Messaging apps help you communicate and connect with loved ones or acquaintances and co-workers outside of regular work hours through voice, text, or video calls and share documents too.
Today, there’s an increasing number of messaging apps you can use, including Snapchat, which allows you to easily send photos, short videos, add drawings, filters, and effects to images.
Besides Snapchat, several alternatives exist such as Telegram, WhatsApp, Viber and others. The best Snapchat alternative is Wickr Me. Not only do you get plenty of features on Wickr Me but it keeps user privacy on top, something that users invariably want from a messaging app.
Why explore Snapchat alternatives?
Despite all the good things, Snapchat has an overwhelming interface and doesn’t provide an easy way to save incoming images. Plus, you can’t view others’ past content or save it, and you can’t use your photo as a profile picture – just an avatar or bitmoji – which are also time-bound.
Snapchat is also media-heavy so it can hog resources like space on your device and slow it down eventually. You also can’t tell whether someone you’re chatting with is online because their ‘last seen’ status isn’t available.
By using Snapchat alternatives, you can eliminate these frustrating downsides. We’ve listed down some great options for you to try.
Many of these apps offer powerful encryption built into the software so no third-party can intercept your messages, and you can enjoy your chat sessions with multiple features that you wouldn’t get on Snapchat.
Here are the 15 best Snapchat alternatives you can opt for.
Best Snapchat Alternatives
1. Wickr Me
Wickr Me is like Snapchat except it’s not as popular. However, it provides what many people tend to want – more privacy. The app has great security features that show just how much it values your user privacy and data.
You don’t need an email address or phone number to use it, and they don’t store your contacts or information on their servers.
The Snapchat alternative works for mobile device users and provides voice memos, encrypted messages, image, and video sharing, among other features. Plus, you still get a unique photo and video filters, graffiti, and stickers, though not as cool as those in Snapchat.
A self-destructing feature is included that deletes messages, videos, and images, just like Snapchat, but you get full anonymity – nobody can control, track, or interrupt your communication.
Compared to Snapchat, which doesn’t help you find your contacts, Wickr Me helps you find friends by their names or by importing your contacts to the app. It also has a shredder function that eliminates images, messages, and videos.
Telegram is a secure, easy-to-use mobile messaging app that works on mobile devices just like Snapchat. It’s fast-growing thanks to the migration of users from Facebook’s WhatsApp platform and offers unique features.
You can exchange messages, make video and audio calls, send files, and create group chats with thousands of members or bots for simple routine tasks.
The platform is ideal for teamwork or when you want to host large online communities, unlike Snapchat, which seems more personal for a close inner circle of people.
You can also use Telegram’s secret chats to share self-vanishing content like on Snapchat, and it’s a hyper-secure instant messaging app with one-on-one customer support. Plus, you can broadcast messages to an unlimited number of subscribers.
WeChat is a popular messaging app that’s dominant in China, which is an all-in-one platform for calling and messaging, shopping online, transferring money, making offline payments, reservations, booking taxis, and more.
The platform is a super social media app that helps you expand your business efforts into Asia – mainly China – unlike Snapchat – and you can use ads, influencer campaigns, or in-app eCommerce to reach your audience there.
It has a wide range of functions and immense usefulness compared to Snapchat, which is mainly for social media networking and other information-sharing services.
WeChat works on any mobile device and has more than one billion users, making it easy to connect with others compared to Snapchat, which makes it hard for you to find your contacts.
One great feature is that you can call mobile numbers and landlines from WeChat, so it’s a flexible alternative if others don’t use the app. For businesses, this also means people can call you from WeChat if they have concerns or want to ask questions.
Founded in 2009, WhatsApp is a messaging app used by over two billion people in more than 180 countries worldwide. The app started as a platform for people to communicate with family and friends, but over time, businesses joined in and people use it to chat with their favorite brands too.
The platform has been built to allow businesses to get proper profiles, share updates with customers about their purchases, and offer customer support – especially through WhatsApp Business.
Unlike Snapchat, which is more of a social media app for photo and video sharing, WhatsApp is much more than that. You can connect with loved ones or businesses, share images, videos, files, documents, make purchases, and much more.
It’s the most popular messaging app right now and owned by Facebook, meaning there are options for integrating with your personal or brand’s Facebook profile and/or Instagram.
Find out the best alternatives to WhatsApp here.
5. Facebook Messenger
If you want to do more than just chatting and sharing filtered photos or videos, Facebook Messenger is worth considering. The app works on the web or on mobile devices – Android and iOS – and you can message anyone in your network.
You can find and chat with contacts or acquaintances even if you don’t have their phone numbers, compared to Snapchat, which doesn’t provide the option to connect with those in your contact list.
Plus, you don’t need a Facebook account to use Messenger. Just sign up with a phone number and talk to other users. If you have a Facebook account, you can use Messenger to chat with your friends and other users who have Messenger.
The app has basic messaging tools so you can send texts, react using emoji, gifs, or stickers, send media files, or capture your own using the camera and filters. You can also create quick polls to get ideas or opinions.
Messenger also lets you watch videos with others, play games, share music, and also send money via PayPal depending on your location – which Snapchat lacks. You can enable encryption on both ends of the chat, and Facebook will scan any images for violation of its rules including child abuse – not for advertising purposes.
It’s a well-designed app that organizes your chats and is easy to navigate while chatting with loved ones.
Viber is another Snapchat alternative with an all-rounded messaging service and large monthly active users. The app fuses media and text messaging with a free video or voice call service that users outside Viber can use, which Snapchat doesn’t offer its users.
You can talk to individuals or create group chats with lots of participants and share video or voice messages without making calls. This works best when you’re too lazy to type or are busy talking.
Viber also has a native QR code scanner and allows you to send stickers and GIFs, which are native to your chat so you can make the conversations livelier. It also comes with end-to-end encryption on all its communications, but you get private keys to exchange with your contacts for better security.
Besides free calling, Viber offers a dark mode option for its minimalist design, and an organized way to delegate chats and calls in separate tabs.
You can use Viber in over 41 languages, and also apply the self-destruct messages that are popular with Snapchat. Viber’s secret chats also self-vanish after some time. You can also send money through Viber, which you can’t do on Snapchat.
Signal takes the look and feel of WhatsApp but is simpler in a sense and more unremarkable-looking of all the messaging apps here.
The platform has a single screen for all your chats and one simple compose button for you to start sending out messages to your contacts.
it has little customization compared to other Snapchat alternatives, and you’ll notice many similarities to WhatsApp including the double ticks that denote message status.
Plus, you can use the free one on one voice and video calling to other Signal customers, which are encrypted like other messages you send through the app.
On Signal, you can send photos, texts, documents, videos, and voice messages to groups or individual chats. There’s no limit on how many people you can add to a Signal group.
The app secures all your messages with end-to-end encryption and offers an option to set expiration dates for conversations – which is like Snapchat’s self-vanishing feature. When messages expire, you can’t recover them. Plus, there’s a note to self-include so you can store your thoughts – you don’t get that on Snapchat.
Signal is available on desktop for Mac, Windows, and Linux, and for mobile devices too at no cost.
Tox is a messaging app that rivals Snapchat and offers a decentralized chat service. It’s not a single app, but a messaging service whose users run and maintain as they use the service.
Tox is open source compared to Snapchat, which isn’t and is designed with user privacy in mind. The messaging platform comes with multiple apps that aren’t official but are projects contributed by different users.
Whether you’re a group or individual, you can use Tox to reach one person or group and share photos, videos, and texts as well as files. All the chats are encrypted on both ends and Tox doesn’t have servers that can be shut down.
Therefore, no one can raid or disturb the servers meaning Tox has a distributed approach that eliminates the possibility of server downtime. Depending on your hardware, you can use multiple Tox clients including Antidote for Tox, Antox, and qTox or uTox, for mobile and desktop devices.
The community contributes to all Tox projects for free but not all its features work with all Tox clients. But basics like media messaging, text chat, and file sharing are handled well.
Threema is an anonymous messaging app that helps you protect your messages through the NaCI cryptography library.
Whenever you open Threema, you get a unique ID key that allows you to send messages anonymously or you can choose to associate them with your email address or phone number.
Threema provides end-to-end encryption for video, voice, text, and photo messages, and file sharing for up to 20MB.
You also get group messaging and a polling feature that allows you to gauge your loved one’s opinions.
You can use it on the desktop version to keep chatting while at work, which Snapchat doesn’t let you do. And you get personal QR codes to scan and verify the users who want to connect or chat with you.
Like Snapchat, Kik is a messaging app that’s mainly used by the youth. The app doesn’t need you to link a phone number to start using it or long sign-ups – just a username and you’re all set.
You can add loved ones or friends by scanning their unique Kik QR code using your device’s camera. Kik offers a user-friendly and fun interface from where you can play games in chat rooms, interact with, and make new connections.
For brands, Kik offers a platform on which to market to young users who are mostly around 13-24 years of age, compared to millennials and Gen-Zs on Snapchat.
Kik is more comprehensive than Snapchat. You get vibrant stickers and emojis for a lively and more fun experience, and chatbots that help you play games in group chats, get fashion tips, and the day’s news.
The app is built for socializing so it doesn’t quite focus on backing up any files or messages. Your data is stored on your device, meaning if you use Kik elsewhere, it’s easy to lose your information.
Skype is owned by Microsoft, but it’s been around for years. It comes with messaging features that aren’t known to many users, especially those who rely on it for video calling.
You get group chats to use across devices, and you can share pictures, videos, and files too.
The app doesn’t have stickers as much as gifs and emojis, but it’s free to use and you can also make calls or host video chats on it.
It’s mostly a professional-based app compared to Snapchat, which is mostly for social use, and Skype is simple and easy to use to connect with people giving you a fun and functional balance.
GroupMe is a basic instant messaging app that provides the ability to group chat with others who may not have mobile devices and rely mainly on SMS services.
You can send emojis, texts, gifs, and stickers with your text messages through GroupMe, and they’ll be saved in an in-chat gallery in case you want to use them later.
File sharing is allowed for up to 50MB though that may not be adequate when sending in-depth files or plenty of your favorite photos.
GroupMe is mainly about facilitating group chats or direct messaging other users, while Snapchat is a mix of both. You can build a group chat with two or even 500 people, add them by phone number or email addresses, and share anything or report concerns in one tap.
Since 2015 when it was launched, Discord has been keeping gamers – who it was initially built for – chatting together and staying connected as they play together.
Today, the app boasts at least 350 million users – 56 million of which are monthly active users – a huge group compared to Snapchat. The users love Discord for various chatting needs including private group chats of up to 10 people in one group at a time.
Discord also has a voice chat feature that gamers can use if they feel the need to avoid chatting to save their gameplay. This feature offers hands-free communication, and they can stay in touch while gaming. Plus, if you’re in a club or community, you can use Discord as well to facilitate meetings and meet others online.
The digital communities from various Discord groups help users stay connected but there’s no end-to-end encryption for its messages, though. The platform isn’t intended for encrypted communications so it doesn’t provide the feature.
LINE is a popular Snapchat alternative that boasts a little over double the number of users on Snapchat. You get the standard messaging app features, and a Facebook-like timeline so you can publish updates for your friends to comment on – you don’t get that on Snapchat because it lacks the options to like, follow, or comment.
You can also make video or voice calls for free and use a healthy store of stickers with LINE’s famous characters when chatting to individuals or groups of up to 500 people.
LINE offers encrypted chats and you can follow brands or artists on the platform. You can also set up albums and share with others or watch videos from YouTube together in-call.
The communication app gives you access to various services, information, and other family services, plus, you can make payments or send money via LINE Pay, which Snapchat lacks.
KakaoTalk is another popular messaging app that makes a solid alternative to Snapchat. The app is used mostly in South Korea, but is also available in the United States and is known to be reliable and fast regardless of the network you’re connected to.
It’s a go-to app for many users, who love it for its integration of eCommerce, which Snapchat doesn’t provide, and exclusive deals and coupons to share with family and friends.
You can use it for transactions and get branded credit cards to use with your virtual currency.
Other bonus features in KakaoTalk include the ability to schedule appointments after creating your own calendar, and set reminders for work meetings, lunches, or other gatherings.
The app also has group video chat, which is a popular feature these days that makes it easier for people to get together with their loved ones no matter where they are. You can use KakaoTalk on Android or iOS devices.
Our mobile devices enable instant and constant communication with our loved ones and work colleagues. However, not all options are always the best, as we’ve seen with Snapchat.
The 15 alternatives we’ve listed above provide rich services for every kind of interaction with others, from free voice, text, and video calling, to file and photo sharing – some with the added benefit of encryption.
All these options can help you finally make the switch from the frustrations of using Snapchat and enjoy a great messaging experience with your contacts.
Pick the one that’s most convenient for you and that works with your contacts while also satisfying your privacy and security concerns.
Scott L. Macarthur is a marketing consultant and an online author. He is mostly engaged in providing his expertise to startups and SMBs. He is also an author on TheNextWeb.