If you have an Android phone, surely the latest trend of the last two days is that Whatsapp is no longer free. Indeed, Whatsapp has started charging annually for the subscription to its service. If this has made you consider stopping using the application, in this post we present the main free alternatives to this service.
In reality, Whatsapp was never free. At all times, they made it clear that on Android it was an annual subscription service, and that they let you try it out for an initial period. This policy is different on the iPhone, where users buy the application from the first moment, getting a lifetime application for the money that on Android costs the annual subsidy.
Whatsapp’s commercial strategy has been clear, to achieve a great expansion, and later, to make an annual charge. Undoubtedly, it is undeniable that they have been very successful in this. Its implementation is such that it has become common to hear phrases like “send me a Whatsapp”, “I’ll send it to you by Whatsapp”, etc…
There are many alternatives to Whatsapp, you can find a large number of pages with comparisons of alternatives. However, the fundamental aspect is often overlooked. A messaging application has to be popular. It’s pointless if a messaging application is the best in the world, if there’s no one to talk to. Whatsapp was a success, because everyone was on it.
The curious thing is that Whatsapp was neither the first nor the best instant messaging application. The popularity of Whatsapp is due, in large part, to iPhone users, who were the ones who started its expansion. Then it was copied by Android users, who although they had better alternatives, were carried away by the wave. The rest, as you know, is history. (ends with a “I want one of those phones… with the WhatsApp” )
Luck is not the least influence in Whatsapp’s success. The history of computing and companies in general is full of products that, without being the best or the first, succeed against their competitors. Call it marketing, call it luck, call it X… but the truth is that sometimes success consists in being in the right place at the right time.
Anyway, Whatsapp has started charging. The net is cast, the tuna are inside, and now they have started to pull slowly to get their profits. It is their right, we wouldn’t expect them to do everything for free. But we, as smart tunas, have the right to decide whether we stay inside or go flapping to other seas.
Reasons not to pay
There are multiple reasons why you may choose not to want to pay. Some of the most common ones are the following.
- You are bothered by having to pay. Okay, one euro a year is a small amount. But it’s your euro, and you’re fond of it.
- You feel uncomfortable being “obliged” to pay an annual fee, when others are allowed to make a one-time payment.
- No one guarantees you that, if the move is successful, what is worth one euro this year, will be worth 5 next year, and 10 the next.
- You are concerned about having to give your credit card number, and prefer to avoid it, if possible.
- On principle, you are against paying for an application that is not even the best in its class, when there are better free alternatives.
- You question what the real utility of the application will be after the “stampede” of users. If the number of people leaving Whatsapp is significant, its usefulness will be greatly reduced.
- You think that in a few weeks it will be free again. It is possible that free service extensions will return, since Whatsapp’s business is to be popular.
Any of these reasons is a legitimate reason not to want to pay. If you share one, it’s reason enough (if you share all, don’t even consider buying it). Whatever your reasons, you will find it interesting to know free and popular alternatives that can represent an alternative to Whatsapp.
Without a doubt, the great alternative of the moment, it will probably become its heir. Since the “Whatsapp crisis”, the number of Line users has increased considerably. Line has perfectly qualities to replace Whatsapp, even providing improvements, such as having an application to send messages from the PC.
The main problem with Line is that it has high battery consumption, depending on the phone model. For example, on terminals like the Nexus 4, consumption becomes prohibitive. If they were to solve this, it could be the perfect alternative to Whatsapp.
The Spanish alternative in instant messaging. The truth is that Spotbros is an application with excellent functionality, with good visual appearance and usability that, of course, has nothing to envy to Whatsapp. Its only flaw is that it is not yet popular, although the number of users has increased considerably in the last year. You can try it for yourselves, and you will be giving a boost to the “national product”.
A year, or a year and a half ago, Viber emerged as the great competitor to Whatsapp. An impeccable performance, good battery consumption, all the features of Whatsapp and a few novelties. However, it was unable to compete with the pull of Whatsapp’s popularity. Viber fell into oblivion, relegated to the dustbin. It may be a good time to give a second chance to an application that does its job outstandingly.
If earlier I mentioned that Android users had alternatives to Whatsapp at the time, Google Talk is the perfect example. Google Talk is Google’s instant messaging application, and is a native feature of Android. It is difficult to have greater potential popularity, since, if you have Android you have Gmail, and if you have Gmail you have Gtalk.
However, Google has never been able, or known, to give Gtalk the projection it could have, both in its mobile and PC version. In any case, it is important to know that your Android phone has this functionality available natively and that, logically, it is perfectly integrated into your phone, with minimal battery consumption. The interface is sober and functional, although it does not allow the sending of images and other files (a slap on the wrist for Google). On the other hand, you have the application available for the computer.
Finally, another application that I think is not being used as much as it could be. If you have ever tried Facebook Messenger, you have seen that it performs its role more than outstandingly. Moderate battery consumption, allows files, you can check messages on the computer from Facebook, is multiplatform. And in terms of popularity, who doesn’t have Facebook? Undoubtedly a good application that deserves, at least, a chance.
We have presented several reasons why you may decide not to pay for an application, having better free alternatives, just because others do (didn’t your mother tell you not to jump off a bridge if your friends did?). We have also presented some of the alternatives available at the moment, paying special attention to their popularity.
In the coming weeks, it will be interesting to see how the situation evolves. Socially, it will be interesting to see the percentage of people who buy the application. Will two classes of smartphone users be created, those who decided to pay and those who didn’t? Will there be groups of friends who bought Whatsapp because of peer pressure, and others who moved to a free alternative? How will the market solve this disintegration of users, with one or multiple simultaneous applications?
Will this be the beginning of the zombie apocalypse?
It is most likely that Line will emerge as the successor to Whatsapp, and end up overtaking it. If a large number of people abandon Whatsapp, its usefulness will be significantly reduced, causing an even greater stampede. It wouldn’t be far-fetched for Whatsapp’s strategy to consider resuming free subscription extensions to maintain its market share.
In any case, here are several free alternatives to use. Did you find the article useful? Do you know of another interesting application? What do you think is the future of instant messaging? If you want to leave a comment, you are welcome.