In the digital age of today, having the right tools to stay connected is essential. Whether you are catching up with old friends or collaborating on a professional project, there’s a huge range of communication apps available. But how do you choose the one that fits your needs?

What are Communication Apps?

We all have our favourite social apps – those we gravitate towards when we want to catch up with mates, share some news, or just have a good old gossip. They’ve become the lifelines of our personal relationships, especially in the age where physical meetings are sometimes a rarity.

At their core, these apps are software solutions designed to facilitate interaction between individuals or groups. They can function on various devices, from smartphones to computers. While their primary goal is to enable conversations, many have evolved to offer a suite of features from file sharing and video conferencing to collaborative tools and even gaming. Simply put, they’re the modern answer to the age-old need of humans to connect and share information.



Arguably one of the most globally recognised messaging apps, WhatsApp is simple to use and offers end-to-end encryption. With features like voice and video calling, group chats, and media sharing, it remains a top choice for many.

Facebook Messenger

Tied to the social media giant, Messenger boasts a huge range of features beyond basic messaging: video calls, instant games, money transfer, and more.


Not just for the youngsters, Snapchat offers a fun approach to communication, with self-destructing messages, stories, filters, and an increasing array of features like news and games.


A favourite in the corporate world, Slack facilitates team communication with channels, DMs, and various third-party integrations.

Microsoft Teams

Integrated with the Microsoft 365 suite, Teams combines chat, video conferencing, and file sharing in one platform, ideal for professional collaboration.


The poster child for video conferencing, Zoom is used for both personal and professional calls. Its user-friendly interface and stable connection have gained it widespread popularity.


For those who prioritise privacy, Signal offers top-notch encryption for messages and calls. It’s become a go-to for individuals wary of data privacy concerns.


Though originally for gamers, Discord has expanded its horizons. With chat rooms, voice channels, and video, it’s a platform for varied communities.


Offering free messaging and calls, Viber is another favourite. Users can also engage in public chats or follow official accounts of celebrities and brands.


Once the reigning champion of video calls, Skype remains relevant today with messaging, voice, and video calls. It’s especially known for its international calling options.


Renowned for its speed and security, Telegram provides cloud-based messaging with the ability to send large files and create large group chats.


Popular in parts of Asia but also available in the UK, Line is more than a messaging app. With a timeline, sticker shop, and even a payment system, it has a lot to offer.


Google’s offering in the chat space, Hangouts facilitates messaging, voice calls, and video conferences. It’s especially useful for those integrated into the Google ecosystem.


Though its main user base is in China, WeChat is also available in the UK. It’s a powerhouse app with messaging, social media, and even payment capabilities.


This app offers video calls voice calls, and messaging. What sets it apart from others is the addition of ‘discovery’, which allows users to meet new people.


Popular among younger users, Kik is a messaging app that distinguishes itself with its anonymity, as it doesn’t require a phone number for setup.


With free video calls and chat, IMO is a simple ap that serves its purpose without the bells and whistles of other platforms. If you’re looking for something simple and easy, this could be ideal for you.


Priding itself on security, Threema is a paid app that offers encrypted messaging. This makes it a top choice for the privacy conscious.


A versatile platform with both personal and professional plans available, Wire delivers end-to-end encrypted chats, calls, and file sharing.


While not a traditional communication app, Trello is a collaboration tool. It uses boards, lists, and cards for task management and team communication.


Similar to Trello but with a different approach, Asana is a task and project management tool that also aids team communication.


From the makers of the popular productivity app Todoist, Twist is a team communication app that focuses on organised, tread-based chats, reducing the clutter often found in team chats.


Blending traditional testing with walkie-talkie functionality, Voxer allows for instant voice messages along with text, photo, and video sharing.

Wickr Me

Another champion for privacy, Wickr Me provides encrypted messaging with other privacy-centric features, like self-destructing messages.


As the name suggests, GroupMe shines when it comes to group messaging. It’s especially useful for events, teams, or any group coordination.


Once exclusive to BlackBerry phones, BBM is now available on multiple platforms, offering chats, voice calls, and channels for broadcasting messages.


Though it’s primarily popular in Vietnam, Zalo is available in the UK and features messaging, call capabilities, and even a ‘nearby’ function to find new friends.

Marco Polo

This app combines texting, social media, and video chats. Users send messages that can be watched in real-time or later.


With free texting and calling, Talkatone offers a unique feature – it gives a real US or Canadian phone number to use.


Favoured by gamers for its low-latency voice chat, Mumble also appeals to others for its open-source nature and secure communication.

Finding Your Ideal Communication Apps

Choosing the right communication app or apps depends on your personal needs and preferences. For example, some apps, like Signal, might be a better choice for you if you value privacy above all. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a tool that integrates seamlessly with other business tools, you might like Microsoft Teams or Slack.

Plus, it’s important to remember that the majority of us will use multiple apps, depending on the situation. For example, you might use WhatsApp for a quick chat with a mate, but switch to Slack when it’s time to touch base with your work team.

Optimising Your Communication Experience

With the wide range of communication apps available, it can sometimes lead to a cluttered digital experience. To truly optimise your communication, consider the following:

  • Centralise where possible: Rather than scattering conversations across several apps, centralise them based on purpose. For example, use Slack strictly for work and WhatsApp for personal conversations.
  • Notification management: Constant notifications can be disruptive. Personalise your settings, prioritising essential conversations and muting less urgent ones.
  • Data security: With data breaches becoming commonplace, choose apps known for robust encryption and security features.
  • Regular updates: Ensure your apps are updated regularly. Developers frequently release patches for vulnerabilities and new features that enhance usability.
  • Streamline tools: If an app offers multiple functionalities (e.g., messaging and task management), leverage its full potential before adding more apps to the mix.

When it comes to communication apps, the range of options on offer is vast and varied. With each offering is unique features and flair, the task is the find the one (or ones) that resonate with your needs.