles, current GPS locations, and lucky coupon packages.
- ‘Moments, one of the features of WeChat, is a platform that lets users post their images, text, and small videos. It is like a social feed for updates. When you post anything, your friends on WeChat can like and leave comments. It can integrate with Twitter and Facebook, and hence, using Moments, you can post anything directly on the two platforms.
- After you provide bank details, you can use WeChat as a payment app. You can pay bills, pay in stores (if stores have a WeChat option), and transfer money to friends or family.
- Enterprise WeChat or Qiye Weixin is a version of WeChat used for work purposes. With this, employees can have professional and personal chats on different applications.
- WeChat Channels is another small program inside WeChat for users to create and share short videos and photos on their WeChat Channels.
RingCentral is an instant messaging, video, and phone call application. It is specially designed for businesses to let them manage their teams or employees from any device. You can either freely use RingCentral Video or sign up for RingCentral MVP.
For team messaging and video meetings, you can simply create your account on RingCentral Video. It is an all-in-one communication platform. On the flip side, RingCentral MVP, earlier known as RingCentral Office, assists businesses in bringing all private branch exchange (PBX) business phones into a new era.
- A free version enables you to conduct meetings where up to 100 members can join.
- The duration of video calls is unlimited; there is no time bound on video calls.
- Team messaging enables team members to connect with each other pre and post meetings or during meetings, and wherever required.
- Team messaging supports file transfer, a shared calendar, and task management.
- It supports video meetings with screen sharing and chat and markup tools to have communication in real-time.
- With just a single click, you can join and schedule meetings.
- For streamlining your processes, MVP provides the features of auto-attendant and advanced call management.
- Boost your team’s productivity with out-of-the-box app integrations.
- It synchronizes all messages between MVP mobile and desktop applications.
As its name suggests, GroupMe is Microsoft’s group messaging application for Android, iOS, and Windows mobile devices. You can also access the service of GroupMe online. Through its web client for only Windows 10. It requires your mobile number to create your account, or you can connect it with your Facebook or Twitter accounts.
One of the most desirable features of GroupMe is that it lets you send and receive messages through SMS, but only in the United States, without the need to install the application. With GroupMe, you can create a group of 500 members.
- GroupMe supports the sharing of text, videos, documents, web links, and images.
- People in a group can like your message instead of responding to it with text.
- You can explore all the photos that have been shared in a group in a gallery-like view.
- This app supports sharing of locations. So, if you arrange a physical meeting at a specific location, you can simply share that location in a group.
- You can use emojis to express your emotions.
- It also supports messaging a single user just by clicking the avatar of the person whom you want to text.
- If you want peace from the notifications you receive while others communicate in a group, you can simply mute the notifications of that particular group.
Kik or Kik Messenger is yet another free instant messaging mobile application for Android and iOS platforms. Developed by Kik Interactive, a Canadian company, it leverages your data plan or WiFi to send text, videos, photos, web pages, and other sorts of digital content.
The most admiring feature of Kik is that it lets users stay anonymous, i.e., it does not require users’ phone numbers to register. But, the messages you send and receive may sometimes be surrendered upon request by law enforcement organizations.
- With Kik, you can protect your phone number from being shared with others. Only your username is visible to others.
- You can find new people on Kik and get displayed on Kik so that other people can connect with you.
- Kik also supports group messaging by creating a group of people of your choice.
- It is like a streaming app where you can watch videos of others, or you can create your own and be a star.
- The promoted chats feature of Kik leverages bots to communicate with users about brands. Using this feature, businesses can find more potential customers.
Viber or Rakuten Viber is a voice-over IP and instant messaging application that is compatible with multiple platforms, including Android, iOS, Windows, macOS, ad Linux. Developed by a Japanese company, Rakuten, Viber is a free-to-use application. The company originally launched it as a VoIP service. Later, it added the feature of instant messaging.
To use this application, you need to sign up through your mobile number. Besides a mobile application, you can access Viber’s service on the desktop without requiring mobile connectivity.
- With Viber, you can send and receive text, photos, videos, GIFs , audio messages, stickers, and other content.
- You can make voice calls and switch to video calls anytime you wish.
- Once you send a text message, you can delete as well as edit it.
- Share your emotions or respond to messages with expressive stickers, emojis, and GIFs. You can even create your own GIFs and stickers.
- Viber lets you create a group of people, whether they are friends, family members, or co-workers, to have group communication through chats and calls.
- There are many public groups on Viber that you can join and be a part of them.
- You can set a timer for messages to self-destruct for security purposes.
- As it is a multiplatform application, it synchronizes chats and calls across all the devices you use.
Here ends our list of the 10 best messaging apps. All of the aforementioned applications work well on Android and iOS devices, while some of them also provide web clients for Windows and macOS desktops. Whether you need to communicate with friends or family or with coworkers in a group, all of these instant messaging apps help you out. Also, most of these apps support sending and receiving text, videos, photos, audio files, stickers, and GIFs.
We hope this list has helped you find the best messaging application for your needs. Do let us know via comments which app you have chosen or you already use.
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