10 best instant messaging apps on Android

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Steven L. Ken
@stevenlken
SOURCES CONSULTED:

android.com play.google.com

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Slowly but surely the world is moving away from SMS and MMS as the default way of texting. It started years ago with apps like AOL Instant Messenger and has evolved into a plethora of options that all work really well. Developments have accelerated markedly in recent years. You basically have more options than you will ever need. Which messaging apps are the best? In this list, we are going to explore the best instant messaging and chat apps for Android.



Facebook Messenger

Facebook Messenger is one of the most popular instant messaging apps. There are two versions (standard and lite). The standard includes all features such as chat heads, stickers, and other features. The Lite version is just a basic chat app with a lot less frills. Those who have invested heavily in the Facebook Messenger experience may want to use the standard app. However, those who don't want to deal with Facebook nonsense should use the Lite version. Facebook ends up introducing ads on these chat apps. However, they are otherwise free to use. Facebook had some security issues earlier in 2018. We don't imagine the social network becoming useless because of this. Many people will still use Facebook.

Google Allo et Google Hangouts

Google Allo and Google Hangouts are two instant messaging applications. Hello is the newest. It features integration with Google Assistant and the usual stuff like stickers, GIF support, and more. Allo also supports Google Duo as well as an incognito chat that self-destructs when needed. Google Hangouts is Google's old messaging app. It offers superior cross-platform support between computers and phones and puts video chat and text chat in the same application. Hangouts also offers voice chats and a few other fun features.



Who

Kik is another popular messaging app. It lets you choose a nickname rather than a real name or phone number. It gives it a decidedly old school feeling. The app also includes stickers, emoticons, group chats, video chats, themes, and material design. In-app purchases give you extra sticker packs and the like. GroupMe is another good chat app in this genre. It has many of the same characteristics and is aimed at the same type of people.

Slack

Slack is one of the best chat apps for business. It looks extremely clean and professional. Groups can create channels, conduct voice calls, and more. The app also supports third-party apps like Giphy, Google Drive, Asana, and other fun or productive tools. Users can also join multiple Slack servers. It's kind of like a more professional version of Discord, honestly. Like Discord, it's also completely free, with no in-app purchases. Those with bigger teams and needing more features can pay for an optional subscription for additional stuff.

Skype

Skype is one of the most recognizable messaging apps to date. Everyone knows what Skype is. You can send text message, video call and voice calls to other members. You can even call people on a real phone number for a nominal fee. The app includes a few additional features that may or may not be useful. It depends on what you need. Still, it offers excellent cross-platform support, support for multiple chats, and most file types including documents, GIFs, and others.



Snapchat

Snapchat is one of the most unique messaging apps. It supports many things including voice calls, video messages, picture messages, and text messages. The service deletes messages after viewing. That means there's no story to tell outside of a streak counter. There are also Snapchat stories. This allows people to send proverbial status updates that all of their followers can see. They expire in 24 hours. Many of the app's features are imitated by other apps (mainly Instagram). However, Snapchat is still quite popular among young people.

Discord

Discord is easily among the best instant messaging apps for gamers. It supports multiple platforms between most mobile phone and computer operating systems. The app also offers voice chat, multiple text chats, GIF support, and more. Service people can create their own servers or join others as needed. It's mostly for games. However, some people just use it for its fantastic organization system and above-average voice chat capabilities. It is also completely free with no in-app purchases or ads.


Telegram

Telegram is one of the most popular messaging apps for privacy. It offers 256-bit symmetric AES encryption, 2048-bit RSA encryption, and more. This makes it one of the safest email services around. The app also features file sharing, cross-platform support, group chats, GIF support, and more. It gained popularity very quickly. This made it difficult to judge at first. However, tons of people are now using this service. Signal Private Messenger is another decent app in this space. You can use any. They have most of the same characteristics.


Viber

Viber is not big in some parts of the world. However, it is one of the most popular messaging apps. It offers a full experience including messages, calls, live chat, group chats, video messages, video chats, and more. It also includes extras such as stickers, news from around the world, and more.

WhatsApp

WhatsApp is one of the most popular messaging apps in the world. It has a ton of features, gets frequent updates, and positively competes with pretty much every other chat app out there. It includes audio and video chat, text message, group chat, support for most media formats like GIFs, videos, etc., etc. It's powerful, accessible and popular.

Read also: 10 best messaging and texting apps on Android

If we missed any of the best instant messaging apps on Android, tell us about it in the comments.


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