WhatsApp is a widely-used messenger app available on most platforms – iOS, Android, Windows, macOS, and others. Unfortunately, it cannot natively run on Apple Silicon chips such as M1 – but even then, it is possible to run it anyway with the help of this guide. Still, WhatsApp is far from perfect. The largest issue, of course, is the company who owns it – Meta (formerly Facebook). As a company that makes a significant part of its revenue by collecting and selling their users’ data, it has a reputation for flexible attitude when it comes to privacy. Something that is obviously unacceptable for many people – so we prepared a list of best WhatsApp alternatives for Mac. Read below for more information, such as details and download links.
iMessage is a service you, as a Mac user, are likely familiar with. When one Apple device sends a message to another Apple device (e.g. an iPhone user sending a text to someone with an iPad), iMessage is the service used by these devices. You can easily recognize them, as they appear in blue bubbles – while regular text messages appear in green ones. And although it is typically associated with portable Apple products, it can be used on Mac as well with the help of this guide.
|Apple Inc.||1 billion||OK|
Signal is easily the best choice for those concerned about privacy – indeed, it has received endorsements from several governments, the United Nations, and public figures such as Edward Snowden. The company behind Signal is a 501c3 nonprofit that relies on grants and donations to operate – this ensures that there’s no profit incentive to collect user data. The code of Signal is publicly available, and can be reviewed by anyone, at any time. This allows many cybersecurity researchers to audit and improve the code, making it even more secure with every day. However, as it has very niche appeal, you will have to convince people to migrate to it if you want this to be your only messenger.
|Signal (a 501c3 nonprofit)||40 million||Exceptional|
Another alternative messenger app is Telegram. Though not focused on security as much as Signal, it still boasts several useful privacy features, such as self-destructing messages and passcode locking. The team behind Telegram says that “taking back our right to privacy” was the main reason for creating the app, but many security researchers found the approach it takes somewhat flawed. Still, it does a passable job and has a reasonably sized userbase – a nice middle ground between WhatsApp and Signal.
|Telegram FZ LLC||700 million||OK|
The last entry on this list is Viber, a messenger app you’ve likely heard about. Though not particularly exceptional in terms of features, it is very popular. It also allows its users to call landline and phone numbers – which is not free, however. It even achieved more than 90% market share in several countries – notably, Greece, Ukraine, Bulgaria, and Serbia. The Viber developers do not have much concern for security, however – it has consistently received very low scores during audits.
|Rakuten Group, Inc.||1 billion||Bad|
This, of course, is not an exhaustive list of all WhatsApp alternatives for Mac, far from it. We only listed the most notable WhatsApp alternatives, those that did something to stand out. But many other options exist too – though a messenger app is not very useful if it’s only used by you and five other privacy enthusiasts. Still, you can use, for example, Google Messages – though not available for Mac natively, its web version is functional enough. Some of the people you know are probably available on Discord. Just don’t use SMS, please. The days of this service are long over – and, I mean, who wants to be charged for every single message, anyway?