WeChat is a popular instant messaging platform from China, and it is one of the 59 Chinese apps that were banned by the Government of India. WeChat comes with a lot of features and supports voice and video calls alongside instant messaging. WeChat has previously been involved in a few privacy-related controversies in the past and this raises suspicion on how and what data is collected by the app and how it might be used by the developers in their best interest.
There are multiple instant messaging apps in the market right now, most of them offer more privacy and security than WeChat. There are even applications like Telegram that are completely open-source and thus offer much better security and fewer chances of your data being misused. Even applications such as WhatsApp take privacy very seriously and offer end-to-end encryption to ensure that your messages cannot be intercepted by any government or non-government agency. These messages can only be unlocked using the private key of that particular conversation and thus the privacy of the user is protected.
There are other alternatives to WeChat, even companies like Google offer instant messaging applications. While there are always privacy concerns with any company on the internet, the more important thing to note is which company do you trust your data with. While it is a commonly known fact that Google uses your browser searches and history to personalize the ads for your targeting and they’ve taken a strong stance about not spying your messages for the same data. It is always important to choose an app that you can trust in this scenario, especially when you are dealing with private and sensitive information being exchanged.
The Chinese apps were banned in India amidst the India – China border tensions and according to the government of India, this was done to protect the privacy of Indian users and to protect the values of Indians.
If you are looking for a WeChat alternative, then here are the top alternative options:
WhatsApp is perhaps the most used instant messaging platform in India and across the world. The app is very simple to use and comes with some very useful features. When WhatsApp was initially launched it only came with simple instant messaging and group messaging features, however, in the past few years the app has received several new updates and added features for Voice and Video calling to individual users and in groups.
WhatsApp also introduced “Status” allowing users to share an image, video, or text to their contacts for a span of 24 hours. WhatsApp is also currently working and testing their Payments feature allowing you to send and receive money from your contacts easily. WhatsApp works with end to end encryption while sending messages and more, none of the messages, photos or videos are stored in the WhatsApp servers after they are received by the user to ensure privacy.
Telegram works very similarly to WhatsApp and offers instant messaging. Telegram is available across multiple platforms including Android, iOS, and Web. The app syncs the messages across all your devices and has over 400 million active users. Telegram is one of the fastest apps on the market and connects people in a unique way. The app is very simple and doesn’t come with too many additional features that would overwhelm the users.
Telegram is cloud-based and unlike WhatsApp, all of your media and files and the entire chat is stored in the Telegram cloud without requiring any space on the device. The app uses a combination of encryption methods to ensure your messages are safely transmitted. The most powerful feature about Telegram is perhaps the ability to create group chats with as many as 200,000 people to share large photos, videos, documents, and more. The Telegram app is completely free to download and comes with no advertisements.
Signal is a cross-platform encrypted messaging service developed by the Signal Foundation and Signal Messenger LLC. It uses the Internet to send one-to-one and group messages, which can include files, voice notes, images, videos, and other media. But the main focus of the Signal app is to keep its user’s privacy intact and there are a lot of built-in features that keep our chats and conversations secure.
Hangouts is a cloud-based Instant messaging platform by Google. The app allows you to message your contacts or start a voice or video call with one person or a group. Hangouts are made and maintained by the parent company of Android, Google. This means that your privacy, security, and data integrity is in better hands. You can easily turn any conversation into a group video call with up to 10 users. Hangouts app is available across Android, iOS, and web platforms with cloud sync to ensure all your devices have the latest chat history with the updated messages. Hangouts also come with a Hangouts Dialer add-on that allows you to call phone numbers across the world.