Last updated on
2020 is here, and in the ever-growing world of smartphones, the use of Instant Messaging apps plays a bigger role than before, connecting people conveniently and for free. We have seen a lot of instant messaging apps getting popular on desktops, including WhatsApp and Telegram, and now even Instagram is believed to be testing desktop direct messaging functionality.
Thanks to instant messaging apps, text messaging seems to be a thing of the past and with growing user adoption, we’re seeing more and more IM apps hit the market.
This article was originally written in 2016 and we’ve continued to update over 4 years. However, most of the IM apps that were at the top of the list last year are still dominating in 2020.
The best IM apps today do mostly the same things but it’s the different user interfaces and those little extra functions of each app that lead to serious competition between them.
Whether you’re a new Android user or an old one, if you’re looking for a good IM app to keep in touch with your friends and family, or even make new friends, you can check out our list of the 11 Best Instant Messaging Apps for Android below and pick something that suits you.
An app that truly needs no introduction, WhatsApp has managed to make its way to phones around the world, whether they run Android, iOS, Windows or any other OS. It is by far one of the most convenient Instant Messaging apps and is used by millions of people every day.
Setting it up is easy, messages are delivered instantly, images are compressed before being forwarded and now the app also supports free voice calling which works well most of the time. Recently, WhatsApp also introduced the video calling feature, and since it was acquired by Facebook, its userbase has grown even bigger.
All in all, if you’re looking for a good Instant Messaging app to keep in touch with all your friends or create group chats, it doesn’t get much better than WhatsApp.
Viber is a lot like WhatsApp, but couldn’t take off in a big way. It gained most of its popularity being one of the first IM apps to offer free voice calling, and that is still the app’s mainstay.
The interface is good and the app still has good features like celebrity chats, stickers, and emojis. If you wanted an app that would sync well with your contacts and give you instant online calling option over the internet, Viber is a good bet.
Snapchat has grown immensely over the past couple of years, mainly due to the large teenage fan following the app managed to gather with their unique take on Instant Messaging.
Snapchat basically enables live video conversations with selected friends with the added twist that all video messages can only be viewed for 10 seconds before they are deleted from the company’s servers (as claimed). Since 2017 users can now replay snaps as many times as they like, but they disappear once you exit the app.
The app has been described by most as a phenomenon which took over the teen world and is still going strong.
Kik is another popular IM app for Android which doesn’t depend on phone numbers for contacts. Instead, you can add people via usernames and hold group chats with up to 50 people.
Apart from sending text messages, you can also share images and even funny GIFs and memes. If you want an Instant Messaging client that’s fun to use, KiK is the way to go.
Line is another popular IM app which also offers free voice and video calls. The app is kind of a mix between Facebook and Tango, and has some really cool stickers and the option to view a news feed to find out what your friends have been up to.
You can also make fun movies and add friends via NFC, making it more of a trendy app that aims to do well with teens.
WeChat has got it all, whether it’s video calling, voice calling or free messaging you’re looking for. It boasts powerful features such as Moments which allows users to share their favourite moments and memories with photos and videos on a personal stream, and a Friends Radar, allowing you to scan your surroundings for people using WeChat and connect with them.
On the plus side, the app also comes with a TRUSTe certification, which is great for people concerned about privacy when using Instant Messaging apps.
KakaoTalk works a lot like WhatsApp by automatically synchronizing your contact list on your phone to your contact list on the app.
Other than its basic IM functions KakaoTalk supports video calling which is fast, reliable and fun overall. KakaoTalk is also compatible with Android Wear and is currently the most popular IM client in South Korea, so its definitely worth a try.
Those who have been using smartphones for more than just 3 years would know that Imo has come a long way from being an IM client that allowed people to use their existing accounts from one app to an app that has its own online community.
Today the app offers its own free voice and video calls along with quick Instant Messaging between groups and contacts. You are also likely to find several of your friends on Imo, so its a good IM app overall.
This is our favorite video calling app on this list and is undoubtedly the most popular in the world. However, that doesn’t take away from its Instant Messaging ability which is actually quite efficient.
Messages between contacts are fast and you can also transfer files easily. If a conversation gets wordy, you can also take it to a call with a single tap. The app also has several emojis to choose from, and all in all, its a pretty solid experience.
Even though Facebook’s official Android app gets a lot of criticism, the Messenger app works fairly well and allows you to chat with your Facebook friends on the go.
The app also allows for group chats and sharing media, and now you can also use it to make voice calls for free over Wifi. Since the app is linked to your Facebook friends, you don’t really have to worry about contacts, phone numbers, and usernames.
We’ve updated this list to add Telegram to it, not only because it’s a great instant messaging app but also because the developers behind it put a lot of effort into updating it and communicating with the community.
The app has several great features, including bots, but the best feature for us was the seamless integration between multiple devices, including PCs, Macs, phones, and tablets. All conversations are stored in the cloud and synced across all your devices so you can stop chatting on one and pick up from the other.
Given how the app has been banned in certain countries in recent years, the new versions come with a built-in proxy setting to bypass such restrictions.
While there are quite a lot of IM apps on the Play Store, these are some of the best available on Android and you can choose any one of them according to your needs, your preferred modes of communication and whether your friends use them.
If there are any suggestions or recommendations you guys want to share, please hit the comments below and let us know.