Alternatives to WhatsApp: How Messenger works

Alternatives to WhatsApp: How Messenger works

Need a WhatsApp alternative? We recommend these five messenger solutions. […]

The most popular messenger app is used by more than a billion people worldwide to communicate about business and private matters. Although there are some alternatives to WhatsApp, the transition is not necessarily easy – after all, a messenger alternative only brings the desired effect if it is also used by your contacts.

Still, there are some good reasons to turn your back on WhatsApp. For example, because the app is under the control of Facebook, because the updated terms of service belch sour or simply to expand the Messenger app horizon. Caution is especially important if WhatsApp is used on professionally used devices: without additional precautions, the contacts from your address book are sent to the operators of the messenger services. Failure to obtain consent to share this data may constitute a breach of the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). In addition, it should be difficult to completely delete contact data stored in the cloud at the customer’s request (“right to be forgotten”). We show you the five best alternatives to WhatsApp – most of them GDPR compliant.

WhatsApp users should be the easiest to switch to signal-several functions of the two messenger apps overlap. Also, Signal offers end-to-end encryption, group, video chats and voice calls, as well as the ability to share content such as photos, videos or GIFs. The company attaches particular importance to its data protection promise.

Signal is considered one of the best WhatsApp alternatives (c) Signal

A feature that lacks signal compared to WhatsApp is an equivalent to WhatsApp Web, which makes your chats visible even in a web browser. Although there is a desktop app from Signal, it does not display historical message histories for privacy reasons. In addition, Signal also supports messages that are only visible for a limited period of time. However, unlike WhatsApp, you can set the amount of time after which the messages will dissolve into digital air.

Wire is a messenger app developed by the creators of Skype. Wire also relies on end-to-end encryption and, similar to Signal and WhatsApp, you can either log in with your phone number or email address. Once this is done, Wire assigns you a username, which is preceded by an”@”, similar to Twitter.

Wire is a WhatsApp alternative from the creators of Skype (c) Wire Swiss

The operation of Wire may seem strange at first for die-hard WhatsApp users, but ultimately the app does what it should and allows video and voice calls, as well as individual and group chats without problems. Wire also offers a web app, but for which a separate login must be created. In this case, you also have to do without historical chat histories.

Telegram is one of the most popular messenger apps along with WhatsApp and also supports end-to-end encryption. However, this feature must first be enabled for each individual chat. Telegram uses a proprietary encryption method – unlike other apps such as Signal, which take an open source approach to this. How good or bad Telegram protects the privacy of its users, can not be said conclusively from an independent side.

Telegram is a no less popular messenger app, which, however, is also repeatedly criticized – not only by data protectors (c) Telegram

The WhatsApp alternative, originally from Russia and now headquartered in Dubai, offers all the basic features you would expect from a messenger: individual and group chats, video and voice calls or messages with “self – destruct”functionality. A Telegram desktop app also exists. Similar to WhatsApp, you log in there with your phone number – all contacts who already use Telegram are automatically recorded.

The WhatsApp alternative Viber has been around for almost ten years. Also, this app supports video and voice calls and text messages on an individual and group basis. In addition, Viber offers a “Communities” feature, which is basically a group chat for more members and with more control functions for administrators. In addition, Viber also allows you to send notes to yourself – a nice functionality that you can also use with WhatsApp by starting a chat with yourself.

Viber is one of the oldest alternatives to WhatsApp (c) Viber Media

Like Telegram, Viber uses a proprietary encryption method. In addition to mobile, an app for desktops is also available for download.

If you want a little more geek flair (and can get your contacts to move along), it’s worth looking at Keybase as an alternative to WhatsApp. The app was originally only intended to authenticate online. Meanwhile, Keybase offers various other functions, such as messaging or document encryption. Keybase was originally intended primarily for power users – without your own PGP key, access was not possible, and there was no way to do without a command line. Meanwhile, the app is much more accessible, the registration works as with the other WhatsApp alternatives short and painless.

Keybase was originally intended as an authentication tool, but is also well suited as an alternative messenger (c) Keybase

In terms of messaging, Keybase offers only limited functionalities compared to Signal or Telegram. Video and voice calls are not supported yet. That could change in the future after video conferencing specialist Zoom acquired Keybase. Messages that can be displayed for a limited period of time are possible with Keybase as well as group chats. Keybase is available as an app for Android and iOS, as well as desktop apps for Windows, Mac and Linux.

This post is based on an article from our US sister publication PC World.

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