Which app to download as Meta struggles to fix major outages
WhatsApp is down once again, as the world’s most popular messaging app suffers another major power outage.
As Meta struggles to fix the issues with the app, some users are looking for alternatives that they can download for free and use when WhatsApp is unavailable.
Read more: How to leave WhatsApp without losing all your data
The Facebook-owned app has more than 2 billion users worldwide, so even if millions of people decide to migrate to another service full-time, it’s unlikely to have a big impact on WhatsApp’s overall popularity.
But for those unhappy with the outages, or who just want to leave the Meta ecosystem of apps, we’ve put together a list of the best messaging app alternatives in 2022
Arguably the most similar messaging app to WhatsApp is Telegram, which supports many of the same features and even some extras.
Telegram founder Pavel Durov has consistently criticized WhatsApp for perceived security and privacy issues, describing it as “dangerous” and claiming it will never be secure under Facebook ownership.
“There has not been a single day in WhatsApp’s 10-year journey when the service was secure,” he wrote in a 2020 blog post after it was revealed that Jeff Bezos was allegedly hacked through a security flaw in the app.
With more than 400 million users, Telegram is therefore already a popular and well-known alternative for more privacy-focused users.
Like Telegram and WhatsApp, Signal is free, easy to use and available on all major platforms.
Unlike those two apps, however, Signal uses open-source encryption that allows security developers to test it for bugs and find bugs.
This added security comes at the cost of some of the features supported by other messaging apps, meaning it’s a bit more robust in appearance and functionality.
Popular with billionaires and dissidents alike, Signal offers arguably the most secure method of communicating with a regular messaging app.
With around 260 million users, Viber is even more popular than Telegram. Users tend to be more concentrated to certain regions, but that means it can be difficult to find friends who use it unless you’re from there.
Its core user base is in Eastern Europe, North Africa and the Middle East, although there is a spread of users elsewhere in the world.
It comes with group chat, instant voice and video messaging, as well as audio and video calling support. Like both Telegram and WhatsApp, all messages on Viber are end-to-end encrypted, while it also allows users to send timed messages themselves. -destroy messages.
Switzerland-based Threema describes itself as “instant messenger designed to generate as little user data as possible”.
It allows users to use an 8-digit ID instead of their own phone number to connect with other users, while contacts can be verified using a QR code.
It offers a few features that are not available in WhatsApp, such as liking individual messages and password protecting individual chats.
However, unlike the other options listed here, Threema is not free to use. This could be seen as a plus – even WhatsApp used to charge users £1 per year to use – with one of Threema’s slogans being “don’t pay with your data”.
Another downside to an otherwise excellent app is that with less than 10 million downloads on Google Play, users may struggle to find others to connect with.