File Image: IOL

CAPE TOWN - In the past, sending an SMS and calling each other was the only way we knew how to stay in contact.

In the 20th century we now rely on instant messaging social applications and only in case of an emergency or having no data would we resort to our old means of texting.

ALSO READ: Take a look at the new features released on WhatsApp 2017

The most popular messaging apps are Facebook Messenger with around 1.2 Billion users and WhatsApp Messenger with more than 1 billion users in over 180 countries.

However, what happens if the apps crash? Which is what we recently when The Facebook-owned messaging app, WhatsApp, crashed around the world. Leaving their users to find other alternatives.

ALSO READ: WhatsApp crashes leaving millions frustrated

Here are a few alternatives that you can look into: 

1. Kik Messenger


Kik was founded in 2009 by a group of students at The University of Waterloo. 

Kik, the app was released in 2010 and hit 1 million users just after 2 weeks of being released. Kik Messenger sends texts, images, and voices messages over a smartphone’s data connection avoiding mobile operator messaging charges. It also integrates a web browser into the application allowing users to browse content and share it directly with their friends.

Kik is available for the iPhone, Android, Windows Phone, Nokia’s Ovi store and BlackBerry.

 2. BBM

Firstly, yes the App does still exist. Blackberry Messenger started as an integral part of BlackBerry’s smartphones, allowing secure instant messages to be sent between BlackBerry users. 

In 2013, For the first time, it became cross-platform when made available for Android and the iPhone in September 2013. BBM for iPhone and Android was downloaded 10m times on the first day, with over 80 million users globally across all platforms by October 2013.

3. Viber

All users can send text, pictures, video messages and do phone calls using Viber.

However, voice calling and some other features are limited to the iPhone, Android, and Windows Phone. Viber is available for iPhone, Android, BlackBerry, Windows Phone and Desktop. 

4.Line 

Line is said to have around 600 million users. 

Line combines a timeline similar to Facebook, where you can post and your friends can comment on your posts, in addition to having all the standard features of a messaging app.

The app allows calls to landlines, and Line to Line free video or voice calls are available. The Group chat option is also available and allows up to 200 participants. 

Similarly to Twitter, you can follow famous people and brands on Line. It also allows the user to set up albums and share them with friends.

Recently, Line introduced encryption to chats as well.

5.Google Hangouts


In 2013, Google launched Hangouts with the aim unify its messaging platforms.

Hangouts allow users to send text and images, as well as hold video calls and group messaging with read states and typing indicators. Hangouts has also been integrated into Gmail.

Hangouts is available on the desktop, Android, and iPhone.

Are there any other apps that you know of that we left of this list? Let us know by posting on our Facebook page, Business Report.

- BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE