Since it was released in 2011 (originally under the name ‘Picaboo), Snapchat has taken the online world by storm. Particularly popular with teenagers and young adults, Snapchat lets you share photos and videos for a designated amount of time with your friends and followers. After that time, the image/video disappears. You can also decorate your images with a range of Snapchat-specific filters, which can result in many a wasted hour.
Whilst Snapchat is most famous for allowing people to send indecent photos of each other to each other for a limited amount of time, Snapchat is also frequently used to document nights out in clubs, regular daily life events, and especially holiday activities like the beach, monuments, and even scuba diving.
Even though it’s only been around five years, Snapchat is already one of the most popular social media apps in the world. With way over 200 million users, Snapchat isn’t going anywhere any time soon.
Snapchat has introduced a new and very popular concept to the world. It allows you to share self-destructive images that will vanish after an adjustable amount of time, which means you can share almost anything and leave no traces of it the next day. As this is attractive in many ways, other companies have started trying to replicate Snapchat’s success with their own apps.
One major problem with Snapchat is a perceived lack of security. Although you can choose who sees your image/video and you can set how long it will be available for, it is not full proof and does not protect against people taking screen shots of your images for their own use or Snapchat themselves using your details for advertising and/or snooping purposes.
Many of the Snapchat-like apps have tried to cash in on this by making themselves appear more secure and private than Snapchat. Whilst none of these copycat apps have been quite as successful as Snapchat (some haven’t been successful at all), many of them are still great alternatives that offer features Snapchat just doesn’t have. Here is a list of the most popular alternatives to Snapchat available right now on iOS and Android.
Snapchat like apps
Wickr (pronounced Wicker, as in The Wicker Man) is a free encrypted text, video, pictures and video messenger which lets the sender have full control over their content. Wicker is available on the Android and iPhone, and its main purpose is to provide a totally confidential and secure platform that people can share content on.
The people who work at Wickr cannot read any messages that are sent through the messaging service, they do not store personal information, and they have a very expensive bug program to ensure everything keeps running smoothly. This San Fransisco based company is a year younger than Snapchat (launching in 2012), but it has already done pretty well for itself. If Snapchat is mainly geared towards young people, Wickr is popular with professionals such as journalists and politicians as it lets them share content without the fear that it will be seen by anyone else.
Wickr prides itself on it’s security and user confidentiality, which is why it is trusted by world leaders, celebrities, and human rights activists as they use this app to share sensitive/personal content and they trust Wickr not to betray that trust. This app lets you ‘shred’ messengers, I.e. remove them from your device forever.
Like Snapchat, you can set an expiration time on all content so no one will see your messages after the time is up, Wickr removes all identifying information (or metadata) from your media, and they are completely ad free.
Whilst Wickr is ideal for serious purposes such as sharing details about a news story or discussing sensitive government matters, it can also be used in a similar way to Snapchat. Wickr has it’s own filters and lets you edit images before sharing with friends, and you can easily add Wickr users and invite your non-Wickr friends to join in the fun.
Developed by: Wickr INC
Compatible with: All Android phones/tablets which run version 4.0 or above. For apple users, you must have iOS 7.0 or above, and Wickr is ideal for iPhone 5, iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.
This picture sharing/social messaging app was created by the social media giant that is Facebook. In an attempt to recreate Snapchats success, Facebook created Slingshot, which allows users to send self-detonating images and videos to one or multiple friends. These photo/video messages can be annotated and edited before sending.
Slingshot differs from Snapchat, because the user has the option to ‘sling’ their photo/video to one or more of their friends (which can be found via Facebook). The people the photo/video was sent to must then reply before they can see the original message, or they have the option to swipe it away and never see it at all. Some users may find the idea of being ‘forced’ to respond before they can see the original image quite annoying, but it also promoted more interaction between users.
This could be seen as another attempt by Facebook to dominate the social media world; they have Facebook messenger to dominate the social messaging world, they already have Facebook and it’s news feeds to promote various content and keep users up to date with their friends, and they have recently purchased Instagram to take over the world of photography.
Is Slingshot a badly concealed attempt to break into Snapchats corner and dominate all facets of social media? Probably. But Slingshot is a really fun app, so maybe it’s not the worst thing. It is very easy to use, it’s even easier to add friends and from a security standpoint it’s pretty sturdy.
Developedby: Facebook INC
Available on: iOS 7.0 or later Apple devices, and all android devices that run version 4.1 or above.
3. Yovo- Social story-telling
One of Snapchat’s most serious drawbacks is that although the image/photo you send will be deleted within a set amount of time, there is nothing stopping one or more people making one or more screenshots of your image/video and keeping these images on their device forever. This could obviously lead to some pretty nasty complications if you have sent a particularly personal image, and it’s something most users would like to avoid.
Yovo has decided to rectify this defect with their own image/photo-sharing app. If you activate the ‘D-fence’ mode on Yovo a moving filter will be placed on your image if someone tries to screenshot it. When ‘D-fence- is enabled, it will use static distortion blur the picture and make it illegible and therefore render the screen shot useless.
As well as added security, Yovo includes many Snapchat-like features to make it a fun app that’s worth downloading. You can use the app to take live photos, or share an old photo from your library, all photos will automatically disappear after 48 hours (you can also delete your story at any time), and you can edit your images by doodling, drawing and adding text.
Developed by: ContentGuard INC
Compatible with: Yovo is only available on iOS devices at the moment, but it is due to be released on Android in the near future. In the mean time, you can download Yovo onto your iPhone/Ipad as long as it runs iOS 7.0 or above. This app works best on iPhone 5, iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 plus.
This app is pretty much a direct copy of Snapchat, although it is more video centric whereas Snapchat is more focuses on photos. Even the name ‘Clipchat’ is very similar, and the app can be seen as Snapchat’s clone or slightly less popular sibling.
There are some differences though. Whilst the whole point of Snapchat is to send self-destroying images that will vanish within a set period of time, Clipchat is more of a social messaging app that lets you send files and create groups. It has a Secret Chat option, which is where your images/videos will disappear within a determined time period, but that doesn’t seem to be the main point of this app.
Clipchat has a very user-friendly interface that is actually easier to navigate than Snapchat. When you send a photo via this app, the recipient will get a blurred image that they will need to click on to see the full version. Snapchat is automatically set to photo sharing, although it can be used for both videos and images, whereas Clipchat is the other way around.
This free app lets you save messages to the I-cloud, it allows high quality images, and you can even send messages with a low Internet connection. You have the option to encrypt your messages to improve security, and if the recipient has a recent iPhone model the app will let you know if they try to screen shot your image.
Developed by: Idiction INC
Compatible with: Android users with 4.03 versions or above, and Apple users. Clipchat works best on iPhone 5 and above.
Cyber Dust’s main feature is the ability to send 100% private messages to individuals or groups. As all messages are encrypted and disappear after they are read and/or after 24 hours, this app might actually be more secure than Snapchat.
Unlike some other apps, the messages you send are not stored by Cyber dust or any third party and so when they are deleted, they really don’t exist any more. As all messages are 100% encrypted, they are safer from hackers than most other platforms.
As well as photos and videos, you can use Cyber Dust to send stickers, links, GIFS, animations and more. Anything you send is protected from screenshots, and you will be notified if anyone attempts to make a copy of your content.
You can use Cyber Dust as a professional to grow your online following, and you can also follow celebrities, news broadcasters and popular companies, but the user is in full control of any content they post. You can send images to multiple people by a ‘Blast message’, and you can edit images and write on them.
Developed by: Mention Mobile LLC
Compatible with: Android users must have at least Android 4.0 or above, and Apple users must have iOS 7.0 or above.
Viber is more of a messaging app than a Snapchat duplicate, but they do share several of the same features. This app lets you send regular text messages and audio files, but you can also send photos, videos, doodles and files. There is an option to put a self-destruct timer on photos and videos, which is what puts this app in the same category as Snapchat and similar products.
Viber is much more than a photo/video-sharing platform. You can use Viber to make free video chats and audio calls, you can have massive group chats, and you can play exclusive Viber games.
If you are concerned about security, Viber can put your mind at rest. You will have the option to delete a message even if it has already been sent, all messages including photo, video and calls are encrypted end-to-end to secure your privacy, you can have trusted contents to stop random people contacting you, and you can have hidden chats that you can hide from your screen to stop nosy people seeing them.
This app, originally created in South Korea, is very, very similar to Snapchat. Snow has it’s own face effects and filters, it lets you create your own video story in the same way that Snapchat does, and all photos and videos self-destruct within 24 hours (or an optional 72 hours). It also lets you respond to your friend’s videos/photos with a range of hilarious GIFS.
Snow basically has all the same features as Snapchat, but it does bring some extras of its own. Snow is reported to have a million more filters than Snapchat, and many people have said Snow’s filters are actually better.
Some of Snow’s unique filters include the blue penguin hat, a slightly disturbing pineapple filter, which turns your face into a pineapple with massive eyes, and the sad pig filter. If wasting away the hours with unlimited photo/video filters is your idea of a good time, then Snow may be for you.
Burn note lets you send self-destructive notes. When you send a note, the self-destruct countdown timer will start, and the message will disappear when it finishes. You can send a note to non Burn Note users; there is an option to send it as a text message, via another messaging app or even via email.
Burn Note does not keep deleted messages on their server, and there are no backups that could be used to read a deleted note. In that respect, this is a very secure way of sharing text.
This app is obviously different to Snap Chat in that rather than images and videos; Burn Note is primarily used for text. If you want to send something confidential, or you are making a confession to someone that you don’t want other people to access, then you should check out this app.
Telegram is a fast and secure messaging app, which can be downloaded for free on your computer, tablet or smart phone. There is no limit on the amount of photos, videos, messages and files you can send, and you can add up to 5000 people to a group, allowing you to share content with as many people as possible.
In the interest of security, messages sent via Telegram are encrypted. There is also a Secret Chat option, which can be set to destroy any messages, photos, files, videos etc. from both devices after a certain time.
You wouldn’t normally associate WhatsApp with Snapchat, but they do actually share several of the same features. Although WhatsApp doesn’t have a ‘self-destruct’ button and images/messages must be deleted manually, you can use this app to send photos and videos instantly, and it can also be used to send files and documents.
Other features of WhatsApp let you make free voice calls and message people all over the world for free; all you need is an Internet connection. WhatsApp integrates with your phone and has access to your contacts, so there is no need to create an account or spend extra time adding and inviting people.
Whenever your phone is on, WhatsApp is on too so you don’t have to worry about missing important messages.
Developed by: WhatsApp Inch
Compatible with: Most smart phones including Android and iOS.
So that’s all for out list of the best alternatives to Snap Chat available for Android and Apple users. If you have any comments, or you know of an app we didn’t put in our list, then please get in contact via the comments section below.