WhatsApp: These are messenger alternatives for switching

These are messenger alternatives for switching

What apps can be good WhatsApp replacements?

© Roman Samborskyi / Shutterstock.com

After criticism of the WhatsApp messenger, more and more users are leaving. Two tools alone have now gained more than 30 million users.

For many users, WhatsApp has become a synonym for messaging apps in recent years – similar to the speed at which a paper tissue is, or googling instead of searching the web. Recently, however, WhatsApp received harsh criticism. The terms of use are to be changed in May, there are data protection concerns. This does not mean the end of Messenger by a long way, but more and more people are looking for alternatives.

According to a report by the British Guardian, the two apps Signal and Telegram together gained around 32.5 million new users worldwide in the first three weeks of January, while WhatsApp's popularity fell at the same time. A classic among chat tools is also making a comeback. A report in the "Wall Street Journal" explains, for example, that ICQ is currently extremely popular, especially in Hong Kong. The app downloads are currently around 35 times higher than before. Here is an overview of five messengers – some of which could serve as good alternatives, but some not.

Elon Musk promotes Signal

The Signal app has been popular with tech-savvy users for years. Messenger is free, offers end-to-end encryption at all times and there are no advertising. The service is provided by a non-profit organization that is funded by donations and is not affiliated with a large company. Star entrepreneur Elon Musk (49) recently advertised the app. "Uses signal", he explained straight away and embellishment on Twitter.

The messaging service Threema comes from Switzerland, also relies on end-to-end encryption and has enjoyed increasing popularity in recent years. The service is comparable to Signal, but offers an advantage that is not common with many other chat services on smartphones. No link to the mobile phone number is necessary here – but can be done on request. But there is also a serious disadvantage: Since the purchase costs 3.99 euros, it will not be easy for many users to convince all of their contacts to switch to Threema. The use itself is however free of charge.

Like most of the competition, the Wire service offers individual and group chats. End-to-end encryption is also used here. Video and voice conferences are also possible. In addition to a personal account, there are also other types of accounts. The Pro version cost five euros a month after a free trial period of 30 days, an Enterprise version even costs eight euros a month.

The following apps are also suitable?

The Messenger Telegram has similar advantages on paper as Signal. Here too, according to the makers, the focus is on security and the app is also free. End-to-end encryption can only be activated for secret chats and is not used by default. In addition, monetization is planned for 2021, but it is not currently foreseeable how it will look exactly. Finally, Telegram doesn't exactly have a good reputation. In the past few months in particular, the tool has become a popular point of contact for conspiracy theorists, corona deniers and those like us.

The instant messaging service ICQ flourished in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Many users think back to the service with a certain nostalgia. ICQ now also exists in a modern form for smartphones and enables, among other things, huge group chats with up to 25,000 participants. Today, however, the app belongs to the Russian internet giant Mail.ru and has repeatedly drawn negative attention to itself in terms of data security in recent years