Whatsapp down? Keep calm, here are 7 alternative messaging Apps to keep you connected


Whether your reason is Whatsapp outages or that things are getting a little hairy now that Whatsapp is in Facebook’s hands, we’ve at least 5 alternatives to one of the most popular messaging App in the world and arguably in Africa.

Before and after the new kid on the block showed up, these messaging Apps will deliver nearly the same user experience and value that Whatsapp does.

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Mxit is a free instant messaging application developed by Mxit (Pty) Ltd. in South Africa that runs on over 8000 devices, including feature phones, Android, BlackBerry, iPhone, iPad, Windows Phone and tablets. This app boosts about 7.4 million monthly active subscribers as of July 2013, of which 6,3 million are in South Africa. As you can tell, if you’re not from South Africa, you most likely don’t know about it, but this App is one of the oldest IM (Instant Messaging) Apps out there.

You can quickly and easily record and send audio voice clips and messages in chat, have a private group chat, engage with communities with whom you share similar interests among other awesome features. The Apps strength is that it can run on feature phones supporting Java and you can still text on low-speed networks such as Edge or 2G.

Google Hangouts (formerly Google Talk)

Google Hangouts evolved from Google talk which was an instant messaging App integrated within Gmail.

Hangouts supports text, photos, and videos, as well as audio and video calls. Hangouts provide group video chats for free, which is perhaps its selling point compared to competitors. It works on iPhone and iPad as well as Android, and in any modern web browser on Mac or Windows.

The downside here is that your friends have to have Google accounts and should all be running either Android or iOS.


Known for making cheap international calls with your friends and family, Skype is a serious Whatsapp alternative with its chatting feature. This is because Skype can work on almost all platforms, with native apps for iPhone, iPad, Mac, Android, BlackBerry, Windows Phone, and Windows. In addition to voice and video calls, they have instant messaging with photo support. I actually used Skype IM to stay intouch with my girlfriend when Whatsapp had an outage.

If you need messaging that’s absolutely everywhere and sync isn’t high on your priority list, check out Skype.

BlackBerry Messenger (BBM)

BBM is undoubtedly the mother of modern messaging even though its lost out on its shine. BMM sports features such as  groups, voice and video calling, and most recently, channels.

Until very recently, BBM messaging only worked on Blackberries. So your friends had to own a device or two from Blackberry. However, now, BBM predominately runs on mobile with iOS, Android and Blackberry Apps but no Windows Phone App. There aren’t any native Mac or Windows native clients.

If you grew up on a BlackBerry you’ll feel right at home with BBM for iPhone.


Viber is very similar to WhatsApp as it uses mobile contact numbers to identify users as opposed to logging and out like other clients. Viber, even though not as fast and fluid as Whatsapp App, comes with a ton of impressive features that you usually find on Whatsapp such as location sharing, audio messages, emoticons, contact sharing among others.

However, unlike WhatsApp, Viber allows you to call users, provided your smartphone is connected to the Internet.


If you’re security-sensitive, then Telegram is no doubt for you. This App offers end-to-end encryption with a ‘Secret Chat’ feature, that self-destruct messages after the conversation. As a matter of fact, to prove the resilience of it’s encryption technology, the company is offering $200,000 Prize in Bitcoin to the first person to crack its Encryption.

Regular and Secret chats are encrypted, but during Secret chat no data stored on the company server.

What’s unique about this App is that its codebase is astonishingly free or opensource. This means that power users can download the code and modify it as they wish to suit their specific needs.

Download Telegram for Android and iOS.


While Blackberry pioneered smartphone messaging, iMessages helped us envision what smartphone messaging should really be. iMesages brings with it features such as photo sharing, video, audio messages, contact cards, location sharing for your iPhone, iPad, and Mac.

The downside to iMessages, is that it’s not cross-platform. Hence you won’t communicate with your family and friends on Android, Windows Phone, BlackBerry, etc.

If most of the people you care most about are on iOS or OS X, give Apple’s Messages app a try!

  • Built-in.

What are you favorite messaging Apps? Lets us know in the comments.

Image: Pandodaily 

  • Jemimah

    Viber used to be my favourite especially because of voice. I use Whatsapp more often