Apps for Free Text Messaging

Apps for Sending Free SMS on Your iPhone, Android, BlackBerry and Windows Phone

Group Text Messaging
Robberts / Getty

Use an app to send and receive free text-based messages on your smartphone, thereby avoiding the often expensive GSM-based SMS. Most apps require either Wi-Fi or a data plan

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Smartphone texting
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Use WhatsApp to communicate for free with other WhatsApp users. The service supports free text messaging using your mobile number as well as voice and video chatting. In addition, you can push your contacts into groups to engage in group-based conversations.

With a large and active userbase, WhatsApp is one of the most commonly used alternatives to stock SMS apps.

Facebook Messenger

More than 1 billion people worldwide use Facebook. Facebook's Messenger app supports conversations, stickers, group conversations and rich content. The app integrates with your Facebook account, and you can access Messenger on a mobile app or from within the familiar Facebook website on your desktop PC.

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LINE app logo Japan Corp./Wikimedia Commons

Line offers a lot of features—more than WhatsApp and Viber. Besides the free messaging service, users can also call on another for free, for any length of time and from any location to any other location in the world. 

Kid messenger app

Kik is developed by an enthusiastic team and is optimized for being a fast and robust app. It transforms regular texting into a real-time conversation. It works on different platforms and is support on most platforms including Symbian, which is quite rare.

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Viber logo
Viber/Wikimedia Commons

Viber works just like KakaoTalk. It also has also a huge user base, nearing 200 million. It offers free text messaging and free voice calls to other Viber users and supports group text messaging. It is available for the iPhone, Android phones and BlackBerry but not for Nokia and Symbian.

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Skype, one of the original apps for texting and making calls, still boasts a massive userbase. With Skype, you can chat with or call other Skype users and engage in group messaging and file sharing. In addition, Microsoft—the owner of Skype—offers several paid options to support sending and receiving calls to non-Skype users.


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Signal app logo
 Signal app

Designed for privacy, Signal encrypts messages end-to-end so that no one, not even Signal employees, can read your messages. The service is intended to be used among Signal users, using an array of methods including text, voice, video and file sharing.

Signal is sponsored by Open Whisper Systems and has received the endorsement of privacy activists including Edward Snowden.

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Originally used by programmers and by people in tech-savvy office environments, Slack is a text-based messaging client that's deeply embedded in the IT/technology space. Slack runs on mobile and desktop, and it hooks deeply with many IT services to provide real-time notifications about automated events.

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Discord app
 Discord app

Discord, a free app, is optimized for computer gamers. Besides offering smartphone and desktop apps, Discord is designed to use little bandwidth, to avoid affecting streaming gameplay. The service offers free text and voice communication with individuals or groups who are also Discord users.