Popular and Free Instant Messaging Apps

Use These Apps If You're Tired of Paying Text Message Fees

SMS text messaging is a great and all, but why pay for something when you can get almost the exact same experience (or better) with a free instant messaging app? According to a 2013 article published by The Next Web, the number of SMS text messages we send each day is declining slightly each year, suggesting that mobile instant messaging apps are taking its place.

While it's far too soon to say that SMS texting is on its way out food, we can at least admit that the shift toward other popular messaging apps is pretty evident. Here are some of the most popular mobile instant messaging apps that people are turning to as a replacement or additional service to SMS texting.

Since most people can say that they have a Facebook account, getting in touch with them via Facebook is often the easiest option. Facebook Messenger organizes all your private messages from your inbox in a way that is very familiar to regular texting. More »

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WhatsApp is a popular instant messaging service that allows users to chat back and forth -- with individuals and in groups. It's available on all major mobile platforms and lets anyone send unlimited text, photo, audio and video messages. WhatsApp was acquired by Facebook for $19 million in February 2014. More »

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WeChat promises free "crystal clear voice and video calls" along with individual and group instant messaging. ​It's unique and convenient walkie-talkie mode lets you talk to up to 40 other friends with integrated real-time location sharing. More »

Kik is another very popular free instant messaging app that lets you use a username to chat with others. A lot of people on Instagram actually include their Kik usernames in their bios as a way to get in touch. With Kik, you can even see when another user is typing back to you in real-time. More »

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Snapchat is a free app that lets you send a self-destructing photo or video message with a short text-based caption. After the recipient has opened the message, it will automatically be deleted after a few seconds. It also offers a feature to post longer messages, through Snapchat stories. More »

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Telegram is becoming more of a popular choice for those who want to be ensured that their data and privacy is kept secure. According to its website, Telegram messages are encrypted and also self-destruct (similar to Snapchat). It's known as an ideal alternative if speed and simplicity are what you're looking for. More »

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LINE has been considered WhatsApp's biggest competitor, offering all the various features needed for instant messaging. You can send unlimited text, images, video and audio messages using almost any device since the service is available on almost all major mobile and even computer platforms. Video calls are also available through LINE. More »

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Like LINE, Viber is another popular service available on most major computer and mobile platforms that let you send free unlimited text and photo messages to your friends all around the world. HD video calls can be made for free as well, and groups can have up to 100 participants. More »

Google may be known for its search engine and Gmail service, but it's making its way into instant messaging too. With Google Hangouts, you can chat instantly either from your desktop or via the iPhone and Android apps to send text or photo messages. You can also hold video calls with individuals or groups. More »

Most people use Instagram to share photos while on the go, but with the introduction of Instagram Direct, users now have an option to private message individual followers or groups with a photo, have a conversation in the comments and even reply with a photo message. You can also view who has opened, liked, or commented on your Instagram Direct message in real-time. More »