Top 5 WhatsApp Alternatives

Viber one of the Top 5 WhatsApp Alternatives

After the news that Facebook had bought the WhatsApp instant messaging service, coupled with the unfortunate 2 hour service crash, many people have been looking into alternative cross platform IM services.

$16.6 billion is a lot of money to pay, and has led many to wonder the value Facebook plans to exact from the WhatsApp user base, and how it might change the service to further monetize it.

One alternative, LINE, confirmed it had added 2m extra users during the weekend during WhatApp’s outage alone, and as any changes are implemented by Facebook its likely that other services will see similar surges in sign-ups.

So if you’re looking for an alternative IM service, here are the ones you should look into.

1. Viber

viber im on iphoneOne of the most popular IM services Viber is simple to use and has around 200 million users. It provides IM, HD voice chat, and image and video sharing. Unlike most other services it also has a PC client, letting you chat from the convenience of your desktop which is a major advantage for many.

>> Download Viber for iOS, Android, Windows Phone

2. LINE

With over 340 million users LINE is already the first choice for many, it has IM and voice calling all for free and generates revenue via in-app purchases of stickers.

Line ranked number 1 for worldwide non-game App downloads for sales in 2013 and looks like it will continue strongly into 2014 with celebrities like Katy Perry and Paul McCartney signing up for the service.

>> Download Line for iOS, Android, Windows Phone

3. Skype

Owned by Microsoft, Skype is a long running VOIP / IM client. Although many people see it as a voice service it actually has a perfectly adequate IM service and is available on all major platforms. It also supports image sending and comes with all of Skype’s additional features like SkypeOut and video calling.

>> Download Skype for iOS, Android, Windows Phone

4. WeChat

Huge in China, WeChat has around 300 million users and is finding a growing user base here in Europe and the WhatsApp purchase may give them increased exposure.

WeChat supports IM, voice and video calls and photos and videos and is a perfectly usable IM client.

>> Download WeChat for iOS, Android, Windows Phone

5. GroupMe

Group Me is aimed for people that IM in parties – its great for setting up family and friends groups for updates and can even send messages over SMS if you drop out of data connection. It lacks voice calling but does support sharing of pictures and video.

>> Download GroupMe for iOS, Android, Windows Phone

This post was written by Rob Gordon, an IT geek, gadget lover and blogger. Rob has been using the internets since 1994 when the only streaming video was that coffee pot in Cambridge (rip).... Follow Rob on Twitter - @robgordon - about.me/robgordonuk