Tired of Kik? Here Are 7 Alternatives You Might Try

These days, no app category seems to be more oversaturated than messaging apps. With the overwhelming popularity of applications like iMessage, Facebook Messenger, and Hangouts, messaging apps haven’t been as big as they are now since the days of AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) in the early-to-mid 2000s. Typically, most users will find themselves gravitating towards the messaging service which holds the majority of their friends and fellow chatters, but there are advantages to using other apps. Kik, for example, can be used for anonymous chatting in addition to getting ahold of your friends. It’s why Kik’s become so popular—it’s easy to meet new people and chat through the app without having to give out your number to random strangers.

But Kik’s also tried to become more than just a messaging app in recent years. Video chat, Snapchat-like filters, stickers and more have bogged the app down with useless features that most users won’t need, making the app larger and increasingly unstable. Even worse, Kik has become predominantly filled with spam and underage users, making it difficult to chat with other users without risking being blown up with spam or talking to a high school student from a distant state. All of this makes Kik a poor choice, both for communicating with your friends and for meeting new people online.

So, if you’re tired of the constant spam, or you want to get away from the younger audience that’s taken over Kik in recent years, let’s check out seven of the best Kik alternatives for both iOS and Android.

 

 

Everyone else
WeChat

Like WhatsApp, WeChat has had its fair share of difficulty penetrating the world outside of its home country of China. You might not've heard of WeChat, but the world has: the messaging app has almost a billion active users, with the app being used for professional and personal communications within China itself. The app has replaced mainstays like email and SMS messages for hundreds of millions of people, and even though the app's had challenges making moves within other countries, its success in China is nothing to blink at. Like WhatsApp, you can chat, share images, send video and audio to other users, and more. In addition to standard text and photo messages, the app supports all sorts of calling, including voice, video, and group calling. The app manages to be resilient enough for business and casual usage, but it's best Kik-replacement feature is the ability to meet new people for chatting. Heading into the Discover tab inside the app invites you to shake your phone. The app then searches for other users shaking their phones at the same time, and that's it—new friend discovered. WeChat's social features make Kik's username-based search functions seem like a thing of the past, with meeting and making new friends incredibly easy for anyone to use. Whether you're looking for a standard messaging service or you want to meet new people, WeChat's a great app—if you can find other stateside users, that is.

Line

Line is a direct competitor to WeChat in China and other Asian countries, but the app's presented a real challenge to WeChat and similar apps with its popularity expanding globally, downloaded over 500 million times on Android alone. With millions of active users, Line might not be as well-known as Kik or WhatsApp, but it's certainly worth showing some attention. Like WeChat, Line offers free messaging, video calls, voice calls, and group chats, with support for up to 200 users chatting in a group at once. The app supports stickers and emoji, and even has a desktop client for chatting away from your phone. You can add your contacts, or meet new people through the app's social network. Line's added a bunch of features inspired by other social media apps, including the ability to follow people's accounts (like Twitter or Facebook) and the ability to create a poll for determining anything from what to do, where to go, or what to eat. Line's not quite as popular as its direct competitor in WeChat, but by no means is it a bad app. We might prefer WeChat for it's shake-to-discover feature, but Line's worth looking into on both iOS and Android.

Viber

Viber's aesthetic more closely aligns with apps like Skype than it does with Kik, but that doesn't mean it's a bad messaging app by any means. On the contrary, Viber's packed with both features and millions of regular users, making it easy to use the app to keep in communication with your friends. Linking your cell number to the app connects you to any and all contacts also signed up with Viber, an app that's been downloaded over 500 million times on Android alone. Once you're signed in, you can do all the standard communication features you'd expect from a messaging application. You can chat, share media like photos, videos and audio clips, send files back and forth between users, and more. Since Viber is a similar app to Skype, you can place video and voice calls between users without paying a cent, and you can even place international calls to Viber users around the world, with calls to traditional numbers costing only a few cents per minute depending on location. And since Viber is a messaging app in 2017, emoji and stickers are both supported within the app. Overall, it's a strong contender for messaging apps, even if it doesn't quite meet the highs of WhatsApp, Messenger, and WeChat.

Snapchat

Sure, Snapchat isn't quite as traditional a messaging app as WhatsApp, Viber, or WeChat, but it's also one of our favorite social apps for one major reason: it's incredibly, incredibly fun to use. Though Snapchat is largely based around sending images and videos, the app can also be used for sending chats to other users, which automatically delete themselves after the message has been viewed. Privacy is a major factor in Snapchat's usage, and the deletion of photos, videos, and text makes it a really interesting choice for users around the world. Group chats exist as well, with those messages not deleting for 24 hours, so it's easy to make plans and speak amongst yourselves without the messages disappearing immediately. Snapchat's features have been copied by dozens of social and messaging apps, including Facebook's own WhatsApp and Messenger apps directly implementing Stories as a feature of their own, but no app has quite built a featureset as great as Snapchat's own. One place this app does fall in comparison to competitors: it's a bit more difficult to meet new people without trading usernames or Snapcodes. Luckily, communities exist online—including in environments like Reddit—for such an event. If you aren't using Snapchat yet, it's an incredibly fun and rewarding app worth keeping on your phone—even if the app is a bit of a battery and data hog.

Signal

If you're looking for an app that's more secure than Kik, Signal is trusted around the world for keeping its users messages safe with end-to-end encryptions. Whereas apps like WeChat and WhatsApp have found to be insecure for sending messages that require privacy and security above all else, Signal is recommended by web security experts like the EFF for keeping your messages secure and safe against leaks and data hacks. Infamous whistleblower Edward Snowden himself has recommended and endorsed the app on multiple occasions, so you can be sure the app is verified for safety and security. But the app's fast too, and both the iOS and Android versions match their respective themes, so you never feel too out of place on your phone with an unfamiliar interface. If there's one place Signal falls over Kik, it's unsurprisingly the social features of the app. Signal isn't quite built to meet and make new connections through the app—you use your existing phone numbers to make connections. Finding your existing friends through Signal is easy enough, but finding new friends is much harder. Still, for those users looking to make their conversations entirely private, Signal is by far the best app on either platform. It's fast, free, and completely secured.

Posted by Jamie on June 29, 2017

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