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Top 5 Messaging Apps. The SMS is Dead.
09 Aug 14

Messaging Apps

SMS’s these days seem only to be for car insurance messages and fake "your cell phone number has just won 1 million Rand”. 

If you are still SMSing your friends, and if you own a smartphone, then take note of the below 5 messaging apps; not only do they let you bypass your Network Carriers call chargers (if you are on WiFi, otherwise you will need a 3G data package) but they are also fun to use.


WhatsApp is by far the most popular messaging application in South Africa with over 75% of the market share. This is important because you know that all your friends are on it. What’s even cooler is that WhatsApp automatically syncs with your existing contacts so that you can instanly send your friends, family or colleagues WhatsApp messages (text, photos, voice and short video).

Cool fact: WhatsApp has over 450 million users, 55 employees and was bought by Facebook for $19 billion.

Download (free) here: Android, Apple


Viber is another great messaging and chatting app that allows you to bypass your cell phone network provider’s call charges. Viber makes things exceptionally easy by using your existing contacts to populate a Viber call list. Viber offers voice, text, photos over WiFi and now even offers landline calls (at a cost).

Cool fact: Viber was launched in 2010 and 4 years later was acquired for $900 million by Rakuten. Viber has over 200 million worldwide users but has less than 5% market share in South Africa.

Download (free) here: Android, Apple

Blackberry Messenger

In 2013 BlackBerry launched its messaging gem BBM into Android and iOS. Many other messaging apps do just what BBM does however the differentiating factor here is that with BBM you share a PIN and not your cell phone number, thereby maintaining a factor of privacy.

Cool fact: BBM is still a favourite app in South Africa, with a 25% market share. In 2013 there were over 10 billion BBM messages sent daily (at the time that was almost twice as many WhatsApp).

Download (free) here: Android, Apple

Facebook Messenger

Facebook's own mobile messaging app is also pretty cool. Our favourite feature is the "chat heads” which let you can chat while using other apps. Of course the most convenient aspect of Facebook’s Messenger is that you sign in with your Facebook account and then get to chat to your current friends. Features include voice, text, stickers, location sharing and photo sharing.

Cool Fact: Over 20% market share in South Africa and over 250 million people worldwide use Messenger each month.

Download (free) here: Android, Apple


One of the newer kids on the block in South Africa and now home to CliffCentral, WeChat boomed in popularity in the Chinese market. WeChat offers really interactive ways of sharing text, voice and videos with some unique features like Shake (shake your device, if someone near you is shaking theirs then your devices connect), Look Around (connect with nearby WeChat users) and Drift Bottle (send messages randomly for anyone in the WeChat world to respond to).

Cool Fact: WeChat was realeased in 2011 as "the new big thing” and already has over 300 million users worldwide.

Download (free) here: Android, Apple

Source: Effective Measures May - June 2013

Effective Measures May - June 2013


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