Go beyond Whatsapp and Telegram
Go beyond Whatsapp and Telegram
- By Sharmaine Loh
- | Mar 11, 2021
Mainstream messaging tools like Whatsapp and Telegram are great, but that doesn’t mean they have to be your only options. For alternative IM solutions whose features extend beyond chats and calls, check out these alternative options.
Avid gamers will already know about Discord. A VoIP application initially launched in 2015 before being re-released in 2019, Discord is a free software that allows all to chat anywhere, anytime, via various formats. It's used to create a home for your community and friends to hangout over text, video calls and more. Unique features include voice channels that resemble an online lounge for friends to pop in and out to talk without the hassle of calling, as well as Twitch integration that's sure to be a hit with gamers.
Flock may be known as a messaging and collaboration tool for companies to use as most organisations continue working from home, but that doesn’t mean it is of no use to the general public. At its free tier, send unlimited group messages, be granted access to 10 public channels and make private one-to-one calls whenever you please. Those who take security seriously should use Flock as besides ensuring uncompromised, high quality calls, its privacy and user data protection policy remains unparalleled.
A hit with privacy-conscious companies, open source collaboration tool Mattermost is also well-suited towards high net worth individuals. Providing real-time updates and integrated with file sharing functions, the chat service prides itself on enterprise-grade security and leaves control in the hands of administrators. Some features that will please users include keyword mention alerts, the Do Not Disturb mode as well as the multi-language support.
If there’s one thing to be learnt about alternative IM tools, it is to never underestimate the functions and usability of these apps. For instance, Reddit is so much more than your average, online messaging board. So use one of the best news aggregator and discussion forums in the world by checking out subreddits, popping into chat rooms with your chosen communities, messaging friends via your Inbox, and even creating custom feeds for optimised navigation. Even try out the unofficial browser extension Reddit Enhancement Suite to take your forum and messaging experience to another level.
If you’re looking for an exclusive messaging platform that’s all-inclusive, look no further than Rocket.Chat. After all, how many IM tools are scalable, customisable, open source and still free of charge at the lowest tier? Simply access the chat on the web, desktop or through its mobile app, then begin conversing with your friends and workmates. Since Rocket.Chat also integrates social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, users will be able to enjoy a seamless experience while downsizing the number of tools they use.
Slack is a well-designed platform optimised for work use, but a clever few individuals have caught on and begun using the application for their own personal use. Since the communication tool boasts a great number of apps like Reminder, To-Do, Notes and more, this is a useful online spot to centralise all your ongoing activities. Furthermore, besides allowing an RSS feed integration, Slack offers a quick access info portal for those who need to check the weather, look up a price stock, the list goes on. Really, it’s an everything app.
As a peer-to-peer IM and video calling protocol project, Tox offers end-to-end encryption which ensures accessible yet secure communication for all. So have a peace of mind connecting with your loved ones without worrying about anyone else listening in to your private conversations; Tox is also completely free of charge and comes without advertising. Sounds too good to be true? You be the judge.