When you think of a chat apps, Facebook or WhatsApp are probably the apps that come to mind. However, there are several – in fact, you’ll be spoilt for choices on what the best chat app you could use for your online business.
Chat applications, also known as “social messaging apps” are platforms that enable communication between two persons or groups. The development of Chat Apps began the early 1990s, and in 2009, the world the first major chat app, Whatsapp was founded. After that, there has been a proliferation of chat apps, especially because of Wi-Fi and high-speed mobile networks available in most parts of the world. The chat app features such as simple sharing of videos, photos, stickers, live streams, and many more.
Today, there are hundreds of chat apps accessible to smartphone users, which include WhatsApp, WeChat, QQ Messenger, Viber, Line, Snapchat, KakaoTalk, Google Hangouts, Blackberry Messenger, Signal, Telegram, Facebook Messenger, Instagram, and Twitter.
The many chat apps bring along confusion among users concerning what messaging app to use in our phones. Thus, this review discusses the most popular chat apps, which are Whatsapp, Facebook Messenger, Line, Snapchat, WeChat, Skype, Google Hangouts, Viber, Telegram, and KakaoTalk. We discuss various features of chat apps to help you download the messaging app or apps that match your needs. For every chap app option that is available, ask yourself;
- Are my conversations secure?
- Is it free to use?
- Can I create group chats?
- Does the app allow voice chats and video chats?
- Is the chap available on desktops?
- Does the app have annoying ads?
- Can I send and receive files with the chat app?
I bet you all know Whatsapp, or you have heard about it. WhatsApp is the chat app that has most users across the globe. Facebook, Inc owns WhatsApp. WhatsApp became the most popular messaging application in 2015, where it recorded over 2 billion users globally. WhatsApp is the chat app that I have used religiously for over ten years because of its convenient features
- Whatsapp is available on either Android or IOS smartphones, which is free to download and use. It is also available on Windows and macOS at no cost.
- Whatsapp enables you to instant messages, voice calls, and chat calls.
- Also, WhatsApp allows conversation between a group of people owing to its group chat feature
- Whatsapp allows you to send and receive files, which you can download
- WhatsApp does not have annoying ads, and
- Most important, WhatsApp encrypts conversation end to end, which makes it very secure to use.
Facebook Messenger is commonly known as Messenger. Facebook, Inc. owns Facebook Messenger.
Similar to WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger is a popular chat app across the globe.
Facebook Messenger is popular worldwide because;
- It is free to download and use
- It allows you to send instant text messages, voice calls, and video calls to a person also using messenger, either from the phone or desktop
- You can send and receive files
- It is available on the desktop
- It is available on Android, iOS, and Windows 10 device
- It is safe because it has end to end encryption
- Allows you to send money, which is available in the UK, US, and France
LINE is a chat app that is owned by Line Plus Corporation and its Korean parent NHN Corporation. LINE boasts of over 200 million users. LINE is especially popular in East Asian countries, such as Thailand, Taiwan, and Japan. LINE is a popular chat app because;
- LINE is available on Android, iOS, Windows, macOS devices.
- It allows free voice chats and video chats
- It enables group chats
- It secures conversations owing to its end-to-end encryption
- It enables you to send and accept files.
Other LINE features that makes the chat app popular are;
- LINE allows you to follow your favorite brands, celebrities, and organizations in their official channels to keep up with news about them (How Exciting!)
- Stickers (large emojis) originally known as LINE Friends that users use during chats such as Brown, Cony, Sally, Moon, Boss, Jessica, Edward, Leonard, Choco, Pangyo, and Rangers.
- Games such as puzzles, match-three, side-scroller, musical performance, simulation, battle, and spot-the-difference games.
- Line Pay, which allows users
- to receive and send money from users in their contact list and make mobile payments in stores. Also, Line Pay allows offline wire transfers and ATM transactions such as deposits and withdrawals
- Line Taxi, which enables users to request taxis and pay for it automatically when they connect their account to line Pay
- Line Wow that allows users to access delivery services for products and services, and
- Other apps such as Line Man, Line Today, Line TV, and Line Shopping.
LINE is especially suitable to people in Asian countries where the app is best known
Arguably, Snapchat is the fastest way to share a moment with your followers. Snapchat is a multimedia messaging platform that is acclaimed globally. Evan Spiegel, Bobby Murphy, and Reggie Brown invented Snapchat as “Picaboo” in 2011, available on iOS devices. Snap, Inc. Snapchat parent company availed Snapchat on Android devices. Today, Snapchat is the 5th most downloaded chat app of the previous decade.
But what makes Snapchat such a hit chat app, you may ask. Below we hight Snapchat’s bomb features;
- Snapchat is the chat app that allows you to use augmented reality filters on top of the images you send. Among the most popular Snapchat filters are Cute pink furry ears, deer face, big mouth, wide faces, rabbit ears and snow, Brownface mask, Flower crown, and pink blossom.
- Allow voice chats, video chats, and group chats
- It is secure owing to its end to end encryption
- You can send and receive files
- It is free to use as long you are connected to the internet
- Snapchat is also available on PC’s and Mac
Download Snapchat if you are a sucker for fun ways of sharing your life events to your followers, or you are my kind who lives to see what my favorite celebrities are up to.
WeChat is the most popular messaging app in China and the third most popular chat app in the world. China refers to WeChat as the “app for everything” and “super app” owing to its many and super functions such as mass surveillance and censoring politically sensitive subjects.
Tencent Holdings Limited launched WeChat on 21st January 2011. In 2018, WeChat became one of the world’s largest standalone mobile apps in 2018 when it recorded over a billion monthly active users.
WeChat has gained popularity especially because;
- It is available on Android, iOS, Windows, and macOS
- It enables voice chats, video chats, and group chats
- It allows you to send and receive files
- It is secure because of its end to end encryption
- It is free for its basic functions such as voice chats, group chats, and video calls.
- Has cool features such as ‘shake to add contacts’, selfie stickers, private group chats, and chart alerts
WeChat also provides premium services for its users, such as WeChat Pay digital payment services, Enterprise WeChat, WeChat Mini Program, WeChat Business, among others.
- WeChat Pay is a digital wallet that allows users to complete mobile payments and transact money between contacts
- Enterprise WeChat, also known as Qiye Weixin is a unique version of WeChat that business employees use to communicate, Enterprise WeChat also enables workers to keep track of the yearly leaves, expenses, and provides a platform where employees can request for time off or to show their clock-ins at work.
- The WeChat Mini Program is an app within WeChat that allows business owners to scan the Quick Response code in markets and pay for the goods using their WeChat mobile wallet.
- WeChat Business, which uses business relationships and friendships to manage customer relationships.
Download WeChat especially if you are in China because other major chat apps are unavailable in the country. For example, Facebook, Google, Snapchat, WhatsApp, Line, and others are banned in the country.
The Skype website defines Skypes as a telecommunications application that specializes in providing video chats and voice calls across all devices.
For a long time, Skype was the platform that offered affordable video chatting calls., which promoted its popularity.
One of the best features of Skype is that it is cross-platform because of its available mobile devices, computers, tablets, smartwatches, and over the internet.
Other features of Skype include;
- Smart messaging, where you can react to any message with reactions. Also, you can get someone’s attention by using mentions
- Screen sharing of presentations, holiday photos or anything during a call using an integrated screen sharing
- Provides security of your private conversations through end to end encryption
- Skype allows you to store special moments by allowing you to record calls
- Enables you to contact persons who do not use Skype using Skype Credit or Skype subscriptions, Skype Numbers, and sending SMSes.
Other Skype features include share location, background blur, send files, Skype Translator, Search within a conversation, Cortana, Share button, and Skype Connect.
Google Hangouts is a chat app invented by Google. Originally, Google Hangouts was a feature of Google+. Hangouts became a stand-alone product in 2013, where it integrated features of Google+ Messenger and Google Talk.
Today, Hangouts is part of the G Suite line of products, with its main features being Google Hangouts Meet and Google Hangouts Chat.
Google Hangouts Meet is a video communication platform for up to 30 participants that is available on the web app, Android APP, and an iOS app.
Google Hangouts Meet has features for G Suite users such as;
- Up to 100 members for G Suite Basic users, a maximum of 150 users for G Suite Business users, and up to 250 call participants for G Suite Enterprise users
- Ability to join a meeting via calls suing a dial-in-number
- Encrypted calls between users
- Real-time automatic-generates closed captioning,
- And screen-sharing for presentation of documents, and spreadsheets
Google Hangouts Chat, on the other hand, is an instant messaging service
Google Hangouts is suitable with you if;
- You have an organization that often hold conferences via video calls
- You have customers that are not familiar with the new Hangouts Chat app
- You wish to communicate with your family, friends, and business partners directly from your Gmail inbox
Overall, Google Hangouts is a satisfactory Chat App.
Simply put, Viber is a cross-platform chat app that enables its users to make free and secure calls and send messages to anyone, anywhere.
Israel-based Viber Media developed Viber in 2010, which Ratuken bought in 2014. Since 2017, Viber’s corporate name is Ratuken Viber, with its head office being Luxembourg.
Viber is a popular chat app, especially in Japan because of its features, which include:
- Enhanced security features such as an end to end encryption, messages are protected as they travel from user to another, and enables you to verify the identity of who you are chatting with by exchanging secret keys.
- Fun chat extensions such as music, GIFS, videos, restaurants, events, hotels without leaving the chat interface
- Free calls to Viber users
- Low rates for high-quality international calls to any landline or mobile in the world using Viber Out.
- Group chats with unlimited members
- HD-quality audio and video calls
Click the link to understand Viber more clearly https://encrypted-vtbn0.gstatic.com/video?q=tbn:ANd9GcSw50zoYqYUji8iZpwWROmizCBNBMlpcFjl6wceiQxTDWfr-CLP
Telegram is a cloud-based instant messaging chat and voice over IP service. Nikolai Durov and Pavel Durov launched Telegram in 2013.
Telegram is available on all devices for Android, iOS, Windows Phone, Windows NT, macOS, and Linux, where users can send messages, and send and receive files such as photos, videos, and stickers. Also, Telegram allows users to make voice chats, video chats, group chats and has end to end encryption.
It is not surprising then, that Telegram has become the most used chat app worldwide. As of October 2019, Telegram had over 300 million users with at least 3 million daily users.
Telegram chat app is beneficial to you if you want to conduct group chat of up to 200, 000 members, you do not fancy ads and subscriptions fees, and need a chat app that is available in most devices.