Social Media

Don’t Want to Use Facebook Messenger? 10 Slick Alternatives to Try

Dan Price Updated 24-06-2019

Facebook Messenger is one of the world’s most popular messaging apps, but it’s not without its critics. Which is why we have found the best alternatives to Facebook Messenger.


Some people loathe using anything connected to Facebook. Others are unimpressed with the linkup between Instagram, WhatsApp, and Facebook Messenger, all of which are owned by Facebook. Either way, one of these Messenger alternatives should work for you.

1. Telegram

Telegram has emerged as one of the best alternatives to Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and all the other mainstream messaging apps. The client-side code is open source; the server-side code is proprietary.

It strips away many of the worst parts of Facebook Messenger that annoy people, including the ads, stories, and active statuses.

On the downside, some experts have criticized the app for its unintuitive approach to end-to-end encryption. It’s only enabled by default in secret chats. There are also concerns surrounding Telegram’s custom-designed encryption protocol; experts often criticize it for being unreliable.


Telegram is available on all major operating systems and via the web.

2. Facebook Messenger Lite

Another common reason that people shun Facebook Messenger is due to its performance. It places a high burden on your battery, eats through web data, and is slow on phones with a smaller amount of RAM.

Most of the main Messenger features are available on the Lite version, but the app’s file size is smaller, and it uses less data.

The most significant missing feature is video calling. There’s also no animated GIFs or stickers, and you cannot share your location using Messenger Lite.


Download: Facebook Messenger Lite for Android | iOS (Free)

3. Slack

slack chat window

Much of the decision surrounding which is the right Messenger alternative for your situation depends on how you use the Facebook app. For example, if you use Messenger as a way to communicate with colleagues, you should check out Slack instead.

Slack is free to use, though there are some restrictions compared to the paid version. Nonetheless, you still get 10,000 searchable messages, 10 app integrations, and support for one-on-one video calls.


Paid licenses start at $6.67/person/month.

4. SMS

Think about the primary tasks that you perform on Facebook Messenger. For most people, it’s merely sending text-based messages to friends and family.

If that describes your use case, it might be worth reverting back to SMS. Everyone has a phone number, so unlike other services like Telegram and Slack (which require other people to have an account), almost everyone will be within reach.

And remember, lots of carriers offer unlimited free text messages, so flipping back to the more traditional approach won’t cost you a dime.


5. IM+ [No Longer Available]

If you want a like-for-like experience, IM+ is arguably the best alternative to Facebook Messenger.

IM+ is a Facebook Messenger client, meaning you can add your Facebook account and use the app to send messages to your Facebook Messenger contacts. However, the app also works with Yahoo Messenger, AIM, ICQ, Jabber, and more. It’s a one-stop hub for all your instant messaging providers.

You can use the app on Android and iOS, and there’s also a browser bar so you can stay on top of your messages without interrupting your browsing experience.

6. Jitsi

jitsi make a call

If you mainly use Facebook Messenger to make video calls, have a look at Jitsi.

Jitsi is a free-to-use video calling service. It has a few noteworthy features that help it stand out from the crowd. These features include encrypted calls, open source code, and, perhaps most importantly, anonymity. Neither you (or your fellow callers) need to make an account in order to place or participate in a call.

Jitsi is available on the web, Android, and iOS.

7. Swipe for Facebook

Swipe for Facebook is another Facebook Messenger client. Unfortunately, it’s only available on Android; there is no iOS version.

Unlike the other apps on our list, Swipe provides access to both Facebook and Facebook Messenger. It’s beyond the scope of this article, but suffice to say that the official Facebook app has its own issues regarding bloat, spam notifications, and unnecessary features—so Swipe can kill two birds with one stone.

It’s easy on your battery, supports picture-in-picture video calls, offers live Android homescreen widgets, and supports Messenger chat heads.

Download: Swipe for Facebook (Free)

8. Threema

If you value privacy, Threema is a highly recommended Messenger alternative.

As soon as you sign up, you’ll notice some differences. For example, you don’t need to supply your phone number or email address to create an account. Instead, the system relies on a uniquely-generated Threema ID number.

Additionally, Threema does not require access to your contacts, is ad-free, and offers best-in-class encryption. And because Threema is a Swiss company, it is bound by the country’s strict privacy laws. It’s not vulnerable to the much weaker laws in the US.

All the usual features (video calling, image/video sharing, group chats, multiple themes, etc.) are present.

Threema is not free. Instead, you need to make a one-off payment of $2.99.

9. Pidgin

Pidgin is like IM+. The app is a Messenger client that lets you connect to multiple services, thus providing a single, centralized hub for all your social media contacts.

Facebook Messenger is not natively supported, but it’s fast and easy to install the necessary third-party plugin. The native IM apps that Pidgin supports are Bonjour, Gadu-Gadu, Groupwise, IRC, SILC, SIMPLE, Sametime, XMPP, and Zephyr.

Pidgin is available on Windows, Mac, and Linux.

10. Wafer Messenger

Wafer Messenger is a perfect Facebook Messenger alternative for anyone whose inbox is a constant whirl of GIFs, stickers, and animations.

The app lets you combine texts, sketches, stickers, pictures, videos, and audio into a single message. If you want to get creative, Wafer Messenger is for you.

Wafer Messenger also offers live sound effects, support for surveys and polls, and collaborative messages (people can use your unique creations and add to them).

The company promises not to log any of your private information or keywords, and does not show ads.

More Alternatives to Facebook Messenger

The Facebook Messenger alternatives and clients we’ve looked at in this article all do a great job of replicating—or improving—at least one part of the Facebook Messenger experience.

But they are not the only ways to connect with your friends and family. For more tips, check out our article on the best online messaging services to chat with friends 5 Online Instant Messaging Services to Chat with Friends If you were an AOL Instant Messenger fan, don’t worry. There are still some worthwhile services available. Here are five to check out. Read More and our short list of Facebook Messenger alternatives The 6 Best Facebook Messenger Alternatives for Private Chats Sick of Facebook eavesdropping on your chats? Switch to one of these Facebook Messenger alternatives that care about privacy. Read More .

Related topics: Facebook, Facebook Messenger, Instant Messaging.

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  1. James Clark
    May 25, 2018 at 12:50 pm

    Get away from Messenger is great but almost every suggestion requires you to connect WITH Facebook. Never a good situation.

  2. John Weiss
    May 13, 2017 at 9:46 pm

    Also, just tried Pidgin on Win7. I cannot enable an account using the help available, and the on-line help also says Facebook has removed support for XMPP...

  3. John Weiss
    May 13, 2017 at 8:33 pm

    I can't find a way to sign into Skype via Facebook on my Android phone. It works on my Win10 laptop. Am I missing something?

  4. Matt
    October 9, 2016 at 1:15 pm

    I don't want an "app" at all. I just want to send 3-4 facebook messages a month from the browser on my phone or tablet. Kinda like pinterest almost forcing an app download everytime I visit the site from my tablet (2-3 times a month). (it'll give you a better experience!!!).

    How many "apps" are we going to need to download to just view the internet?

    Email? If you use it a lot, apps are better
    Games? Yeah, they can perform better that way
    Special purpose programs (navigation/word processing/spreadsheets/graphics), yeah, apps are fine.

    But I've seen apps which are basically a link to the site - rather pointless.

  5. Jim Obasa
    April 24, 2016 at 6:13 pm

    Honestly can't see why people are so against Facebook Messenger. Never had any problem with it. I can do so much with it - send pictures and videos, make calls and video calls. Perhaps some people are simply anti-Facebook. I am a 60-year old Facebook user and maybe the reason I have never had any problem with it in the five years I have been using it is because I don't do some of the really dumb things on the site that younger users do.
    Only a total idiot gives out a personal phone number or e-mail address in an open post, but it happens.

    • Droid
      May 13, 2016 at 1:47 pm

      I'll try to explain it to u.
      Facebook Messenger is giving us a great service but it's the most spy-shit aplication that we can download from Google Store or Apple Store.
      it's listining to ANYTHING your doing in your phone.
      privacy is not a crime.

      just go to google store and go for Facebook messenger, and then check what premissions they asking for..

      it's insane.

  6. Anonymous
    January 11, 2016 at 3:22 am

    IM+ does not connect to Facebook messaging anymore. They haven't updated their Android app since 2014 and Facebook did away with their old chat XMPP API the middle of 2015.

    I tried Trillian and immediately stopped using it because, even though it works with Google, Facebook, etc., it does not connect directly to the intended servers. It requires you to go through their servers creating a major security risk.

    • kroneage
      January 28, 2016 at 3:26 am

      You do..... I hope realize that Trillian is a totally Secure Enterprise level program first out in the late 90's on secure private networks. If your communications aren't already secure enough, Trillian will take care of that and provide a hellOlot better security than you get with Facebook App out of box!

      It's Facebook and their Apps who don't want to work well with other applications. Tune it up right and keep updated and Trillian will work better for more things and has far more useful features, than FB will ever allow FB Chat to have!!!!

      That's just a small part of Trillian's value from years of working as a secure professional enterprise level chat application!!!

  7. Anonymous
    August 22, 2015 at 12:14 am

    Aside from Skype, not a single one of these apps is actually an alternative to Messenger. That's because Messenger is no longer an instant messaging client. It is now an SMS replacement app that works like WhatsApp, BBM, and my favorite, Telegram. Such apps are not limited like SMS's 140-character max, and don't require a separate, unreliable transport to send media (MMS). They just work, and that's why people find them attractive.

    Out of all of these apps, only Telegram has apps for Android, iOS, Windows Phone, and Firefox OS (Blackberry 10 users can run the Android app which works flawlessly). There are also desktop clients for Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux, and if you prefer, there's a web app. Then there's the matter of not being under the thumb of a corporate giant that makes money off of you using their services.

    It's that, more than anything, that peeves me about Facebook. You love it. That's your choice. I do not. I hate everything about Facebook, including the fact that I'm forced to use it because I have close friends who use it, and I have my works to market. So, when a product appeared to me in my news feed that I had only discussed in a private message in Messenger, that was the last straw.

    Now, before you call me paranoid and laugh me off as some kind of kook, all I want is to be able to use the internet the way I want, and not guided by the whims of corporate giants. That's why I use Telegram and Ello. I use Facebook and Twitter as mules to hawk my wares, and that's about it.

    • Mark O'Neill
      August 23, 2015 at 1:21 pm

      I would never consider you a "kook". You're entitled to your opinion, just like anybody else.

      I wouldn't say I LOVE Facebook. I need it for promoting my work and networking to get new clients. But if I wasn't in the self-promotional business, I would most likely not use social media at all. My wife loves it, and I use Facebook to chat to a few friends overseas, but it isn't something wonderful in my life.

      I do think their Messenger service is good though. They don't screw everything up! :-)

  8. Swanny
    April 24, 2015 at 10:57 am

    Worth pointing out that Facebook recently released Messenger for Web at It works really good, and combined with this Chrome extension ( [Broken Link Removed] ) I use it on a daily basis now.

    In my opinion/experiences, Facebook chat on anything that isn't the main website or Facebook Messenger is a really terrible experience. Constant random disconnections, you can be in the middle of a conversation with somebody and they will randomly go offline, yet you go back to the Facebook site and they are still online.

    You also can't have a conversation with somebody who is showing up as being on their mobile but not "online". There's also no proper support for sending files or photos.

  9. Anonymous
    April 24, 2015 at 6:41 am

    Is there a way to get iMessage working on my iPhone? Or is it just a Mac thing?

    Great list though! I didn't know Skype had FB integration or I would have stopped using pidgin by now. Lol

    • Mark O'Neill
      April 24, 2015 at 10:02 am

      iMessage is "Messages" on the iPhone. When you receive a SMS message through Messages, and it is coming from another iPhone, then it will appear in iMessage on your other devices.

  10. stelth
    April 23, 2015 at 6:40 am

    IM+ doesn't work with facebook for a long time now on iOS

  11. Pascal Poitras Dubois
    April 23, 2015 at 3:47 am

    my favorite is bitlbee. It also supports twitter

  12. Tim
    April 22, 2015 at 3:32 pm

    Did I misunderstand the part about Pidgin not having a Linux version? Someone should tell my Arch Linux-running netbook, then... and for that matter, the first PC I installed Red Hat on, over a decade ago.

    Pidgin started life in 1998 as Gaim, an AOL Instant Messenger client for... yes, Linux. It gained support for other IM networks over time, and was renamed Pidgin in 2007 due to legal issues related to AOL IM.

    Pidgin is handy to have on a Linux system, especially with all the plugins, including Bonjour (for ad-hoc "mesh" chatting over a LAN) and Telegram (another FB Messenger alternative I'd definitely recommend, if you can persuade your friends to get on it too...).

    • Mark O'Neill
      April 22, 2015 at 4:12 pm

      You're quite right. Apologies for the error. I will ask my editor to make the appropriate adjustment.

    • Wally Wilson
      September 15, 2016 at 6:26 pm

      Yes, Pidgin came from GAIM, and has been on Linux for nearly forever.