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  • Category: Miscellaneous

    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.
  • #720149
    There are many such platforms available like Telegram, Signal, Hike, Bridgefy, Snapchat, Skype, Keybase etc and they are popular in different parts of the world. WhatsApp is the most popular and people prefer to use it as many have it and communication can be made quickly and conveniently. So, if we want to switch to other platform then in our group all should shift or take that new one as additional for communicating with the group members in that new one. I only see one problem here that until all in ones group are acquainted with the new one, leaving WhatsApp would be difficult. I am using Hike with some of my friends. It is as versatile as WhatsApp.
    Knowledge is power.

  • #720151
    Replacing WhatsApp with any other app is not easy as WhatsApp has been heavily adopted by people. Even if a person does not use other mediums of social media, but WhatsApp is a common app today, which will be found on every mobile. Then if you talk about which app is considered to be the best messaging app after WhatsApp, the use of Snapchat, Telegram will be more convenient.

  • #720152
    I am using Telegram as of now in addition to WhatsApp. But many people are not using that app. It is equally good and people can use it. But the presentation is not as good as WhatsApp may be due to the design of the app.
    Hike also some people are preferring, But I never used it. My both sons use it and they say WhatsApp is better than all other such apps. But now because of the changes made people start using other apps. If I have to do that I will definitely vote for Telegram only.

    always confident

  • #720192
    I was not aware of these updated terms and conditions from WhatsApp and only after going through this thread, I searched about it. What I found is nothing unusual. Everyone will update certain terms and conditions for using a particular service and since WhatsApp is owned by Facebook their focus is on making more revenues through various means. It is mandatory to let the subscriber know about their terms and conditions for using a service and when we are exchanging data on any platform we are providing them with some access to it. People are concerned now because WhatsApp is revealing how they are going to share user data with Facebook in its updated terms and conditions but we do not know what kind of data they already shared with third parties/Facebook companies. Whenever we are installing any messaging/chatting App, we need to give permission to have access to our contacts. This access to our contacts is mandatory for all and we really do not know how the data is used by those companies. Sharing data with third parties or the parent company is a big business otherwise we wouldn't be receiving unnecessary/unwanted calls and messages from marketing companies. This updated terms and conditions are all for making more profits and developing their business and we all are aware of how Facebook was fined earlier for a data breach. In the name of enhanced user experience or extra security, companies update their terms and conditions only to have access to our personal data legally but behind the curtain, they already have enough access.

    Sorry for being a bit out of track in replying this thread. At present, I am not planning to switch to some other messaging Apps but if a situation arises, I can go for Hike, which I used earlier, or some other Apps like Telegram or Signal as suggested by others in their replies.


    "Life is easier when you enjoy what you do"

  • #720201
    This is an interesting subject raised by the author and all of us know that we have been heavily using the whats app for texting, image and calls. Ever since the whats app came to our lives, we have stopped using the normal calls and thus our calling bills have come down. Having realized more benefits to us the new terms are being made to shell out more from us and people would switch to other apps easily. But my thoughts are going to those big business houses and online portals which are heavily using the whats app business arm and getting hugely benefited as the space given for every contact is more to share video, chat and calling in clarity. Surely there would be uproar and change of apps sooner or later from many and the Facebook has to think twice before changing any policy to milk money from us and that would hit back their following.
    K Mohan @ Moga
    'Idhuvum Kadandhu Pogum "
    Even this challenging situation would ease

  • #720202
    I do not find any necessity to change from Whatsapp. We are using Google, Facebook, Whatsapp for many years. I do not think that all these apps have not collected any data about us. I think they have all the data about us by now. They are giving free service because they are benefiting in some other way by our usage. Just because Whatsapp is going to share our data with Facebook is not going to alter anything. To whichever app we migrate, they also will be doing the same.
    " Be Good and Do Good "

  • #720203
    It is interesting to note that our data is already there in some sites like Google or Facebook and when we go to a new site it prompts us to login through Google or Facebook or email and it accepts us easily which means that the same data is now shared with that new site also. Some time back I uploaded some photos in Google Photo cloud space and it asked me whether I would like it to be done by them in future. I said yes and now it is taking the new photos and storing there. This is really a tricky situation as we would not be so careful and it would be uploading all of them efficiently. So when we want some facility then it becomes a threat also if someone breaches the privacy in Google or Facebook and steals our personal photos and misuses them. Online arena always has that risk. But most of the people are taking that.
    Knowledge is power.

  • #720204
    It is not easy for the people to exit whatsapp as people are adicted to it. And if you ask me I don't have any plan to do it in near future.

    These days even the offices people make whatsapp group and share information on the group so it's being used officially too. Most of the people including me don't know that there are sites like whatsapp where we can chat and do calls.

    I didnt know that from 8th Feb whatsapp is asking the users to follow some new terms and conditions. Let me check them and decide it accordingly but I am still saying it that it's not easy for us to exit it.


    " The two most important days in your life are the day when you are born and the day you find out why? "
    – Mark Twain

  • #720207
    I get that particular notification on Whatsapp at least once a day to accept the new terms and conditions. I read about it thoroughly and what I understood is, now Facebook, Instagram, and Whatsapp will be connected with each other and whatever you will be sharing on WhatsApp will be available on Facebook. So, until and unless you are not sharing anything too much personal, it is all ok. One of my friends also suggested me to switch to the Signal app saying that it is almost equivalent to WhatsApp but I have not yet installed it. Feedback about the Signal app and details about similar other apps will help me a lot.
    One thing I would like to share here is most of the apps on our mobiles usually have some sort of information we store on our device. We are not aware as we do not take the pain to read all the terms and conditions carefully. Facebook has access to your phone gallery and contacts. A few days ago I booked a gas cylinder and made the payment online for the same. After some time, I received an SMS from Paytm saying that now pay for your refill cylinder through Paytm and get 10% cashback. It clearly shows that the Paytm app has access to messages and it learned about my gas booking and payments silently.


    Living & Learning- simultaneous processes!

  • #720216
    I recently found that the Signal app has given at No.1 position in the social networking apps in the Apple playstore. In fact, the current world's richest man Elon Musk has tweeted to use Signal. This app seems to be a private messaging app. I installed it recently and found it was good. I think other apps such as Telegram are also good.

  • #720217
    I have also seen the notification of whatsapp for accepting new terms and conditions many times. But I have not accepted yet. I am also using telegram but I feel very few people uses telegram. In the past I also used hike and at that time the app was having very less features but now it has been upgraded. So, I will also use any of these two apps.

    But as Padmini Ma'am has shared her concern about paytm app. I have also a concern about True Caller app. Every time when I receive an OTP on my mobile, it is first appeared in true caller and later receive in mobile SMS . This means True caller tracks all the messages and activities on our mobile. And many of us are using this app.

  • #720285
    I have used Hike app a few years back and I found that very versatile and there are many features in that and it is equally powerful and good as compared to the WhatsApp. Nowadays many people are talking about another one that is Signal and that seems to be getting good publicity.So in case we leave WhatsApp due to the changes they have mentioned in their notice, we can go for one of these Hike or Signal.
    Thoughts exchanged is knowledge gained.

  • #720296
    Can anyone explain about the changes coming into effect on 8th February, and how it would affect the users? I am using Whatsapp and quite happy with it. In which way it is harmful to maintain communication with our friends and relatives? We need to change the apps only if we want to maintain any secret or privacy that we cannot have in whatsapp. Does the other apps provide anything special to protect our privacy. If yes. explain it.
    No life without Sun

  • #720368
    I use only very few apps. WhatsApp is one among them. I found WhatsApp as a very useful app. Though I just opened a Facebook account for trial and feel, I did not like it and do not use it. When I opened I had just a few contacts/friends in that. From start itself, I was not at all impressed or convinced about FB.

    I am always of the view that once we are connected to internet we are fully exposed and vulnerable. But as long as we are law abiding citizen and do not have much to hide or not having huge and sensitive resources, we need not panic or worry too much. The maximum may be some kind of unsolicited nuisance we may have to face. That is all.

    I still follow the pen and paper method for many things. However by and by we are forced to totally depend on our devices and internet. At that stage we may be facing lot of risks. Internet sector is almost a monopoly of a few players.It is like a syndicate. Even when they promise freedom, level paly field, healthy competition etc, slowly they swallow the real good and open ones.

    So i we find some alternatives slowly they also will be devoured by the monoliths and we may not be left with any alternatives. There is an old saying in Malayalam" Pambaanengilum pazhayathu nallathu"- even in snake the old is better. Known devil is better than an unknown devil.

    Being prudent and alert can help us stay relatively safe and less vulnerable to some extent.

    For the time being I am just going to continue with WhatsApp and follow a wait and watch attitude.

    In this context I remind the partnership of Jio/Reliance and FB . That is a pointer to how things are going.

  • #720395
    Though what's app is available in my mobile, I don't use the same for passing on any sensitive information in that apparatus. The general informations shared to our own friends are of general nature. I don't think such informations will ultimately prove to be suicidal.
    Future course of action is to be decided only after examining its behaviour in the time to come. But we should be cautious enough in our messages so that it does not cause any precipitation of any message of sensitive nature.

  • #720401
    The reason why people are exiting WhatsApp is its access to more details on the phone than other apps like Signal. Since FB will be behind it, it is possible that, down the line, the data gets shared with third party systems/apps that are associated with FB features. This is what I perceive and everyone needs to decide for themselves. Just look up the Net for the plus points and downsides of each app - type Signal vs WhatsApp or Telegram vs WhatsApp or any other app that you would like to install, then check reviews, too, of users before installing any of the apps. Ultimately of course, there is no 100% guarantee of anything (security, privacy, etc) on an Android phone but how much of it is leaked out to the app-owner may just be in your hands. And why let one app have a monopoly when we do have options?
    When you make a commitment, you create hope. When you keep a commitment you create trust! ~ John C. Maxwell

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