#1 ICQ (I Seek You)
Invented by a company of Israeli students in 1996, ICQ was the first app to allow instant messaging. Starting as an application for friends and friends of friends, who, in turn, called their own, ICQ spread around the world with the help of word of mouth and still exists.
In the first two years, the number of ICQ users grew from a few people to 9 million by early 1998.
In parallel, AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) was registered in 1997 and became popular in North America. The messenger belonged to the eponymous American Internet provider AOL. The messenger was built into the Netscape Navigator browser and was automatically available to every AOL customer.
WhatsApp is a free text messaging app with voice and video support. Allows you to send text messages, images, videos, audio, electronic documents and program settings online.
There are mobile and desktop versions. For companies, the WhatsApp Business application is provided, which allows using the messenger to communicate with customers and communicate on behalf of the company.
A messenger that allows you to send messages, make video and voice VoIP calls, create group chats and public channels. The application is free, to call users who do not have it installed, you need to top up the balance.
A feature of group chats is that the entire history of correspondence will be available to new users who have joined.
#4 Facebook Messenger
Messenger, available only to Facebook users – you need an account in the network of the same name.
In 2020, an update was released that combined Facebook private messages with Instagram messages: when the user selects the appropriate option, Instagram Direct and Facebook Messenger messages will be integrated with each other.
A platform made popular by gamers: Most game streamers on Twitch have their own discord community.
Discord statuses allow you to synchronize it with applications and display the status of the user in real time. For example, to see that someone is listening to music on Spotify, playing Figma or Dota2.
Users can communicate both in private messages and on created servers – common groups. Servers often look like multi-level structures: the functionality allows you to create voice and text channels – public, private or read-only.
It is possible to add your own streakers, available only to server users. Chatbots are supported: you can configure them so that a separate channel collects information about new subscribers to your email newsletter, or a channel with the latest news on any topic.
An old-timer in the video calling industry. The most famous free application that allows you to call online using video calling. It is possible to make paid calls to mobile and landline phones – the SkypeOut service, as well as connect your own phone number – the SkypeIn service.
Skype was bought by Microsoft in 2011.
#7 Hangouts Google
A free app from Google that allows you to make group video calls and chat. Authorization is possible only through a Google account.
It replaced the Google Talk application launched by the company in 2006. Contacts and chat history are automatically migrated to Google Hangouts.
Up to 150 people can participate in a group chat. Hangouts allows you to host webinars with only one speaker. Listeners can send questions and feedback to the corresponding chat online. After replenishing the balance, you can call mobile and landline phones.
#8 Tencent QQ
A popular instant messaging app in China. Supported by telecommunications company Tencent. The name at the time of launch is OICQ, consonant with the first to enter the messenger market, ICQ.
In addition to basic messaging, QQ lets you listen to music, shop, watch movies, and stream.
Application developed in China and popular in Asia. Also owned by Tencent. WeChat allows you to conduct money transactions through the internal payment system WeChat Pay.
For account holders in China, the functionality has been significantly expanded: for example, when traveling from mainland China to Macau and Hong Kong and in the city of Guangzhou, a WeChat account can be presented instead of a passport. In 2020, when the first wave of coronavirus began in the world, a digital pass appeared on WeChat that displayed the user’s current health code.
Compared to other Chinese counterparts, such as the same QQ, WeChat has relatively few ads: it is broadcast 2 times a day.
The application has “Mini-programs”: applications that will help you make an appointment with a doctor, taxi aggregators and marketplaces.Download weChat for Mac
A photo and video content sharing application popular in the US market. Main feature: content is available for a limited time, then disappears.
When sending a photo to a user, you can choose the interval during which it will be available: for example, 1-5-10 seconds. And if the recipient decides to take a screenshot, the app will notify the sender. You can add filters, stickers, draw on the image, apply a selfie mask.
Japanese messenger for messages and calls. Allows you to create conference calls with up to 200 users. Popular in the US and UK.
Features of KakaoTalk
- Exchange instant text messages within the service;
- You can attach emoticons or stickers, as well as graphic files, to the messages themselves. Additional emoticons and stickers can always be downloaded from the built-in store. Some of them are free, for others you will have to pay a certain amount;
- Make both traditional voice and video calls. In this case, the connection will be made exclusively via the Internet, so the cellular operator will not have to pay a penny;
- Using KakaoTalk, you can send quite large files of any format up to 100 MB in size. Naturally, the speed of sending and receiving will depend on the quality of the Internet connection;
- A rather remarkable feature is the ability to change the voice during a call. True, only two distortion options are available – “cat” and “dog”;
- You can organize communication in a group chat;
- You can mark your location, of course, provided that the device has a GPS module;
- A feature of KakaoTalk can be considered its multitasking. That is, you can, for example, simultaneously make a voice call using a headset, receive or send a message in a chat;
- The Kakao service offers a large number of mobile games;
- KakaoTalk has a built-in Schedule Planner that will not let you forget about an appointment or any other event;
- KakaoTalk has a huge number of themes.