Comparison of cross-platform instant messaging clients

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The landscape for instant messaging involves cross-platform instant messaging clients that can handle one or multiple protocols.[1] The following table compares general and technical information for cross-platform instant messaging clients in active development, each of which have their own article that provide further information.

General[edit]

Client Developer Initial release Platform Latest release License Monthly active users
Version Date
Briar May 9, 2018; 4 years ago (2018-05-09)[2] Android 1.4.7[3][4] Edit this on Wikidata 2022-05-12 GPL-3.0-or-later
Discord Discord Inc. March 6, 2015; 7 years ago (2015-03-06)[5] Android 119.11[6] Edit this on Wikidata 2022-03-23 Proprietary freeware 150 million (2021)[7]
iOS 101.0 Edit this on Wikidata 2021-11-16
Linux 0.0.16[8] Edit this on Wikidata 2021-09-22
macOS 0.0.263 Edit this on Wikidata 2021-05-25
Windows 1.0.9004 Edit this on Wikidata 2022-02-18
eBuddy Paulo Taylor March 9, 2003; 19 years ago (2003-03-09)[9] Proprietary freeware
Element New Vector Limited July 2016; 5 years ago (2016-07) Android 1.4.16[10] Edit this on Wikidata 2022-05-17 Apache-2.0 43 million (2021)[11]
iOS 1.8.16[12] Edit this on Wikidata 2022-05-19
Linux 1.10.13[13] Edit this on Wikidata 2022-05-24
macOS 1.10.13[13] Edit this on Wikidata 2022-05-24
Windows 1.10.13[13] Edit this on Wikidata 2022-05-24
Web 1.10.13[14] Edit this on Wikidata 2022-05-24
Gadu-Gadu Łukasz Foltyn, GG Network S.A. August 15, 2000; 21 years ago (2000-08-15) Proprietary freeware
Gajim Yann Le Boulanger May 21, 2004; 18 years ago (2004-05-21) BSD 1.4.0[15] Edit this on Wikidata 2022-05-12 GPL-3.0-only
Linux
macOS
Windows
Google Chat (formerly Google Hangouts) Google May 15, 2013; 9 years ago (2013-05-15) (as Google Hangouts)

March 9, 2017; 5 years ago (2017-03-09) (as Google Chat)

Android Proprietary freeware 1 billion (2021) 500 million active (2020)
iOS
Web
Google Messages (RCS) 2018 Android 10.9.36 2022-02-24 Proprietary freeware 1 billion (2021) 500 million active (2020)
Web
Wear OS
ICQ Mail.Ru November 1996; 25 years ago (1996-11) Proprietary adware freemium 11 million (2018)[16]
Jami Savoir-faire Linux Android 20211210-01[17] Edit this on Wikidata 2021-12-22 GPL-3.0-or-later
iOS 3.28[17] Edit this on Wikidata 2021-12-18
Linux 20211223.2.37be4c3[18][17] Edit this on Wikidata 2021-12-23
macOS 202112151254[17] Edit this on Wikidata 2021-12-15
Windows 202112221025[17] Edit this on Wikidata 2021-12-22
Jitsi Emil Ivov 2003; 19 years ago (2003) Desktop 2.10[19][20] Edit this on Wikidata 2017-10-01 Apache-2.0 20 million (2020)[21]
Kadu Kadu Team August 2001; 20 years ago (2001-08) BSD 4.3[22] Edit this on Wikidata 2017-01-24 GPL-2.0-or-later
Linux
macOS
Windows
KakaoTalk Kakao Corp. March 18, 2010; 12 years ago (2010-03-18) Proprietary freeware 47 million (2021)[23]
Keybase Keybase February 8, 2017; 5 years ago (2017-02-08) New BSD License 300 thousand (2019)[24]
Kik Messenger Medialab October 2010; 11 years ago (2010-10) Android 15.39.1.25426[25] Edit this on Wikidata 2021-12-15 Proprietary adware freemium 15 million (2017)[26]
iOS 16.0.7[27] Edit this on Wikidata 2021-12-15
Line LINE Corporation March 2012; 10 years ago (2012-03) Android 11.22.2[28] Edit this on Wikidata 2021-12-22 Proprietary freemium 169 million (2020)[29]
iOS 11.22.1[30] Edit this on Wikidata 2021-12-17
Chrome 2.5.0[31] Edit this on Wikidata 2021-12-28
macOS 7.5.0[32] Edit this on Wikidata 2021-12-17
Windows 7.5 Edit this on Wikidata 2021-12-16
Linphone Belledonne Communications Android 4.5.6[33] Edit this on Wikidata 2021-11-08 GPL-3.0-or-later
iOS 4.5.1[34] Edit this on Wikidata 2021-10-08
Linux 4.3.2[35] Edit this on Wikidata 2021-11-09
macOS 4.3.2[35] Edit this on Wikidata 2021-11-09
Windows 4.3.2[35] Edit this on Wikidata 2021-11-09
Mattermost Mattermost Inc 2015; 7 years ago (2015) Android 1.52.0[36] Edit this on Wikidata 2022-05-16 Apache-2.0
iOS 1.52.0[36] Edit this on Wikidata 2022-05-16
Linux 5.1.0[37] Edit this on Wikidata 2022-05-16
macOS 5.1.0[37] Edit this on Wikidata 2022-05-16
Windows 5.1.0[37] Edit this on Wikidata 2022-05-16
MCabber Mikael Berthe June 7, 2005; 16 years ago (2005-06-07) BSD 1.1.2[38] Edit this on Wikidata 2020-09-19 GPL-2.0-or-later
Linux
macOS
Messages Apple Inc. July 25, 2012; 9 years ago (2012-07-25) Proprietary, part of macOS and iOS
Messenger Meta Platforms August 9, 2011; 10 years ago (2011-08-09) Android 342.1.0.14.119[39] Edit this on Wikidata 2021-12-17 Proprietary freeware 988 million (2022)[40]
iOS 342.2[41] Edit this on Wikidata 2021-12-20
macOS 134.0[42] Edit this on Wikidata 2021-12-19
Windows 1180.4.112.0 Edit this on Wikidata 2021-08-18
Movim Timothée Jaussoin March 3, 2011; 11 years ago (2011-03-03) Any, Progressive web application 0.20[43] Edit this on Wikidata 2022-02-19 AGPL-3.0-or-later
Palringo Palringo Ltd 2006; 16 years ago (2006) Android 10.14[44] Edit this on Wikidata 2021-11-29 Proprietary freemium
iOS 10.13.1[45] Edit this on Wikidata 2021-10-19
Paltalk AVM Software, Inc June 1998; 23 years ago (1998-06) Proprietary freeware 5.5 million (2013)[46]
Pidgin Mark Spencer November 1998; 23 years ago (1998-11) BSD 2.14.9[47] Edit this on Wikidata 2022-04-28 GPL-2.0-or-later
Linux
macOS
Windows
Psi Psi and Psi+ developers 2001; 21 years ago (2001) Linux 1.5[48] Edit this on Wikidata 2020-09-06 GPL-2.0-or-later
macOS
Windows
RetroShare Cyril Soler, Gioacchino Mazzurco 2006; 16 years ago (2006) 0.6.6[49] Edit this on Wikidata 2021-03-13 GPL
Ricochet Invisible.im June 2014; 7 years ago (2014-06) FreeBSD 1.1.4[50][51] Edit this on Wikidata 2016-11-07 BSD-3-Clause
Linux
macOS
Windows
Sicher SHAPE GmbH June 2014; 7 years ago (2014-06) Proprietary freeware
Signal Signal Foundation July 2014; 7 years ago (2014-07) Android 5.38.8[52] Edit this on Wikidata 2022-05-25 GPL-3.0-only 40 million (2021)[53]
iOS 5.39.0[54] Edit this on Wikidata 2022-05-25 GPL-3.0-only
Desktop 5.44.1[55] Edit this on Wikidata 2022-05-25 AGPL-3.0-only
Silent Phone Silent Circle January 16, 2013; 9 years ago (2013-01-16) Proprietary commercial
Skype Skype Technologies, a subsidiary of Microsoft Corporation 2003; 19 years ago (2003) Proprietary adware freemium 200 million (2020)[56]
Slack Slack Technologies August 2013; 8 years ago (2013-08) Proprietary freemium 12 million (2019)[57]
Snapchat Snap Inc. November 2011; 10 years ago (2011-11) Android 11.76.1.34[58] Edit this on Wikidata 2022-04-29 Proprietary freeware 557 million (2022)[40]
iOS 11.76.2.34[59] Edit this on Wikidata 2022-04-28
Steam Chat Valve [60] Android, iOS, Desktop, Web
Surespot Surespot LLC 2013; 9 years ago (2013) Android 81[61] Edit this on Wikidata 2019-04-27 GPL-3.0-or-later
iOS 21[62] Edit this on Wikidata 2018-11-14
TeamNote TeamNote Limited 2012; 10 years ago (2012) Subscription
Telegram Telegram Messenger LLP 2013; 9 years ago (2013) Android 8.6.2 2022-03-20 GPL-2.0-or-later 500 million (2021)[63]
iOS 8.6 2022-03-11 GPL-2.0-or-later
Desktop 3.6.1 2022-03-17 GPL-3.0-or-later
Tencent QQ Tencent Holdings February 1999; 23 years ago (1999-02) Proprietary adware 574 million (2022)[40]
Threema Threema GmbH December 2012; 9 years ago (2012-12) Android 4.7[64] Edit this on Wikidata 2022-03-31 AGPL-3.0-only
iOS 4.6.17[65] Edit this on Wikidata 2022-03-14
Web AGPL-3.0-or-later
Trillian Cerulean Studios July 1, 2000; 21 years ago (2000-07-01) Android 6.4.0.20[66] Edit this on Wikidata 2021-04-28 Proprietary adware freemium
iOS 6.4.20[67] Edit this on Wikidata 2021-01-06
Linux 6.3.0.1[66] Edit this on Wikidata 2020-05-27
macOS 6.4.0.3[66] Edit this on Wikidata 2020-12-16
Windows 6.5.0.17[66] Edit this on Wikidata 2021-08-10
Web 6.4.6[66] Edit this on Wikidata 2020-12-10
Viber Rakuten Viber December 2, 2010; 11 years ago (2010-12-02) Android 15.9.0.5[68] Edit this on Wikidata 2021-08-20 Proprietary freemium 260 million (2019)[69]
iOS 15.9.0[70] Edit this on Wikidata 2021-08-19
Linux 13.3.1.22 Edit this on Wikidata 2021-07-07
macOS 15.9.0 Edit this on Wikidata 2021-08-17
Windows 15.9.0.1 Edit this on Wikidata 2021-08-17
WeChat Tencent Holdings Limited January 21, 2011; 11 years ago (2011-01-21) Proprietary freeware 1.263 billion (2022)[40]
WhatsApp Meta Platforms January 2009; 13 years ago (2009-01) Android 2.22.9.78[71] Edit this on Wikidata 2022-04-27 Proprietary freeware 2 billion (2020)[72]
iOS 22.9.76[73] Edit this on Wikidata 2022-04-25
macOS 2.2214.12[74] Edit this on Wikidata 2022-05-02
Windows 2.2214.12.0[75] Edit this on Wikidata 2022-04-29
Wickr Me Wickr Inc. June 2012; 9 years ago (2012-06) Android 5.85.4[76] Edit this on Wikidata 2021-08-12 Proprietary
iOS 5.85.5[77] Edit this on Wikidata 2021-08-17
Desktop 5.85.9[78] Edit this on Wikidata 2021-08-05
Wire Wire Swiss GmbH December 3, 2014; 7 years ago (2014-12-03) Android 3.80[79] Edit this on Wikidata 2022-02-21 GPL-3.0-or-later
iOS 3.98[80] Edit this on Wikidata 2022-03-09
Linux 3.26.2941[81] Edit this on Wikidata 2021-06-28
macOS 3.26.4145[82] Edit this on Wikidata 2021-06-28
Windows 3.26.4124[83] Edit this on Wikidata 2021-06-28
Web 0.14.0[84] Edit this on Wikidata 2022-03-30
Client Developer Initial release Platform Latest release License Monthly active users
Version Date

Operating system support[edit]

Operating system support for messaging clients
Client Windows macOS Linux Web Android iOS
Briar No No Yes No Yes No
Discord Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
eBuddy No No No No Yes Yes
Element Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Gadu-Gadu Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Gajim Yes No Yes No No No
Google Chat No No No Yes Yes Yes
Google Messages (RCS) No[a] No[a] Needs third-party client[a][85] Yes Yes No
ICQ Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Jami Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Jitsi Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Kadu Yes Yes Yes No No No
KakaoTalk Yes Yes No No Yes Yes
Keybase Yes Yes Yes No, partial Yes Yes
Kik Messenger No No No No Yes Yes
Line Yes Yes As browser extension[86] No Yes Yes
Linphone
Mattermost Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
MCabber No Yes Yes No No No
Messages No Yes No No No Yes
Messenger Yes Yes Needs third-party client[a][87] Yes Yes Yes
Movim Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Palringo No No No No Yes Yes
Paltalk Yes Yes No No Yes Yes
Pidgin Yes Yes Yes No No No
Psi Yes Yes Yes No No No
RetroShare Yes Yes Yes No Yes No
Ricochet Yes Yes Yes No No No
Sicher No No No No Yes Yes
Signal Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes
Silent Phone No No No No Yes Yes
Skype Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Slack Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Snapchat No No No No Yes Yes
Surespot No No No No Yes Yes
TeamNote No[a] No[a] No[a] Yes Yes Yes
Telegram Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Tencent QQ Yes Yes Partial[88][a] Yes Yes Yes
Threema No[a] No[a] No[a] Yes Yes Yes
Trillian Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Viber Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes
WeChat Yes Yes Needs third-party client[a][89] Yes Yes Yes
WhatsApp Yes Yes Needs third-party client[a][91][92][93] Yes Yes Yes
Wickr Me Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes
Wire Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Client Windows macOS Linux Web Android iOS

Privacy[edit]

Client Registration requirement Lock screen Screenshot detection[94] Screenshot disabled (Android only)[95] Voice changer Plugins Peer-to-peer text chat Open source servers Federated servers
Briar Yes
Discord Email No No No No No
eBuddy Phone number Yes No No No No
Element No No Yes No Yes Yes
Gadu-Gadu Email and Phone number No No No
Gajim Email Yes No Yes
Google Chat Email, Google account
Google Messages (RCS) Phone number N/A Yes
ICQ Phone number Yes No
Jami No No No No No Yes Yes decentralised
Jitsi No Yes No Yes Yes
Kadu Yes No
KakaoTalk No No No
Keybase No No No No No
Kik Messenger Email No No No
Line Phone number No Yes No No No
Linphone
Mattermost No Yes No Yes No
MCabber No
Messages No No No N/A N/A
Messenger Facebook account, Email or Phone number No Yes No No No
Movim No ? No No Yes Yes
Palringo No No No No
Paltalk Email No No No
Pidgin Yes Yes Yes Yes
Psi Yes No
RetroShare Yes N/A (P2P) N/A
Ricochet Yes N/A N/A
Sicher Phone number No No No
Signal Phone number; iOS or Android device[96][97] Yes No No Yes[98] No
Silent Phone No Yes No No No
Skype Email, Microsoft account Yes No No No
Slack Email Yes No No No
Snapchat Email or Phone number Yes Yes No No No
Surespot No No No No No
TeamNote
Telegram Phone number; iOS or Android device[99] Yes No No No No
Tencent QQ No No No No
Threema No Yes No No No No
Trillian No Yes No No Yes
Viber Phone number Yes Yes No No No
WeChat Phone number or QQ number No No No
WhatsApp Phone number No No No No No
Wickr Me No Yes Yes[94] Yes[95] Yes No No No
Wire Email or Phone number No No No Yes[100] Yes
Client Registration requirement Lock screen Screenshot detection[94] Screenshot disabled (Android only)[95] Voice changer Plugins Peer-to-peer text chat Open source servers Federated servers
  • 1: Apple iOS doesn't allow screenshot protection.

Message handling[edit]

Client Sent messages Read messages Self-destructing messages
Editing Deleting Receipts Deleting Deleting request Exists Default setting Receiver deletion Setting receipts Contact-based setting Delete sent/read on read
Briar Yes No
Discord Yes Yes No No
eBuddy No Partial Yes Yes
Element Partial Yes Yes No
Gadu-Gadu
Gajim Yes No
Google Chat Yes Yes No
Google Messages (RCS) Yes Yes No
ICQ Yes
Jami Yes Disabled
Jitsi No
Kadu
KakaoTalk
Keybase Yes Yes Yes Yes
Kik Messenger
Line No Partial Yes No
Linphone
Mattermost Yes Yes No No
MCabber
Messages No
Messenger No Yes Yes Yes
Movim Yes Yes No
Palringo
Paltalk
Pidgin Yes
Psi Yes
RetroShare No No Yes No
Ricochet
Sicher Yes
Signal No Partial Yes Yes Disabled
Silent Phone Yes
Skype Yes Yes Yes
Slack Yes Yes Yes
Snapchat No Yes Yes Yes
Surespot No
TeamNote Yes Yes No
Telegram Yes Yes Yes Yes Disabled
Tencent QQ
Threema No Yes Yes No
Trillian Yes
Viber Yes Yes Yes Yes
WeChat
WhatsApp No Partial Yes No
Wickr Me Yes Yes 6 days
Wire Yes Yes Yes Yes[101]
Client Sent messages Read messages Self-destructing messages
Editing Deleting Receipts Deleting Deleting request Exists Default setting Receiver deletion Setting receipts Contact-based setting Delete sent/read on read

Media[edit]

Client File transfer Voice messages Voice chat Video chat E2EE Encrypted local storage
Individual Groups
Briar No No No No Yes Yes Yes
Discord Yes No Yes Yes No No
eBuddy Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Element Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Gadu-Gadu Yes Yes Yes No No
Gajim Yes No No No[102] Yes Plug-in
Google Chat Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Google Messages (RCS) Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No
ICQ Yes No Yes Yes No No
Jami Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Jitsi Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Kadu Yes No Yes No No No
KakaoTalk Yes Yes Yes
Keybase Yes No No No Yes Yes
Kik Messenger Yes No No
Line Yes Yes Yes Yes Partial Yes[103]
Linphone
Mattermost Yes Plug-in Plug-in Plug-in No No
MCabber No No No No No No
Messages Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Messenger Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Movim Yes No Yes Yes Yes For private group
Palringo No No Yes No No No
Paltalk Yes Yes Yes No No
Pidgin No No Partial Yes Yes
Psi Yes Yes Partial Partial Yes Yes
RetroShare Yes Yes Yes
Ricochet Yes
Sicher Yes Yes Yes
Signal Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Partial[104]
Silent Phone Yes Yes Yes[105]
Skype Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Slack Yes No No
Snapchat No Yes Yes Yes No No
Surespot Yes Yes Yes No Yes No groupchat
TeamNote Yes No
Telegram Yes Yes Yes Yes Secret Chats No No[106]
Tencent QQ Yes No Yes Yes No No
Threema Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Trillian Yes Partial Yes Yes No No
Viber Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
WeChat Yes Yes Yes Yes No No
WhatsApp Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Wickr Me Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Wire Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Client File transfer Voice messages Voice chat Video chat E2EE Encrypted local storage
Individual Groups


Misc[edit]

Client Stickers GIF search Custom emoji Themes / skins
Briar No Yes No
Discord Yes Yes Yes No
eBuddy No No Yes
Element Yes No Yes Yes
Gadu-Gadu No
Gajim Yes Yes
Google Chat Yes Yes No
Google Messages (RCS) Yes Yes Partial
ICQ Yes Yes Yes
Jami
Jitsi Yes
Kadu Yes Yes
KakaoTalk No
Keybase No Yes Yes, only 2 official skins
Kik Messenger Yes Yes
Line Yes Yes No Yes
Linphone
Mattermost No Yes Yes
MCabber No
Messages No No
Messenger Yes Yes No Yes
Movim Yes No No
Palringo No Yes
Paltalk No Yes
Pidgin No No Yes Yes
Psi Yes Yes
RetroShare Yes No
Ricochet No
Sicher No
Signal Yes Only on Android and iOS No Yes
Silent Phone No
Skype Yes Yes No No
Slack Yes Yes
Snapchat Yes Yes No No
Surespot No Yes
TeamNote No
Telegram Yes Yes No Yes
Tencent QQ No Yes
Threema Yes No Yes
Trillian Yes Yes
Viber Yes Yes No Yes
WeChat No
WhatsApp Yes Yes No No
Wickr Me No No
Wire No No No
Client Stickers GIF search Custom emoji Themes / skins

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m In addition to other official and third-party solutions, a native desktop application can be generated for the instant messaging app website using Nativefier.[90]

References[edit]

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  2. ^ "Secure P2P Messenger Releases First Version, Receives New Funding". Briar. 9 May 2018. Retrieved 17 May 2016.
  3. ^ https://github.com/briar/briar/releases/tag/release-1.4.6.
  4. ^ https://code.briarproject.org/briar/briar/-/tags/release-1.4.6.
  5. ^ Marks, Tom (May 14, 2016). "One year after its launch, Discord is the best VoIP service available". PC Gamer. Future plc. Archived from the original on May 16, 2016. Retrieved May 14, 2016.
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  49. ^ "Release 0.6.6". 13 March 2021. Retrieved 16 March 2021.
  50. ^ https://github.com/ricochet-im/ricochet/releases.
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