A Guide to the Most Popular Messaging Platforms of 2023
Think messaging apps are only a recent invention? Think again. The earliest messaging app was ICQ, which debuted in 1996.
Things have come a long way since then. You no longer have to wait for a screeching AOL dial-up connection before you can send some basic text messages. Modern messaging platforms allow for video calls, interactive emojis, and end-to-end encrypted messages.
Not only do you have great features, but you also have plenty of options to choose from. Read on as we discuss the most popular messengers you can find on the market for all the major platforms.
The Most Popular of All Messaging Platforms: WhatsApp
If you haven’t heard of WhatsApp, you have definitely been living in the Stone Age. WhatsApp has been the “default” messaging app for over a decade, and it’s still going strong. It only grew to be more popular once Meta acquired it.
Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of WhatsApp compared to other communication platforms.
Pros of WhatsApp
To start off, WhatsApp uses end-to-end encryption. This means that nobody, not even WhatsApp’s parent company, can read your messages. Encryption is so powerful that hackers would be unable to access it without stealing your password.
WhatsApp supports just about everything you can expect to find in communication apps: large group chats, custom emojis and stickers, and the like. It includes social media-like features such as Status updates. You can also send large files in many formats, not just pictures and videos.
Best of all, WhatsApp is free and has no ads whatsoever. Competitors such as Telegram do include ads in some of their content channels. This makes it an excellent budget choice for themoneybudget.com users.
Cons of WhatsApp
Despite being what many would consider to be the “king” of messaging apps, WhatsApp has some significant downsides.
First and foremost, the only way to add people on WhatsApp is with your phone number. So if you want to keep your phone number private, we recommend Telegram or another application. Furthermore, losing the phone numbers of your friends means you can no longer contact them on WhatsApp, either.
WhatsApp does not allow you to use it on multiple cellular devices. You can download the WhatsApp app to as many Windows and Mac computers as you like. Yet, if you attempt to log into your account from another phone, it will terminate your previous mobile session.
Telegram is our personal favorite. This is the brainchild of Pavel Durov, a Russian entrepreneur responsible for the Russian-focused social media site, VK. He created a telegram as a worldwide alternative to WhatsApp, and it has been explosive in its popularity.
Rest assured, Pavel is not Putin’s lapdog. As proof of this, he promised Ukrainians that their data was safe at the outset of the Russo-Ukranian conflict. So if your concern is that Russia might be watching over your shoulder as you use Telegram, fear not.
Let’s take a look at what makes Telegram so amazing.
Pros of Telegram
Where do we even begin? First, Telegram adds your contacts via usernames, not phone numbers. While you do need a phone number to create your account, you never need to give it away to other users–a huge privacy plus!
Telegram has all the necessary features you would expect to find, such as video calling, group chats, and end-to-end encryption. To add to this, it has its own feature known as “channels.” Think of these as public chats with videos, interactive polls, and much more.
Where Telegram really excels is with its built-in features. For example, on iPhone, it allows you to translate messages from within the app; no need to copy it over to Google Translate. Pro users can also transcribe voice messages–and translate them!–into text if they don’t have a chance to listen to them.
It also has the best homegrown sticker collections you will ever find, bar none. Its in-depth settings fine-tune your experience exactly the way you want it. Really, there’s not much negative we can say about Telegram, but there are a few notable points.
Cons of Telegram
One of the biggest issues with Telegram is potential privacy and security concerns. Apps like WhatsApp use the Signal protocol to encrypt messages. This protocol is proven and robust, ensuring ultimate privacy and security for all messages.
However, Telegram does not encrypt messages by default. While they have open-source code for your peace of mind, all your messages are going through Telegram servers. This means there is potential, although very small, that your messages are not as secure as you would like.
Telegram does have an end-to-end encrypted feature, but it is not quite as convenient as WhatsApp. It only works on a single device and requires you to start a new chat to enable it. What’s more, Telegram doesn’t advertise this feature as much as it could.
Aside from that, the only issue of note is that Telegram audio and video calls are not always the best. Many users report long connection times and multiple failed calls. This is because Telegram uses peer-to-peer technology, rather than processing calls through their own servers.
Find the Right Messaging App for You
There is no shortage of messaging platforms these days. All of them provide the base-level features that you need, plus a few unique gems here or there. Privacy advocates need not fear, as many of these apps support some implementation of end-to-end encryption.
Follow our blog for more discussions on technology and nifty apps.
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