Social Media - Chat and Video

Top Sites

1

Viber

Unlimited group chats for texting & calling only. Owned by Rakuten, based in Japan

2

Line

Free messaging & calls, popular in Asia. Owned by Naver Corporation, based in South Korea & Japan

3

Telegram

Messaging app, secure end-to-end encrypted communication, ad-free. Based in the UK & Germany

4

Snapchat

Auto-destructing messages & fun filters. Remains as independent company

5

WhatsApp

Most popular worldwide with features & encryption. Owned by Facebook (see footnote)

  Advice  

  • Determine which features are most important: functionality, security, encryption, time & participant limits, free text messaging, voice & video calls, group chat support, photo & file sharing, ads & cost/free.


  • Do not give away personal information like places, names, & relationships to people you don't know.


  • We recommend testing a few free versions to see which one works best for you.

got suggestions?

We would love to hear from you

More Websites
(Listed alphabetically)

Apple iMessage

Instant messaging service for Apple users that syncs across devices

Band

Informal group chatting platform. Owned by Naver Corporation, based in South Korea

Blackberry BBM Enterprise

Reliable & encrypted messaging system targeted for enterprise businesses

Discord

Emphasis on bringing people together within a community. Originally for video gamers

Dust

Highly secure app with ability to self-destruct & unsend messages. Owned by Radical App

Facebook Messenger

Most popular in the US (see footnote)

Google Hangouts

Reliable, online hangout app for G-Suite users

GroupMe

Focus on group chats. Owned by Microsoft

HeyTell

Simple push-to-talk app with no account required

Houseparty

Interactive games for group calls up to 8

KakaoTalk

Talk & chat, fun for K-pop fans. Based in South Korea

Kik

Anonymous messaging popular with a younger crowd

Signal

Secure end-to-end encrypted communication

Silent Phone

Secure messaging app with no phone number required

Skype

Free, real-time video calls including landlines. Owned by Microsoft

Slack

Work team-oriented messaging tool. Owned by Salesforce

Talkatone

Create a custom phone number without the hassle of a phone plan. Owned by Ooma

Voxer

Walkie-talkie app with free & premium plans

WeChat

Messaging & social media. Owned by Chinese company Tencent

* Footnote:

Facebook
• Fosters info bubbles, political division, polarization, dis/misinformation & conspiracy theories in the US & worldwide. Despite pressure to address these issues, they have repeatedly insisted they have little capability to address the problem.
• Facebook is being investigated on antitrust, users privacy & content moderation by the Federal Trade Commission, State Attorneys General, House Subcommittee on Antitrust, Senate Judiciary Committee & Federal Communications Commission.