When you move away or start studying abroad, it’s helpful to stay in touch with others to make sure you won’t feel lonely during the first few days. However, chat apps are also great to communicate with your close friends about when you are going to meet up with your parents to ask what you’re going to eat tonight, and with your distant cousins to ask how they are doing.

There are hundreds, if not thousands of chat apps available in your app store. Still, some are better than others. That’s why we created a list for you with the best apps to stay in touch with other people.

Telegram

Telegram is a cloud-based messenger app that works through your IP address rather than your phone number. This app is available on almost all phones and also works perfectly on your laptop or desktop. Through this app, you can send pictures, videos, stickers, and emojis to your connections.

The interface is very pleasing to the eye and looks like a standard messaging app like WhatsApp. When you and one other person are online at the same time, you can establish a “secret” chat in which not even the creators of Telegram can read the messages. You can also order the messages you send to ‘self-destruct’ after a certain period to give you more privacy.

Telegram recently added a new feature, ‘Telegram Passport.’ This allows the user to upload copies of their passport, driver’s license, and more. Then, when these items are needed by a third-party. The user can link them through to their Telegram account. Telegram claims they do not have access to these files, making them safe to store.

Snapchat

Starting as just a photo communication app, Snapchat is now a big social media platform. Snapchat is a multimedia messaging app. When you send or receive a picture, it’s only visible up to 10 seconds. After that, it disappears. You can also post stories. These videos or photos are viewable for 24 hours, after which they disappear.

Snapchat’s primary color is yellow, which gives it a fun and youthful look and that’s precisely the purpose of the app. There are plenty of funny filters you can use to enhance your pictures, some filters change throughout the month to offer you new ones to try instead.

A big plus of Snapchat is that you can also use it as an instant messaging app. When you click on the person you follow, you can send them a picture, video, or just a text message. Text messages will also disappear if you don’t pin them in your chat.

By using Snapchat, you can communicate with your friends and family, but also with total strangers. There are plenty of celebrities that use Snapchat, and if you admire someone you found online, you can usually add them to your list as well if you have their username.

Man using smartphone to chat with friends

Kik Messenger

Kik Messenger is an instant messaging application that works without phone-number. Due to this, many people prefer to use this app to communicate with strangers online. The app allows users to send and receive pictures, messages, videos, sketches, stickers, and emojis when they’re connected to any data network or Wi-Fi.

Kik Messenger deletes messages automatically after about 100 of them. While there are methods to save these messages, it’s quite a helpful way to remain private. Once you’ve deleted a conversation, the full text-exchange between you and the other person is deleted.

With Kik Messenger, you can also create groups in which you can add people you like. This way, you can open a chat for all members of your friend group. Or perhaps your family secretly wants to plan a birthday surprise for your aunt, so Kik is the safest option to exclude her from any chat.

Like Snapchat, Kik Messenger allows you to add strangers as well. If you find someone online that just so happens to share their username, you can add them and start a conversation. So, not only is Kik great to keep in touch with your friends, but it’s also an ideal option to get to know more people from all around the globe.

Skype

Skype is a telecommunications app that provides video chat options to all kinds of devices from your phone to your X-Box. However, you can also use this application to send instant text messages and to have regular calls.

Skype is popular among gamers as it allows them to chat with each other/see each other’s reactions while simultaneously playing an online game together. Others like to use Skype to host job-interviews, have meetings for group projects, or to see your grandma during her holiday in Tenerife.

When you want to add more people to the party, you can open up a group video chat in which you can all see and talk to each other. Skype is a mostly free service, with low costs for worldwide calling services, and ‘Skype Business.’ However, video calls and instant chats are free since they use Wi-Fi.

To be able to use Skype properly, we recommend you use a well-functioning webcam and microphone. Many computers already have a pre-installed camera and microphone, but not all of them work equally well. When you are a mobile phone user, you probably won’t have any issues with the application.

Discord

Discord is an application similar to Internet Relay Chats meaning that it uses servers and channels to allow users to chat with one another. Users can pick their personal usernames without needing to fear that it’s already taken since Discord adds a unique 4-number code behind their username.

Discord has been around since 2015 but has especially gotten popular around the end of 2018 and 2019. Many specific websites or groups on Reddit have their own Discord group in which people can join an ongoing conversation. This function allows people from all over the world to get in touch with each other. That’s a great way to make new friends!

This platform was specifically designed for gamers since it has little to no delay in the messaging system. Still, many non-gamers also use this platform to communicate since it’s less likely to be detected by strict parents and teachers. Like Kik, it’s also quite anonymous allowing people to create an alter ego to define themselves.

Posting foodpic on Instagram

Instagram

While this is not a messaging app, Instagram is a great way to stay updated on the lives of your friends. This social media platform allows people to post pictures of themselves or their interests and add a caption to it. They can also create so-called ‘stories’ in which they can show what they’re currently doing like Snapchat does.

Instagram is popular among both teens and adults as it’s an easy-to-use application. You and your friends can follow each other, but you can also follow celebrities or complete strangers. If you prefer to stay private, you can lock your account. Only your followers will be able to see your posts, and when someone specially to follow you, they have to send a request first.

Please do remember that social media apps like Instagram often only portray a colored version of someone’s reality. So, while your friends keep posting sunny holiday pictures, their entirely may not all be sunshine and rainbows. If you are easily susceptible to feeling bad after scrolling through your feed, make sure to put a timer on your social media usage for your mental health.

Conclusion

As you can see, there are plenty of ways to stay in touch with your friends online. All these applications are available on your mobile phone, allowing you to use them whenever you like. While you may see your friends on a daily basis, these apps can also be used to keep in touch with a long-distance friend or family member.