Earlier today, we wrote about Facebook acquiring WhatsApp for $16 Billion.
Nobody likes the privacy policies of Facebook, and if you like me are upset about this, here are some free alternatives fr WhatsApp.
The following apps are free, some of them offer free VOIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) calls as well. Use them with caution, as some of thse apps have In-App Purchases, and may display advertisements.
Viber offers free texting and calls for Viber-toViber, and has. No registration is required, you just have to enter your phone number and wait for a confirmation code. You can also use it on your desktop computer, or Android tablet too. You can also block numbers using the app.
Besides the free Instant Messaging service, the BlackBerry Messsenger now offers BBM Voice, BBM Channels, Location Sharing, Dropbox Integration to share files. Read more about it here.
Unlike Viber, BBM can be only used on one device.
This is a popular Instant Messenger app amongst Indian users, where you can also send SMS to non-Hike users for free. Besides IM, it also offers stickers, last seen status, offline messages etc. They also have a referral system where you invite friends to Hike, and get a free recharge coupon for your prepaid number.
Line offers free IM, Calls, and Video Calls and is relatively more popular in Asian Countries. Despite their claim to be a popular app in India, I am yet to come across anyone using Line here.
Has a large userbase in China, and is similar to Line, and offers free calls and Instant messaging.
Of course, you could just use Google Hangouts or Skype too.
Personally I use Viber for all my texting and photo-sharing needs, but I do have BBM installed on my phone as well.