Needless to say, WhatsApp is currently the king of instant messaging apps. It not only enjoys a huge user base - over 1 billion monthly active users as of February 2016, but also offers cool new features to its users.
Moreover, ever since Facebook has acquired WhatsApp, it has been rolling out new features very frequently. In fact, this year alone WhatsApp has rolled out more than 10 new features to its app. Having said that, it is not the only instant messaging app available. Sure, it is one of the most used ones but, there are pretty decent alternatives available. Here's a list of 5 such apps.
The first one on the list is none other than Facebook's own Messenger app. Akin to WhatsApp, the Messenger app allows you to place audio calls, video calls, send text messages and audio recordings, share location, and group chat. In addition, it also allows you to send stickers, send money (not available in India currently), send GIFs and lots of other things via third-party add-ons.
Another best alternative for WhatsApp is Hike Messenger. The home-grown instant messaging app has lot more to it than what you anticipate. Unlike other chat apps, Hike is heavily customised for Indian users. In addition to all the standard features (which other chat apps offer), Hike has some interesting features up its sleeve - which include, hidden mode (for hiding chats), themes, a talking bot named Natasha, Hike Coupons (which offer discounts on its partner brands), games among others.
Telegram is another instant messaging app which is a good alternative for WhatsApp. It is a cloud based instant messaging app which allows you to access your messages from multiple devices. Moreover, with users privacy in mind, it offers a slew of interesting features including, self destructing messages, secret chats, self destruct account, and lock chats.
It also offers support for bots (customisable), edit the already sent messages, mute messages, supergroups, synchronise chats across all your devices, and send encrypted messages.
Launched earlier this year, Google Allo is the first instant messaging app to come with support for Google Assistant. Apart from having access to Google's Knowledge graph, it offers cool features such as smart reply, image recognition, Whisper and shout features, doodling on images, incognito mode, end-to-end encrypted, disappearing messages, and more. We have already written in detail about the app, you can take a look at it here.
Also, we have listed 20 funny things you can ask Google Assistant on the Allo app, take a look at it here.
JioChat is one among the suit of premium apps that launched with Reliance Jio Welcome Offer. Most of the features of the JioChat app are similar to the ones you get in WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and Hike but with more flexibility. For example in WhatsApp the group members limit is restricted to 256 whereas JioChat allows you to add 500 members in a group. We have already listed out the differences between WhatsApp, JioChat, and Facebook Messenger, you can take a look at it here.