Kik is pretty good as a chat app and mini self-contained internet but it does have its downsides. Spam is prevalent, the average age of users is quite young and finding new people to talk to can be quite a pain. If you’re tired of Kik and feel like trying something new, here are seven alternatives you might try.
If you haven’t tried WhatsApp already, where have you been these last couple years? WhatsApp is owned by Facebook and has an apparent active user base of over 900 million people a month. It is a simple, secure messaging app that does everything well. It isn’t quite the same enclosed ecosystem that Kik is, but as a chat, voice and soon to be video app, it is pretty good.
Get WhatsApp here for iOS and Android. There is also a PC companion app available.
Viber is another awesomely popular chat app that has several million regular users. Link your cell number to the app and you’re instantly connected to all your contacts who also use the app. You can chat, share media, files and whatever you like. You can also contact non-Viber users with ViberOut but this costs money. Only a few cents a call, but it is something to be aware of. You also get the usual collection of emoji, stickers and other expressions to use in chat too.
Get Viber here for iOS and Android.
Another monster in the world of chat apps is WeChat. It is very similar to WhatsApp in that you can chat, share images, video, audio and whatever but it also has an advantage. It is very easy to find new people to chat to with WeChat. You can of course link to existing contacts, but shake your phone with the app open and you are connected to a complete stranger to chat with. If you connect, you can keep chatting. If you don’t, don’t, just shake again to meet someone new. This is, I think, one of the prime examples of how social media was originally intended. Not to chat to the same old people all the time but to meet new ones too. For this feature alone I think WeChat is worth a try.
Get WeChat for iOS here and Android here.
Line began as an Asian chat app but quickly outgrew its geographic limitations and went global. Now it has several million regular users and is catching up with the more established apps. It isn’t as well known as Kik or WhatsApp but it’s getting there. If you can work Kik, you can work Line as it is almost identical. You can chat easily with contacts, meet new people, share audio, video and more. There are also celebrity accounts on Line that you can follow just like on Facebook. Line does nothing much that is new but what it does, it does well. For that it might be worth a try if you’re over Kik.
Get Line here for iOS and here for Android.
Tango is a mix of Facebook and Kik. You can chat and meet people, share media, audio and all that but you also get a status page and can follow other people as they post their own status and stuff. All users have profile cards and all users can scan other cards and say hello to someone they find interesting. It’s a neat way to meet new people but is all about the looks as you might expect. Swipe to initiate a chat and if the other person also swipes, you get connected. Remind you of anything? Tango is an amalgamation of several different social networks but seems incredibly popular. Might be worth checking out.
Get Tango here for iOS and here for Android.
Snapchat is more a visual social network than the others on the list but is still worth a mention. Snap an image, take a video or comment on others and you instantly connect with a range of people from all over the world. If you’re bored of chat, maybe some visual stimulus might be more interesting for a while. With millions of users, there is always someone new to meet. If you do meet someone interesting you can video chat. What’s not to like?
Get Snapchat here for iOS and here for Android.
Even if you have nothing to hide, the transient nature of Wickr is interesting to say the least. The app lets you chat, share images, video, audio or whatever. Everything is encrypted and everything self-destructs within a few minutes of being received, leaving no trace of anything. You can perform chats in the usual fashion, send media and do everything all these other chat apps do safe in the knowledge that it would be very difficult indeed for any of it to ever be held against you. For some countries and some cultures, that is very valuable indeed!
Get Wickr here for iOS and here for Android.