Comparison of Instant Messaging Clients
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Comparison of Instant Messaging Clients

The landscape for instant messaging involves cross-platform instant messaging clients that can handle one or multiple protocols.[1] The following table compares general and technical information for cross-platform instant messaging clients in active development, each of which have their own article that provide further information.

General

Client Developer First public release Monthly active users Registration requirement License
Briar May 9, 2018; 3 years ago (2018-05-09)[2] GPL-3.0-or-later
Discord Discord Inc. March 6, 2015; 6 years ago (2015-03-06)[3] 250 million (2019)[4] Email Proprietary freeware
eBuddy Paulo Taylor March 9, 2003; 18 years ago (2003-03-09)[5] Phone number Proprietary freeware
Element New Vector Limited July 2016; 5 years ago (2016-07) Nothing required Apache License
Facebook Messenger Facebook, Inc. August 9, 2011; 9 years ago (2011-08-09) 1300 million (2019)[4] Facebook account or Phone number Proprietary freeware
Gadu-Gadu ?ukasz Foltyn, GG Network S.A. August 15, 2000; 20 years ago (2000-08-15) Email Proprietary freeware
Gajim Yann Le Boulanger May 21, 2004; 17 years ago (2004-05-21) Email GPL-3.0-only
ICQ Mail.Ru November 1996; 24 years ago (1996-11) Phone number Proprietary adware freemium
Jami Savoir-faire Linux local account GPL-3.0-or-later
Jitsi Emil Ivov 2003; 18 years ago (2003) Apache-2.0
Kadu Kadu Team August 2001; 19 years ago (2001-08) GPL-2.0-or-later
KakaoTalk Kakao Corp. March 18, 2010; 11 years ago (2010-03-18) 49 million (2018)[6] Proprietary freeware
Keybase Keybase February 8, 2017; 4 years ago (2017-02-08) Nothing required New BSD License
Kik Messenger Medialab October 2010; 10 years ago (2010-10) 15 million (2017)[7] Email Proprietary adware freemium
Line LINE Corporation March 2012; 9 years ago (2012-03) 700 million (2017) Phone number Proprietary freemium
Mattermost Mattermost Inc 2015; 6 years ago (2015) AGPLv3
MCabber Mikael Berthe June 7, 2005; 16 years ago (2005-06-07) GPL-2.0-or-later
Messages Apple Inc. July 25, 2012; 9 years ago (2012-07-25) Proprietary, part of macOS and iOS
Movim Timothée Jaussoin March 3, 2011; 10 years ago (2011-03-03) Nothing required AGPLv3
Palringo Palringo Ltd 2006; 15 years ago (2006) Nothing required Proprietary freemium
Paltalk AVM Software, Inc June 1998; 23 years ago (1998-06) Email Proprietary freeware
Pidgin Mark Spencer November 1998; 22 years ago (1998-11) GPL-2.0-or-later
Psi Psi and Psi+ developers 2001; 20 years ago (2001) GPL-2.0-or-later
RetroShare Cyril Soler, Gioacchino Mazzurco 2006; 15 years ago (2006) GPL
Ricochet Invisible.im June 2014; 7 years ago (2014-06) BSD
Sicher SHAPE GmbH June 2014; 7 years ago (2014-06) Phone number Proprietary freeware
Signal Signal Foundation July 2014; 7 years ago (2014-07) 40 million (2021)[8] Phone number; iOS or Android device[9][10] GPLv3
Silent Phone Silent Circle January 16, 2013; 8 years ago (2013-01-16) Nothing required Proprietary commercial
Skype Skype Technologies, a subsidiary of Microsoft Corporation 2003; 18 years ago (2003) 300 million (2018)[6] Proprietary adware freemium
Slack Slack Technologies August 2013; 7 years ago (2013-08) Email Proprietary freemium
Snapchat Snap Inc. November 2011; 9 years ago (2011-11) 294 million (2019)[4] Email or Phone number Proprietary freeware
Surespot Surespot LLC 2013; 8 years ago (2013) Nothing required GPLv3
TeamNote TeamNote Limited 2012; 9 years ago (2012) Subscription
Telegram Telegram Messenger LLP 2013; 8 years ago (2013) 500 million (2021)[11] Phone number; iOS or Android device[12] GPLv2, GPLv3[13]
Tencent QQ Tencent Holdings February 1999; 22 years ago (1999-02) 823 million (2019)[4] Proprietary adware
Threema Threema GmbH December 2012; 8 years ago (2012-12) Nothing required AGPLv3
Trillian Cerulean Studios July 1, 2000; 21 years ago (2000-07-01) Nothing required Proprietary adware freemium
Viber Rakuten Viber December 2, 2010; 10 years ago (2010-12-02) 260 million (2019)[4] Phone number Proprietary freemium
WeChat Tencent Holdings Limited January 21, 2011; 10 years ago (2011-01-21) 1112 million (2019)[4] Phone number or QQ number Proprietary freeware
WhatsApp WhatsApp Inc., a subsidiary of Facebook January 2009; 12 years ago (2009-01) 2000 million (2020)[14] Phone number Proprietary freeware
Wickr Wickr Inc. June 2012; 9 years ago (2012-06) Nothing required Proprietary trialware
Wire Wire Swiss GmbH December 3, 2014; 6 years ago (2014-12-03) Email or Phone number GPLv3
Client Developer First public release Monthly active users Registration requirement License

OS support

Client Operating system
Windows macOS Linux Web Android iOS
Briar No No Yes No Yes No
Discord Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
eBuddy No No No No Yes Yes
Element Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Facebook Messenger Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes
Gadu-Gadu Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Gajim Yes No Yes No No No
ICQ Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Jami Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Jitsi Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Kadu Yes Yes Yes No No No
KakaoTalk Yes Yes No No Yes Yes
Keybase Yes Yes Yes No, partial Yes Yes
Kik Messenger No No No No Yes Yes
Line Yes Yes No No Yes Yes
Mattermost Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
MCabber No Yes Yes No No No
Messages No Yes No No No Yes
Movim Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Palringo No No No No Yes Yes
Paltalk Yes Yes No No Yes Yes
Pidgin Yes Yes Yes No No No
Psi Yes Yes Yes No No No
RetroShare Yes Yes Yes No Yes No
Ricochet Yes Yes Yes No No No
Sicher No No No No Yes Yes
Signal Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes
Silent Phone No No No No Yes Yes
Skype Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Slack Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Snapchat No No No No Yes Yes
Surespot No No No No Yes Yes
TeamNote No No No Yes Yes Yes
Telegram Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Tencent QQ Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes
Threema No No No Yes Yes Yes
Trillian Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Viber Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes
WeChat Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes
WhatsApp Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes
Wickr Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes
Wire Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Client Operating system
Windows macOS Linux Web Android iOS

Privacy

Client Custom emoji Stickers Self-destructing messages Lock screen Screenshot detection[15] Screenshot disabled (Android only)[16] Themes / skins Plugins Peer-to-peer text chat Open source servers Federated servers
Briar Yes No No No Yes
Discord Yes Yes No No No No No No No
eBuddy No No Yes Yes Yes No No No No
Element Yes Yes No No Yes Yes No Yes Yes
Facebook Messenger No Yes Yes No Yes Yes No No No
Gadu-Gadu No No No No
Gajim Yes No Yes Yes No Yes Yes
ICQ Yes Yes Yes No
Jami Yes Yes decentralised
Jitsi Yes No No Yes No Yes Yes
Kadu Yes Yes Yes No
KakaoTalk No No No No
Keybase Yes No Yes Yes, only 2 official skins No No No No
Kik Messenger Yes Yes No No No
Line No Yes No No Yes Yes No No No
Mattermost Yes No No No Yes Yes No Yes No
MCabber No No
Messages No No No No No No N/A N/A
Movim No Yes No ? No No No Yes Yes
Palringo No Yes No No No
Paltalk No Yes No No No
Pidgin Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Psi Yes Yes Yes No
RetroShare No Yes No Yes N/A (P2P) N/A
Ricochet No Yes N/A N/A
Sicher No Yes No No No
Signal No Yes Yes Yes Yes No No Yes[17] No
Silent Phone No Yes Yes No No No
Skype No No Yes No No No
Slack Yes Yes Yes No No No
Snapchat No Yes Yes Yes No Yes No No No
Surespot No No Yes No No No No
TeamNote No
Telegram No Yes Yes Yes Yes No No No No
Tencent QQ No Yes No No No No
Threema No Yes No Yes Yes No No No No
Trillian Yes Yes Yes No No Yes
Viber No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No No
WeChat No No No No
WhatsApp No Yes No No No No No No No
Wickr No Yes Yes Yes[15] Yes[16] No Yes No No No
Wire No No Yes[18] No No No No Yes[19] No
Client Custom emoji Stickers Self-destructing messages Lock screen Screenshot detection[15] Screenshot disabled (Android only)[16] Themes / skins Plugins Peer-to-peer text chat Open source servers Federated servers
  • 1: Apple iOS doesn't allow screenshot protection.

Media

Client E2EE Encrypted local storage File transfer SIP Voice messages Voice chat Video chat Read receipts Sent messages
Editing Deleting
Briar Yes Yes Yes No No No Yes
Discord No No Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes
eBuddy Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Partial
Element Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Partial Yes
Facebook Messenger Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes
Gadu-Gadu No No Yes Yes
Gajim Yes Plug-in Yes No No[20] Yes
ICQ No No Yes Yes Yes
Jami Yes Yes Yes Yes
Jitsi Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Kadu No No Yes Yes No
KakaoTalk Yes Yes Yes
Keybase Yes Yes Yes No No Yes Yes Yes
Kik Messenger No No Yes
Line Partial Yes[21] Yes Yes Yes Yes No Partial
Mattermost No No Yes Plug-in Plug-in No Yes Yes
MCabber No No No No No
Messages Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Movim No No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Palringo No No No Yes No
Paltalk No No Yes Yes Yes
Pidgin Yes No Partial Yes Yes
Psi Yes Yes Yes Partial Partial Yes
RetroShare Yes Yes Yes Yes No No
Ricochet Yes
Sicher Yes Yes Yes
Signal Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Partial
Silent Phone Yes Yes[22] Yes
Skype Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Slack No No Yes
Snapchat No No No Yes Yes Yes No Yes
Surespot Yes No groupchat Yes Yes No
TeamNote No No Yes Yes
Telegram Secret Chats No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Tencent QQ No No Yes Yes Yes
Threema Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes
Trillian No No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Viber Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
WeChat No No Yes Yes Yes
WhatsApp Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes No Partial
Wickr Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Wire Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Client E2EE Encrypted local storage File transfer SIP Voice messages Voice chat Video chat Read receipts Sent messages
Editing Deleting

See also

References

  1. ^ "History of Instant Messaging". The top 6 best Instant Message client apps on any platform. Retrieved 2018.
  2. ^ "Secure P2P Messenger Releases First Version, Receives New Funding". Briar. 9 May 2018. Retrieved 2016.
  3. ^ Marks, Tom (May 14, 2016). "One year after its launch, Discord is the best VoIP service available". PC Gamer. Future plc. Archived from the original on May 16, 2016. Retrieved 2016.
  4. ^ a b c d e f "Most popular messaging apps 2019 - Statista". Statista.
  5. ^ Kirkpatrick, Marshall (2006-06-21). "E-Messenger raises funds, relaunches as eBuddy.com". techcrunch.com. Retrieved .
  6. ^ a b "Most popular messaging apps 2018 - Statista". Statista.
  7. ^ Ponciano, Jonathan. "Billion-Dollar Kik Taps $125 Million Token Offering To Energize User Base".
  8. ^ "Signal Revenue & Usage Statistics (2021)". Business of Apps. 2021-01-20. Retrieved .
  9. ^ Ciobica, Vladimir (26 May 2021). "Signal Desktop". Softpedia. Retrieved 2021.
  10. ^ Youngren, Jan (19 January 2021). "Signal messaging app review 2021". VPNpro. Retrieved 2021.
  11. ^ "Telegram Durov Channel". 2021-01-12.
  12. ^ Witman, Emma (22 January 2021). "How to make a Telegram account and start using the popular group chatting app". Business Insider. Retrieved 2021.
  13. ^ "Telegram license info". Retrieved 2015.
  14. ^ "WhatsApp". WhatsApp.com.
  15. ^ a b c https://support.wickr.com/hc/en-us/articles/360001710133-Wickr-Screenshot-Detection
  16. ^ a b c https://support.wickr.com/hc/en-us/articles/115007884288-Why-don-t-you-disable-screen-capture-
  17. ^ "Signal · GitHub". 26 February 2020. Retrieved 2014.
  18. ^ "Safe and tidy with Timed Messages". Wire Swiss. 25 October 2016. Retrieved 2016.
  19. ^ "Wire server code now 100% open source - the journey continues". Medium. Wire Swiss GmbH. 19 September 2017. Retrieved 2017.
  20. ^ https://dev.gajim.org/gajim/gajim/-/wikis/help/gajimfaq
  21. ^ Shin, Ki Bin (11 August 2016). "The next step for even safer messaging: Letter Sealing". Line Corporation. Archived from the original on 2 October 2016. Retrieved 2016.
  22. ^ "Silent Phone 6.0 is Here!". Silent Circle. 15 June 2017. Retrieved 2017.



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Comparison_of_instant_messaging_clients
 



 



 
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