With over a billion active users, Facebook Messenger is undoubtedly one of the most popular instant messaging apps in the world. The app offers plenty of great features including cross-app messaging, chat themes, custom reactions, free video calls, group chats, stickers, money transfers, and even a vanish mode. Despite all these features, Facebook Messenger has met with some criticism over the years regarding its lackluster privacy measures, high battery consumption, and other issues.
Many Facebook Messenger users have already decided to switch to other instant messaging apps to ensure that their messages are not being monitored and to preserve battery life. If you’re decided that it’s time to make the switch and try out a new messaging app, then you’re in luck. As of 2022, there are tons of fantastic instant messaging apps that are secure, private, and packed full of features, so you can keep in contact with friends, family, and colleagues without worrying about your sensitive data being monitored or collected. Keep reading to find out the best alternatives to Facebook Messenger in 2022!
The best Facebook Messenger alternatives quick guide
- Signal – Highly secure
- WhatsApp – Highly secure
- Wire – Best for businesses
Why you may want to choose an alternative messaging app to Facebook Messenger
Despite Facebook Messenger’s large user base and wide range of instant messaging features, the app has several flaws that may push users towards other alternatives. Of course, all instant messaging apps have their drawbacks such as missing features or heavy resource consumption. However, the most alarming drawback of Facebook Messenger is its lackluster privacy measures when it comes to encrypted messages.
If you regularly use Facebook Messenger to communicate with others then you may already be aware of its ‘Secret Conversation’ feature. This feature can be enabled through settings and allows two users to message each other in a fully encrypted space. Messages sent through a secret conversation can only be read on the device that you used to create the conversation (either iOS or Android).
Secret conversations allow you to communicate with others through encrypted messages that not even Facebook Messenger can see since they are encrypted using the open-source Signal protocol. However, normal messages sent between users that are not part of a secret conversation are able to be accessed by Facebook Messenger. Although the app claims that all messages sent between users are encrypted, and not just those in secret conversations, Facebook still manages the encryption keys. This means that the company can read all user messages and even hand them over to law enforcement through a court order. This is clearly concerning as no one wants a company to snoop on their private messages.
Of course, you can always opt to open a secret conversation to privately communicate with others in an encrypted space. However, this feature is currently only available on mobile devices and does not currently work with group chats. Since Facebook has received a significant amount of criticism over the years regarding its privacy measures, it’s no surprise that this issue has surfaced and caused concern among users.
Aside from privacy issues, users have also complained that the app consumes a lot of battery life even when not in use. Recently, Facebook has acknowledged and partially fixed this issue, but complaints are still flowing in. Users have resorted to turning off the app’s notifications and disabling location settings to extend their battery life. Many users have also claimed that the app takes up an unacceptable amount of storage on their devices, prompting them to uninstall and reinstall it to clear cached files. These issues may not seem like such a big deal, but they can definitely leave you frustrated. If you’ve experienced a quickly depleting battery when using this app, or you’re concerned about your privacy when sending messages, then it may be time for you to try out an alternative instant messaging app.
Our top recommended best Facebook Messenger alternatives in 2022
Ideally, your chosen messaging app will also have a terrific range of features that will make communicating with friends, family, and colleagues straightforward and personalised. It’s also a bonus if an app provides users with other security and privacy features such as disappearing (or self-destructing) messages, two-step verification, and fingerprint/FaceID lock. With this in mind, here are three of the best Facebook Messenger alternatives in 2022 –
Signal is an open-source and privacy-focused instant messaging app that is one of the most secure options for those looking for an alternative to Facebook Messenger. If you’re a privacy and security advocate who wants to send end-to-end encrypted messages through an intuitive app, then Signal is definitely your best choice.
All Signal messages are end-to-end encrypted by default as the service states that “privacy isn’t an optional mode”, so you won’t have to deal with the hassle of enabling secret conversations to send messages privately. Signal’s encryption is powered by the open-source Signal Protocol, a protocol that implements perfect forward secrecy and is so well-designed that it’s been adopted by other instant messaging apps including Facebook Messenger. Signal also has a self-destructing messages feature which allows you to set messages to auto-delete after a set amount of time (up to four weeks).
As Signal is an independent nonprofit, they are highly transparent about the development of their app which is supported by donations and grants. Unlike most other instant messaging apps, Signal is not driven by ads and the organisation does not collect unnecessary amounts of user data. Additionally, as we’ve already mentioned Signal is completely open-source, allowing anyone to inspect their code for any vulnerabilities or privacy issues.
Despite the fantastic privacy that Signal provides, the app also aims to be user-friendly and packed with features, so communicating with others is not only secure but also fun and personalised. Users can send photos, videos, voice memos, stickers, GIFs, and large files, or if you’d rather talk face-to-face, you can make high-quality voice and video calls. You can also communicate with up to 40 users in signals group chats which are also end-to-end encrypted. Other interesting features provided by Signal include custom themes, encrypted stickers, cryptocurrency payment processing, a dark mode, and custom alerts.
WhatsApp is another incredibly popular instant messaging app that has a fantastic reputation for privacy and security. WhatsApp is one of the most well-known VoIP and instant messaging apps due to its terrific usability and currently has more than 2 billion users across over 180 countries.
Other notable security features provided by WhatsApp include face ID/fingerprint lock, two-step verification, and ‘disappearing messages.’ This feature allows users to set messages that have been sent to automatically self-delete after 24 hours, 7 days, or 90 days. To gain further control over their privacy, users also can alter who sees their profile photos, status, and other personal information.
Not only is WhatsApp a highly secure messaging app, but it’s also a feature-rich option for those that want to easily stay in touch with family, friends, and colleagues. As well as being a dependable VoIP service, WhatsApp allows you to send voice messages, locations, and large files across a user-friendly interface.
Wire is a secure, business-orientated instant messaging app that provides features that are key for seamless and private collaboration. If you’re after unparalleled security when participating in large group chats and business conferences, then Wire is the one of best alternatives to Facebook Messenger for you.
All messages sent on the app are, by default, secured by end-to-end encryption and Wire uses its own Proteus encryption protocol (based on the Signal Protocol). Wire has been independently audited and is 100% open source so anyone can inspect their source code for security vulnerabilities or other issues on GitHub. For additional security, users can set messages to self-delete after several seconds, hours, days, or weeks.
Despite its impressive security measures, the features that make Wire stand out from other instant messaging apps are those that make communicating with a large number of users hassle-free and seamless. Users can participate in video calls with up to 50 users and voice calls with up to 100 users. Conferencing is also easier than ever with Wire as users can share their screens, locations, audio files, photos, and videos, all of which are fully encrypted.
The app is integrated with Outlook and Google Calendar, making it much more simple and efficient to organise and invite participants when arranging conference calls. Call moderators are also given an impressive amount of control using features such as soft mute, video disabling, and participant removal. The basic version of Wire is free to everyone but can be upgraded to the premium plan which provides additional features that are needed by larger businesses and organisations.