WhatsApp Alternatives: Six instant messaging apps

Facebook just annnounced its plan to buy WhatsApp for $19bn, leaving some users fearing the worse for the instant messaging service. Will Mark Zuckerberg take the best features from the hugely popular application and build it into its existing Facebook Messenger app or leave it relatively untouched? Only time will tell.

If you are not willing to wait to find out, and Facebook’s big spender attitude is enough to convince you to contemplate ditching the instant messaging service, here are six WhatsApp alternatives to try out instead.

Read more about why Facebook bought WhatsApp

Black bar

1. Viber

Platforms: iOS, Android, Windows Phone and BlackBerry 10, Mac and Windows

Viber was recently bought for £540m by Japanese company Rakuten, which also owns Kobo and Wuaki.TV. It offers free calls, texts and picture sharing across platforms. It even gets you free international calls as long as the other person has the app installed. You can use your phone number to ring other Viber users so there’s no need to set up a separate profile, and ViberOut is an additional credit-based service letting you make calls to non-Viber users.

Price: Free

WhatsApp alternatives 4

Black bar

2. Skype

Platforms: Mac, iOS, Android, Windows 8, Windows Phone

King of video calling Skype also supports a comprehensive instant messaging that works across most mobile devices. It is also deeply integrated into Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 smartphones and tablets. Instant messaging doesn’t currently work on TVs, although it does on the Xbox One where you can also use the SmartGlass mobile app to type out messages. Unlike WhatsApp it doesn’t use your phone number as your indentifier so you need a Skype profile to get the most out of it.

Price: Free

WhatsApp alternatives 1

Black bar

3. Line

Platforms: Windows, iOS, Android, BlackBerry 10, Windows Phone, FireFox OS

The Japanese-based instant messaging and voice call service Line has recently added video call support. There’s also support for group chats and you can add new Line users by simply ‘shaking devices together’. To make chatting more playful, there are emoticons and stickers to insert into messages. When you get bored of messaging, you can also see who can rack up the highest score on the Bejeweled clone LINE game.

Price: Free

WhatsApp alternatives 6

Black bar

4. Samsung ChatOn

Platforms: Android, iOS, PC

Samsung’s answer to WhatsApp and BBM is all about instant messaging so there’s no voice calling or group video chats just yet. It does support texts, MMS-style messaging, video sharing, music sharing and location sharing. To make use of the trusty S-Pen you get with a Galaxy Note 3 you can also send handwritten notes and drawings. If you have a Samsung Galaxy S4 or any Samsung smartphone or tablet for that matter, ChatOn will import existing contacts to initiate individual and group chats.

Price: Free

WhatsApp alternatives 7

Black bar

5. Google Hangouts

Platforms: iOS, Android, Chrome, PC

Google’s own instant messaging service continues to improve, with recent support for SMS integration, animated GIFs and location sharing added. On top of that it also offers video calling, photo sharing, emojis and group conversations over voice or video. Unlike WhatsApp, using it is entirely dependent on a having a Google account so it’s not tied to your number. This lets it unify conversations across iOS and Android devices easily, making it a little easier to migrate to.

Price: Free

WhatsApp alternatives 2

Black bar

6. BBM

Platforms: BlackBerry 10, iPhone, Android

Last but by no means least is BBM. BlackBerry’s instant messaging service has recently introduced iPhone and Android apps to let it work across platforms. It also offers free voice calls that work via its BBM Voice service. BBM contacts can also see your location and you can share voice photos and voice notes too. Group chat is still a key feature letting you talk with up to 50 friends plus there are loads of emoticons to fill up the dead time in conversation.

Price: Free

WhatsApp alternatives 3

Next, read the five reasons why Nokia is making an Android phone

More from TrustedReviews

LG Q8 finally brings the V20’s promise to Europe

Atari is now in the speaker business… and the hat business

Thinner Moto Z2 Force could come with a huge trade-off

HyperLoop One

Elon Musk’s Hyperloop gathering pace as NY-DC link gets ‘OK’


Is this proof an N64 Classic will follow the SNES?

Agents of Mayhem preview

cats 17

Why you’ll want to download this OnePlus 5 update today

Golf rory

British Open Golf Live Stream: How to watch online for free

Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare for Xbox One down to under £9

Samsung Gear S3 finally gets Samsung Pay support in UK

Welcome to the all new Trusted Reviews

Netgear Arlo

Netgear Arlo Pro

Cat Amazon

Are you kitten me? Pet translation devices tipped for future smart homes

fire emblem warriors

Fire Emblem Warriors


Pokkén Tournament DX

TP-Link Smart Wi-Fi LED Bulb 5

TP-Link Smart Wi-Fi LED Bulb

Samsung Pay

Samsung Pay now lets you use your PayPal funds at the checkout

assassins creed origins

Ubisoft teases new games for Nintendo Switch, coming ‘quite soon’

amazon echo

Ask Vodafone: Mobile network’s first Amazon Alexa voice skill is revealed

Google Feed

The Google app’s new personalised feed might just drag you off Facebook

z2play 9

Moto Z2 Play

Mira Prism

For just $99 you can bring AR to the iPhone 7

Samsung Galaxy S8

Samsung Galaxy S9 displays may be the same, save one major new feature

movie theatre

The Netflix Effect: ‘Binge-watching’ is coming to movie theatres

Porsche MIssion E

Porsche’s latest electric car chargers put Tesla to shame

EE logo

EE’s new 20GB SIM-free deal is the best value tariff you’ll see all summer


These are the first images from the ISS – as captured by a zero-gravity drone

iMac 21.5-inch 4K (2017)

LG V30 case

LG V30 design ‘confirmed’ ahead of IFA 2017 launch

iPhone 7 vs iPhone SE

Waiting for the iPhone SE 2? Sadly, it could be a one-and-done

Google Glass Enterprise

Google Glass 2 has arrived, sort of

Denon AH-C621R

Denon AH-C621R

BBC Proms

Get ready to listen to the BBC Proms like never before

Fender Newport Monterey Bluetooth speakers

Fender’s new Bluetooth speakers look just like tiny guitar amps

Garmin Vivosmart 3

Garmin Vivosmart 3


Is the laptop travel ban dead? Electronics restrictions lifted by TSA but UK fails to follow suit

KitSound Immerse

KitSound Immerse Wireless Headphones


It’s World Emoji Day and Apple is showing off all of its newcomers

Porn Block

Privacy fears as UK plans age verification for porn sites


New WhatsApp feature could give Apple’s iMessage a run for its money