There are a plethora of messaging apps right now. You have your Messengers, your Whatsapps, and your Vibers. Knowing which is the right messaging app can obviously be daunting, so we made this guide for you.
Quick aside, though: we have sectioned this guide as straightforward as possible. We want to bring you answers, not more questions. Therefore, each section we picked features my top recommendation: for example, the best messaging app for work in my book is Slack. Sure, there may be alternatives, but for me, Slack is the best. If you’re looking for the full list, I’ve squeezed it right at the very end of the article. If you want that, you’ll have to scroll on.
Anyway, onto the guide:
Best overall — Telegram
I have been using Telegram for many months now—I love it. On the onset, Telegram looks like an app that teenagers waste their youths away on. That observation is sensible because Telegram is famous for its Stickers feature (something that Viber, Messenger, and WhatsApp have been trying to nail to very little success).
However, unbeknownst to many, Telegram is stuffed with a lineup of robust features such as end-to-end encryption, secret and self-destructing chats, export-to-.PDF functions, and more.
In keeping with its competitors’ standards, Telegram has made its platform available across all devices. It’s available on iOS, Android, Mac, PC, and Linux.
Best for convenience — (Facebook) Messenger
Messenger’s unfair advantage is that it is, in essence, an annex to Facebook. When you want to message someone on Facebook, you do it with Messenger. You’re left with no choice but to use it.
Which isn’t to say that Messenger is a poorly made app. In fact, quite the opposite. Messenger has a host of incredible features such as bots for Pages, polls, and more. However, the biggest benefit of using Messenger I think is the peace of mind that almost everyone has access to it because almost everyone has Facebook. In short, it’s very convenient.
Best for video calls — Skype
Skype remains my top pick for video calls. Especially after the latest Creators’ Update, Skype has received a much-needed coat of paint over its age-old U.I. and functionality. Integrations are now more seamless, call quality drastically improved, and UX more pleasing.
Best for SMS — iMessage/Allo
I have used both platforms and can back with a smile on my face both apps. iMessage received a major update with iOS 10. The update reinforced an otherwise already powerful SMS app. It’s also Apple’s default SMS messaging app, so you won’t have to seek it out later on post-purchase.
Over the Android side of things, Allo is the most robust SMS messaging app. It does to Android phones plenty of what iMessage does for Apple devices. You can send stickers, share media, and even engage with bots.
Best for businesses and/or communities — Slack
For businesses and communities, Slack is the best option. It integrates seamlessly with plenty of apps valuable to plenty of businesses including Dropbox, Trello, and others. Plus, it has a host of incredibly helpful bots that make communication a breeze.
However, what makes Slack such an incredible communication tool is the platform itself. It gives you the ability to build channels that can be used specific to your business or community’s functions. For example, you can build a channel for “marketing” or “customer service”. You can also list these channels as public or private to users of your choosing.