We all know the issue with Facebook these days: it is the biggest social media platform in the world, and for good reason, but its practices relating to user privacy and the peddling of user data makes the ethics behind this tech giant questionable at best.
The real problem I find is that, even when avoiding aspects of Facebook that involve walls, profiles, status updates, tagged photos and the like, it’s still impossible to get around the fact that most of the world still communicates using Facebook Messenger.
And with Facebook’s recent purchase of the other popular messaging app, WhatsApp, you’re using Facebook even when you’re not! WhatsApp remains the preferable option, but what if you’re on a tablet like the iPad where WhatsApp is of course not an option.
What are the Facebook Messenger alternatives out there for iPad users? We recently took a look at some of these, taking into account things like usability, design and of course features such as voice calling, video calling and much more.
Free Facebook Messenger Alternatives for iPad
Check out our picks below and then suggest your own favorites in the comments section below!
8. Imo (Free)
One good Facebook Messenger alternative to look out for is imo messenger, which is at the very least a solid video chat option and a good way around typical SMS and call charges. You can send unlimited messages and make video and voice calls over your 3G and 4G or WiFi connection.
The group chat features here are also very good, with the ability to share photos and videos or express yourself with emoticons and stickers. imo might be rather limited when compared to other messaging apps, but is a solid enough alternative if you’re sick of Facebook’s standalone messaging app. – Download from iTunes
7. Trillian (Free)
Let’s move on to Trillian then, which is a nice instant mesaging app that works with smartphones and tablets but also desktop computers. The cross platform abilities of this one are excellent, and the automatic synchronization between different platforms means that no matter what platform you are using, things are alway up to date.
No matter where you are, Trillian delivers your chats to all of your connected devices. One nice feature I’ve also noticed is that the app silences push notifications on connected devices should you be messaging friends or family on your desktop client.
Trillian is also great for support and integration, supporting both Facebook Chat, MSN, Google Talk, AIM, ICQ. So this is a great app for Facebook users who don’t want to use Facebook! – Download from iTunes
6. Confide (Free)
One of the more exciting messaging clients for the iPhone, and one that has also been updated to support the Apple Watch is Confide. The idea behind Confide is simple: that everything should be off the record, so that not only are messages encrypted but they also disappear once they have been read.
There is also a nice swipe to reveal feature which, aside from tying into the gesture based nature of the UI’s interactions, is great in that it prevents screenshots. Snapchat is perhaps the most widely use of these self destructing messenger apps, but there’s always the risk that anyone listening into your conversation can take a screenshot in order to save info.
That’s not the case with Confide, which can be particualarly useful if you often find yourself discussing personal information when messaging colleagues, for example. – Download from iTunes
5. WeChat (Free)
As a cross platform messaging app, WeChat is the one title that you might not have heard of but is currently used by well over half a billion people – though, most of this userbase exists in Asia and the East. It’s a decent free messaging and calling app, and one that allows you to easily connect with family and friends even when moving across different continents.
The app is always free, so unlike WhatsApp will not charge for use. There are some nice features here like a Friend Radar which will show the people that are currently using WeChat in your area. There are 20 different languages available, too, as well as a desktop app and some nice customization options such as wallpapers, stickers and emoticons. – Download from iTunes
4. Hangouts (Free)
In terms of an existing userbase, Google’s Hangouts works as an excellent Facebook Messenger alternatives since it has ther users already, meaning that you likely won’t have to convince others to jump ship.
Most people will have a Google account, and that’s all you really need when signing into Hangouts and taking advantage of its capabilities. With Hangouts, messages work well and are integrated into Gmail, but the app really excels when you drop multiple people into a conversation and you communicate via video messaging, too. – Download from iTunes
3. Viber (Free)
Another very popular communications app is Viber, which is currently used by over 600 million people around the world. Not only does it allow you to message people for free but gives you free phone and video calls, send photos and video messages and a lot more.
This of course requires a Wifi connection or 3G connection in order to do so, and the group messaging capabilities here are great – you can start a message with up to 200 participants, and Viber Out credits can be used to call non-Viber mobile devices.
There are a lot of other features here that make Viber very popular, including HD sound quality on audio and video calls, public chat rooms, and of course full iPad support. – Download from iTunes
2. Skype (Free)
I guess the main problem with switching away from something like Facebook Messenger to another third party messaging app is the fact that most of your friends will have a messaging app of choice – and, yes, it’s likely to be Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp. If you’re not on either of these, then good luck convincing your friends to hop onto another messaging just for you.
There are plenty of other useful communication apps out there but none that offer the userbase and accessibility of things like Facebook and WhatsApp, which can provide a massive stumbling block if you decide to uninstall these two and go out looking for alternatives.
One service that does somewhat help out in this area however is Skype, Microsoft’s own hugely successful communications app that primarily offers video calling and conferencing capabilities. The big thing here though is that lots of people use Skype, which makes it perhaps the most viable of the Facebook Messenger alternatives out there right now for iPad users – especially if you want video chatting too! – Download from iTunes
1. Telegram (Free)
Telegram is another nice free messaging app that has recently been updated with Apple Watch integration, with an emphasis on security and speed. Telegram is great across different platforms, allowing you to communicate across your smartphone, tablet and even desktop computers.
The best thing about Telegram though is its secure aspects: the app is based on the MTProto messaging protocol meaning that it uses algorithms that allow for high speed interactions but at the same time maintaining a high level of security. And of course, the app is not only free but doesn’t have those pesky ads!- Download from iTunes