“The times, they are a changin”. E-mail and chat rooms both used to be popular forms of communication. Instant messaging has since taken a backseat to social media and text messaging. Now it looks like instant messaging apps are making a return in a big way. The growth of the chat app has been exploding than most people expected it to. People assumed it would go the same way as chat rooms.
The explosion of popular chat apps makes it easier to keep in touch with family and friends without paying any fees. WhatsApp, Discord, and Facebook Messenger are just some of the most popular chat apps that offer free text and video chat. That's not the only reason why users are turning to these apps.
They can send and receive video and other media safely and securely. This is an added benefit if privacy is a concern for you. Here is a list of the seven hottest chat apps that give you more ways to keep in touch with your friends and family members.
1 - Facebook Messenger
Facebook lead the way with its very own Messenger app. This chat allows you to keep up with your friends on Facebook even if your profile is disabled. Facebook Messenger keeps adding more features such as updated emojis, animated GIFs, recorded voice calls, and more.
Users can sign in with their email address and password. This company keeps updating Messenger with an interface that uses less memory on your smartphone or tablet. It's also easier to access the chat app's key features. Facebook plans to roll out a Dark Mode that allows you to interact with your friends at night.
2 - WhatsApp Messenger
WhatsApp Messenger is the second popular chat app on this list. It's very easy to install and set up on your phone. Within seconds, you can keep in touch with your phone's contacts. It provides an ad-free experience that no other chat apps do on this list. That's some of the reasons why WhatsApp has become a popular chat app.
It also gives you the ability to talk to anyone around the world. You can send text messages, recorded video or voice messages, photos, and more. This app is also rolling out new features such as updated emojis and encrypted messaging. You don't have to worry about anyone hacking your phone and viewing your messages.
3 - Viber
Viber is another chat app that's very easy to set up. It offers many ways for you to interact with your friends and family. You use your phone number as your login information. The app automatically syncs your phone's contacts to help you find Viber contacts. Keep in mind that you'll need a SIM card to setup Viber on your phone.
There are plenty of things you can do with this app. You can send emojis, photos, stickers, and recorded voice and video messages to other Viber users. For a small fee, you can use the Viber Out feature to call non-Viber users and landline phone numbers around the world. This chat app provides encrypted messaging by ensuring you that every message you send is encrypted.
4 - Google Allo
Google rolled out its third chat app. Google Allo looks like your phone's traditional messaging app. It allows you to interact with your friends with emojis, photos, stickers, and doodle animation. What separates itself from the other chat apps is that it uses Google Assistant, an assistant that can send quick responses or search information related to your conversations.
Don't know where a particular restaurant is located? Google Assistant will pick up on that and find the closest locations. There's also the option to talk to your friends in incognito chat mode that includes encryption, secret pop-up notifications, and messages that disappear within seconds. Google Allo is growing in popularity since it keeps all of your conversations safe and secure. You don't have worry about hackers or prying eyes.
5 - Telegram
Telegram is gaining popularity because of its added security. This chat app is available for Mac, Windows, Linux, Android, and more. It's being hailed as the safest chat app on the market. This app keeps all of your incoming and outgoing messages secure. This app has become so controversial that it's been banned in all of Russia.
Telegram Messenger only works with the use of the internet, just like Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp Messenger. You can send messages for free over Wi-Fi or your mobile data connection. Telegram Messenger has over 200 million active users since its launch in 2013. It's ability to encrypt all of your data – groups, media, and messages – is its main selling point.
6 - Signal
Signal is designed by Open Whisper Systems. It's a great chat app for those who want to chat while avoiding SMS fees and data usage fees with added security features. It allows you to send group chats, media, text messages, attachments, and voice messages without worrying about anyone else seeing them. It operates on an open source and strong encryption that makes it a hit with the military and government professionals. Even Edward Snowden and other privacy associates love using this chat app.
7 - Discord
Discord has become synonymous with gamers. It's one of the best chat apps for communicating with your friends as you play a game together. It includes voice and text chat features. Discord gives you the ability to create your own group servers and to join others.
You can send photo, video, or text messages. You can even invite other users to your group server with your own link. While the chat app is free to use, Discord has a premium subscription for $4.99 per month. This includes updated features such as customized emojis, animated avatars, and unlimited upload limits for photos and files.