Facebook is preparing to merge its 3 messaging services– WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and Instagram’s personal messages– into a single messaging platform.
This back-end merger makes sense on paper and breaks down interaction walls between the numerous Facebook-owned apps. Whatever the last product looks like, it will apparently be end-to-end encrypted, and each of the apps will stay a different service with its own icon in your phone’s app library. But the plan is to have all 3 messaging services using the very same internal, cross-platform chat service.
That said, even with the guarantees of encryption and cross-platform support, WhatsApp had some serious privacy issues in the past, and Facebook does not precisely have a clean rap sheet when it comes to user personal privacy and data.
As an outcome, some users may not enjoy about this messaging merger. (And a few of us just do not wish to be connected to the ecosystems of big companies like Facebook.) So let’s take a look at options to WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger that will let you make a tidy escape from Facebook’s upcoming chat platform entirely.
Signal is a frequently advised messaging app thanks to its high level of personal privacy, user security, and transparency. Signal supports text and group messages; media messages for pictures, audio, video, and documents; and even voice/video calls between users. An Android variation can likewise work as an SMS app, replacing the stock Android or Samsung message apps.
Signal has actually been endorsed by individuals like Edward Snowden and many other privacy/data security advocates (which are prominently included on the app’s web page). All communication in the Signal app is end-to-end encrypted, and you can established timers for messages to be auto-deleted The dev team has actually likewise been working to lower the quantity of needed sender info essential for message shipment. If you’re interested, you can take a look at Signal’s whole file encryption protocols here
Signal can be downloaded for iOS, Android, Windows, macOS, and Debian-Linux distros
Viber’s chat functions consist of group chat, immediate voice/video messaging, and thousands of gifs and animated stickers. You can even set up chat extensions to share YouTube videos, Spotify tracks, location information, and more. Viber also supports audio and video calls. (While calls made in between Viber users are complimentary, you can make paid worldwide calls to any landline or mobile number utilizing the Viber Out service)
All messages on Viber are end-to-end encrypted and can be timed to self-delete. Viber likewise includes a Relied on Contacts include that helps you confirm the identity of the other chat participant by swapping secret keys. The app will update you if your contact changes their account information in the future.
Viber will display your schedule, just like Facebook messenger does, but you can disable this if you ever need to hide your status. You can also disable read receipts, conceal discussions, and lock messages with a PIN code.
Like a lot of the other apps noted here, Telegram supplies end-to-end file encryption for all interaction and auto-deletion settings. It lets users send out text and media messages, and supports group messages that can include approximately a whopping 200,000 individuals in one chat thread.
Telegram’s cloud-based chat runs on globally-distributed servers, which Telegram claims can provide messages quicker than any other messaging app readily available. This also indicates you can sync messages throughout all your gadgets, and you get endless storage for your shared media. If you’re a designer, the Telegram API is completely open-source and complimentary to use
As the name implies, GroupMe is a group messaging service that offers cross-platform chat. It’s owned by Skype (which is owned by Microsoft), so it’s not open-source like the other services on this list. It’s also subject to the exact same data-collection practices as all Microsoft items, and it doesn’t feature file encryption– nor a number of the security features of the other apps we have actually consisted of. Nevertheless, what sets GroupMe apart is its focus on group chat, along with a few other enjoyable functions.
GroupMe allows users to share videos, images, and documents, which can be seen by means of a “gallery” mode that shows all the media shared within a group’s history. You can even send out direct messages to particular users within a group. GroupMe also supports area sharing, along with secondary functions such as “taste” messages and customized app-based emoji sets.
There are Android, iOS, and Windows GroupMe apps, and a web-based chat client However, there is likewise an SMS-based version of GroupMe that you can use without needing an app– or perhaps a smart device. Users text particular commands to the GroupMe phone number to produce and continue group talks. This text-based system even allows you to manage your group and change chat settings. It’s a convenient function, however bear in mind that this functionality is just readily available to those in the US.