What is the best free alternative social messaging app to WhatsApp?By now active WhatsApp users will be aware of the takeover by Facebook of this popular social messaging app and the furore it has created on its updated terms and conditions. With access to a lot of personal stuff on their phones, which amounts to the intrusion of privacy, WhatsApp users are looking for alternatives that are free.
So how many of you have exited or are planning to exit WhatsApp before the 8th February deadline to accept the new terms and conditions before being able to use it? I exited yesterday and have switched to the Signal app. It has lovely colours, does have emojis and stickers too, and, yes, video chat as well. Of course, first I informed my WhatsApp contacts that I was switching over.
Those who have lots of contacts on WhatsApp may be reluctant to switch over. After all, the other person should also be willing to install the same new messaging app (whether Signal or any other). For me, it is not such a problem since I had only about 7 to 8 WA contacts other than immediate family. One friend even said, "Why we really need all this? Just call each other!". Yes, true; before the advent of WA, we did communicate directly, isn't it, and used SMS as well. However, I do feel a messaging app has one huge plus point - the video chat feature. For somebody like my elderly relative, it means a lot to be able to have live communication where we can see each other, especially in this past year. So while we can go down and meet her when she is passing by (with masks on for everyone), we still need to maintain social distancing and cannot go to her home and vice-versa due to the virus still prevalent.
A word of caution: If you are exiting WA, then don't simply uninstall the app. Go to the Settings of WA and under Account info. use the 'Delete Account' feature. They will ask for a reason; I selected 'Other' and did not give any reason. Then, once the account was deleted, I uninstalled the app.
Let me know if any of you are trying out any alternative to WA and your experience with the new app.