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] Clients that use the same protocol can typically federate and talk to one another. 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 (client) License (server) Monthly active users
Version Date
Briar May 9, 2018; 4 years ago (2018-05-09)[2] Android GPL-3.0-or-later Not applicable
(peer-to-peer over Bluetooth, WiFi, or Tor network)
Discord Discord Inc. March 6, 2015; 7 years ago (2015-03-06)[3] Android 159.10[4] Edit this on Wikidata 2023-01-04 Proprietary freeware Proprietary 150 million (2021)[5]
iOS 159.0[6] Edit this on Wikidata 2023-01-06
Linux 0.0.22[7] Edit this on Wikidata 2022-12-10
macOS 0.0.270[8] Edit this on Wikidata 2022-12-12
Windows 1.0.9006[9] Edit this on Wikidata 2022-08-22
Element New Vector Limited July 2016; 6 years ago (2016-07) Android 1.5.22[10] Edit this on Wikidata 2023-01-25 Apache-2.0 Matrix protocol 43 million (2021)[11]
iOS 1.9.17[12] Edit this on Wikidata 2023-01-26
Linux 1.11.20[13] Edit this on Wikidata 2023-01-20
macOS 1.11.20[13] Edit this on Wikidata 2023-01-20
Windows 1.11.20[13] Edit this on Wikidata 2023-01-20
Web 1.11.20[14] Edit this on Wikidata 2023-01-19
Fractal March 16, 2018; 4 years ago (2018-03-16) Linux desktops and mobile OSs GPLv3 Matrix protocol
Gadu-Gadu Łukasz Foltyn, GG Network S.A. August 15, 2000; 22 years ago (2000-08-15) Proprietary freeware Proprietary
Gajim Yann Le Boulanger May 21, 2004; 18 years ago (2004-05-21) BSD 1.6.0[15] Edit this on Wikidata 2023-01-07 GPL-3.0-only XMPP protocol
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 Proprietary 1 billion (2021) 500 million active (2020)
iOS
Web
Google Messages (RCS) 2018 Android 10.9.36 2022-02-24 Proprietary freeware Proprietary 1 billion (2021) 500 million active (2020)
Web
Wear OS
ICQ Mail.Ru November 1996; 26 years ago (1996-11) Proprietary adware freemium Proprietary 11 million (2018)[16]
Jami Savoir-faire Linux Android 20211210-01[17] Edit this on Wikidata 2021-12-22 GPL-3.0-or-later Not applicable
(peer-to-peer)
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; 20 years ago (2003) Desktop 2.10[19][20] Edit this on Wikidata 2017-10-01 Apache-2.0 Apache-2.0 20 million (2020)[21]
Kadu Kadu Team August 2001; 21 years ago (2001-08) BSD 4.3[22] Edit this on Wikidata 2017-01-24 GPL-2.0-or-later XMPP protocol (also supports the proprietary Gadu-Gadu)
Linux
macOS
Windows
KakaoTalk Kakao Corp. March 18, 2010; 12 years ago (2010-03-18) Proprietary freeware Proprietary 47 million (2021)[23]
Kik Messenger Medialab October 2010; 12 years ago (2010-10) Android 15.39.1.25426[24] Edit this on Wikidata 2021-12-15 Proprietary adware freemium Proprietary 15 million (2017)[25]
iOS 16.0.7[26] Edit this on Wikidata 2021-12-15
Line LINE Corporation March 2012; 10 years ago (2012-03) Android 13.0.1[27] Edit this on Wikidata 2023-01-17 Proprietary freemium Proprietary 169 million (2020)[28]
iOS 11.22.1[29] Edit this on Wikidata 2021-12-17
Chrome 2.5.8[30] Edit this on Wikidata 2022-12-22
macOS 7.5.0[31] Edit this on Wikidata 2021-12-17
Windows 7.12.0 Edit this on Wikidata 2022-06-10
Linphone Belledonne Communications Android 4.5.6[32] Edit this on Wikidata 2021-11-08 GPL-3.0-or-later or proprietary
iOS 4.5.1[33] Edit this on Wikidata 2021-10-08
Linux 4.3.2[34] Edit this on Wikidata 2021-11-09
macOS 4.3.2[34] Edit this on Wikidata 2021-11-09
Windows 4.3.2[34] Edit this on Wikidata 2021-11-09
Mattermost Mattermost Inc 2015; 8 years ago (2015) Android 2.0.0[35] Edit this on Wikidata 2023-01-16 Apache-2.0 MIT license binary, AGPLv3 for source code, Apache-2.0 for admin tools and config files
iOS 2.0.0[35] Edit this on Wikidata 2023-01-16
Linux 5.2.2[36] Edit this on Wikidata 2022-12-06
macOS 5.2.2[36] Edit this on Wikidata 2022-12-06
Windows 5.2.2[36] Edit this on Wikidata 2022-12-06
MCabber Mikael Berthe June 7, 2005; 17 years ago (2005-06-07) BSD 1.1.2[37] Edit this on Wikidata 2020-09-19 GPL-2.0-or-later XMPP
Linux
macOS
Messages Apple Inc. July 25, 2012; 10 years ago (2012-07-25) Proprietary, part of macOS and iOS Proprietary
Messenger Meta Platforms August 9, 2011; 11 years ago (2011-08-09) Android 390.2.0.29.103[38] Edit this on Wikidata 2022-12-17 Proprietary freeware Proprietary 988 million (2022)[39]
iOS 390.0[40] Edit this on Wikidata 2022-12-14
macOS 169.0[41] Edit this on Wikidata 2022-11-17
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[42] Edit this on Wikidata 2022-02-19 AGPL-3.0-or-later XMPP protocol
Mumble[43] September 22, 2005; 17 years ago (2005-09-22) Linux, Microsoft Windows, macOS, Android, iOS 1.4.287 2022-09-14 3-clause BSD Open source
Palringo Palringo Ltd 2006; 17 years ago (2006) Android 10.14[44] Edit this on Wikidata 2021-11-29 Proprietary freemium Proprietary
iOS 10.13.1[45] Edit this on Wikidata 2021-10-19
Paltalk AVM Software, Inc June 1998; 24 years ago (1998-06) Proprietary freeware Proprietary 5.5 million (2013)[46]
Pidgin Mark Spencer November 1998; 24 years ago (1998-11) BSD 2.14.12[47] Edit this on Wikidata 2022-12-31 GPL-2.0-or-later Umpteen, both open protocols and interfaces with proprietary messengers
Linux
macOS
Windows
Psi Psi and Psi+ developers 2001; 22 years ago (2001) Linux 1.5[48] Edit this on Wikidata 2020-09-06 GPL-2.0-or-later XMPP protocol
macOS
Windows
QQ Tencent Holdings February 10, 1999; 23 years ago (1999-02-10) Android 8.9.28[49] Edit this on Wikidata 2022-12-31 Proprietary adware Proprietary 563.8 million (2022)[50]
iOS, iPadOS, watchOS 8.9.28[51] Edit this on Wikidata 2023-01-02
Windows 9.7.1[52] Edit this on Wikidata 2022-12-26
macOS 6.9.5[53] Edit this on Wikidata 2023-01-13
Linux 3.0.0[54] Edit this on Wikidata 2022-12-30
RetroShare Cyril Soler, Gioacchino Mazzurco 2006; 17 years ago (2006) 0.6.6[55] Edit this on Wikidata 2021-03-13 GPL Not applicable
(peer-to-peer)
Ricochet Invisible.im June 2014; 8 years ago (2014-06) FreeBSD 1.1.4[56][57] Edit this on Wikidata[needs update] (fork took over development, now at 3.0.15) 2016-11-07 BSD-3-Clause Not applicable
(peer-to-peer over the Tor network)
Linux
macOS
Windows
Sicher SHAPE GmbH June 2014; 8 years ago (2014-06) Proprietary freeware Proprietary
Signal Signal Foundation July 2014; 8 years ago (2014-07) Android GPL-3.0-only Proprietary 40 million (2021)[58]
iOS 6.6[59] Edit this on Wikidata 2022-12-14 GPL-3.0-only
Desktop 6.1.0[60] Edit this on Wikidata 2022-12-14 AGPL-3.0-only
Skype Skype Technologies, a subsidiary of Microsoft Corporation 2003; 20 years ago (2003) Proprietary adware freemium Proprietary 200 million (2020)[61]
Slack Slack Technologies August 2013; 9 years ago (2013-08) Proprietary freemium Proprietary 12 million (2019)[62]
Snapchat Snap Inc. November 2011; 11 years ago (2011-11) Android 12.03.0.22[63] Edit this on Wikidata 2022-10-11 Proprietary freeware Proprietary 557 million (2022)[39]
iOS 12.3.0.31[64] Edit this on Wikidata 2022-10-11
Surespot Surespot LLC 2013; 10 years ago (2013) Android 81[65] Edit this on Wikidata 2019-04-27 GPL-3.0-or-later + freemium Defunct
iOS 21[66] Edit this on Wikidata 2018-11-14
TeamNote TeamNote Limited 2012; 11 years ago (2012) Subscription Proprietary
Telegram Telegram Messenger LLP 2013; 10 years ago (2013) Android 9.3.3[67] Edit this on Wikidata 2023-01-03 GPL-2.0-or-later Proprietary 700 million (2022)[68]
iOS, iPadOS 9.3.2[69] Edit this on Wikidata 2023-01-09 GPL-2.0-or-later
Desktop 4.5.3[70] Edit this on Wikidata 2023-01-07 GPL-3.0-or-later
macOS 9.3.1[71] Edit this on Wikidata 2023-01-16 GPL-2.0-or-later
Threema Threema GmbH December 2012; 10 years ago (2012-12) Android AGPL-3.0-only Proprietary 10 million (2021)[72]
iOS 4.6.17[73] Edit this on Wikidata 2022-03-14
Web AGPL-3.0-or-later
Trillian Cerulean Studios July 1, 2000; 22 years ago (2000-07-01) Android 6.4.0.20[74] Edit this on Wikidata 2021-04-28 Proprietary adware freemium Proprietary
iOS 6.4.20[75] Edit this on Wikidata 2021-01-06
Linux 6.3.0.1[74] Edit this on Wikidata 2020-05-27
macOS 6.4.0.3[74] Edit this on Wikidata 2020-12-16
Windows 6.5.0.17[74] Edit this on Wikidata 2021-08-10
Web 6.4.6[74] Edit this on Wikidata 2020-12-10
Viber Rakuten Viber December 2, 2010; 12 years ago (2010-12-02) Android 15.9.0.5[76] Edit this on Wikidata 2021-08-20 Proprietary freemium Proprietary 260 million (2019)[77]
iOS 15.9.0[78] 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; 12 years ago (2011-01-21) Proprietary freeware Proprietary 1.263 billion (2022)[39]
WhatsApp Meta Platforms January 2009; 14 years ago (2009-01) Android 2.22.16.74[79] Edit this on Wikidata 2022-07-29 Proprietary freeware Proprietary 2 billion (2020)[80]
iOS 22.13.74 Edit this on Wikidata 2022-06-27
macOS 2.2222.12 Edit this on Wikidata 2022-06-27
Windows 2.2226.6[81] Edit this on Wikidata 2022-08-01
Wire Wire Swiss GmbH December 3, 2014; 8 years ago (2014-12-03) Android 3.82.38[82] Edit this on Wikidata 2022-08-29 GPL-3.0-or-later AGPL-3.0-or-later
iOS 3.107[83] Edit this on Wikidata 2022-11-22
Linux 3.26.2941[84] Edit this on Wikidata 2021-06-28
macOS 3.26.4145[85] Edit this on Wikidata 2021-06-28
Windows 3.26.4124[86] Edit this on Wikidata 2021-06-28
Web 0.14.0[87] Edit this on Wikidata 2022-03-30
Client Developer Initial release Platform Latest release License (client) License (server) 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
Element Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Fractal No Yes Yes No 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][88] Yes Included 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
Kik Messenger No No No No Yes Yes
Line Yes Yes As browser extension[89] No Yes Yes
Linphone
Mattermost Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
MCabber No Yes Yes No No No
Messages (Apple) No Included No No No Included
Messenger Yes Yes Needs third-party client[a][90] Yes Yes Yes
Mumble Yes Yes 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
Skype Included 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 Yes 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][91] Yes Yes Yes
WhatsApp Yes Yes Needs third-party client[a][93][94][95] Yes Yes iPhone devices only. App cannot be installed on iPad, iPod Touch.
Wire Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Client Windows macOS Linux Web Android iOS

Connectivity[edit]

Client Registration requirement Independent of mobile phone End-to-end encryption Peer-to-peer text chat Open source servers Federated servers
Briar No Yes Yes —(P2P) —(P2P)
Discord Email Yes No No No
Element No Yes No Yes Yes
Fractal No No Yes Yes
Gadu-Gadu Email and Phone number No No
Gajim Email No Yes
Google Chat Email; Google account Yes
Google Messages (RCS) Phone number Similar to SMS requirements, RCS messaging requires a valid SIM card to be inserted in the device.
RCS chat features may continue to work for up to 14 days, when a SIM card is removed from the device.[96]
[clarification needed] Yes
ICQ Phone number Phone required for initial registration.
Desktop client can function independently afterwards.[97]
No
Jami No No Yes Yes —(P2P) —(P2P)
Jitsi No No Yes Yes
Kadu No
KakaoTalk No No No No
Kik Messenger Email No No No No
Line Phone number No No No No
Linphone
Mattermost No Yes No
MCabber No
Messages (Apple) Email; Apple ID account Yes No [clarification needed] [clarification needed]
Messenger Email or Phone number; Facebook account Yes No No No
Movim No No Yes Yes
Mumble no Yes Yes
Palringo No No No
Paltalk Email No No
Pidgin with extension only Yes Yes Yes
Psi No
RetroShare Yes —(P2P) —(P2P)
Ricochet Yes —(P2P) —(P2P)
Sicher Phone number No No No
Signal Phone number; iOS or Android device[98][99] No Yes No Yes[100] No
Skype Email; Microsoft account Yes No No No
Slack Email Yes No No No
Snapchat Email or Phone number No No No No
Surespot No No No
TeamNote
Telegram Phone number; iOS or Android device[101] Phone required for initial registration & login.
Desktop client can function independently afterwards.[102]
No No No
Tencent QQ No[103][104] No No No
Threema No A valid phone number or email address is not required for registration & login.
However, the mobile app serves as the primary device, due to the end-to-end encryption architecture.[105]
No No No
Trillian No No No Yes
Viber Phone number No No No No
WeChat Phone number or QQ number No No No No
WhatsApp Phone number No No No No
Wire Email or Phone number Yes No Yes[106] Yes
Client Registration requirement Independent of mobile phone End-to-end encryption Peer-to-peer text chat Open source servers Federated servers

Privacy[edit]

Some messaging services that are not designed for privacy require a unique phone number for sign-up, as a form of identity verification and to prevent users from creating multiple accounts.

Some messaging services that do not solely focus on a mobile-first experience, or enforce SMS authentication, may allow email addresses to be used for sign-up instead.

Some messaging services offer greater flexibility and privacy, by allowing users to create more than one account to compartmentalize personal & work purposes, or not requiring personally identifiable information for sign-up.

To find out if the software has end-to-end encryption, see "media" table below.

Client Hide number in chats Account expiration Reset password Password lockout Search for contacts Lock screen timeout Lock screen when closed Lock screen button Screenshot detection Screenshot/recording disabled (Android only)[107] Voice changer Plugins
Briar by public key or in-person pairing Yes Yes
Discord •Username & Discord Tag
•Phonebook contacts scanning if enabled
No No
Element •Username
•Matrix ID
No Yes
Fractal •Username
•Matrix ID
Gadu-Gadu No
Gajim Yes
Google Chat •Email address
Google Messages (RCS) •Phone number
ICQ Yes
Jami No (not stored on servers) No (not stored on servers) No (not stored on servers) No (not stored on servers)[108] by random identifier or email-like address No No Yes[109] No Yes
Jitsi by shared 4-random-words URL No Yes
Kadu Yes
KakaoTalk
Kik Messenger •Username
•Phonebook contacts scanning if enabled
Line •Username
•Phone number
•Phonebook contacts scanning if enabled (sending friend requests are required)
Yes Yes
Linphone
Mattermost No Yes
MCabber
Messages (Apple) •Email address
•Phone number
No No
Messenger •Facebook profile
•Username URL
•Phone number
•Phonebook contacts scanning if enabled
No Yes
Movim ? No
Mumble •username
Palringo No
Paltalk No
Pidgin Yes
Psi Yes
RetroShare
Ricochet
Sicher
Signal No[110] 30 seconds after 5 fails •Phone number
(Contact list syncs automatically with phonebook contacts)
Yes No Yes Yes[111] No
Skype •Username
•Email address
•Phone number
Yes
Slack •Name (requires joining a Slack workspace)
•Email address invitation (requires Slack Connect)
Yes
Snapchat •Username
•Phonebook contacts scanning if enabled
Yes Yes
Surespot No No
TeamNote
Telegram Yes 6 months 5 seconds after 3 fails •Username
•Phone number
(Contact list syncs automatically with phonebook contacts)
Yes No Yes (on Secret Chats)[112] Yes (on Secret Chats)[113] No
Tencent QQ No
Threema Yes No
Trillian Yes
Viber •Phone number
(Contact list syncs automatically with phonebook contacts)
Yes Yes
WeChat •Username
•Phone number
•Phonebook contacts scanning if enabled
(sending friend requests are required)
WhatsApp •Phone number
(Contact list syncs automatically with phonebook contacts)
Fingerprint sensor No
Wire No No
Client Hide number in chats Account expiration Reset password Password lockout Search for contacts Lock screen timeout Lock screen when closed Lock screen button Screenshot detection Screenshot/recording disabled (Android only)[107] Voice changer Plugins
  • 1: Apple iOS doesn't allow screenshot protection.

Message handling[edit]

Client Sent messages Read messages Self-destructing messages
Editing Deleting Delete for contacts Delete notification Receipts Hide receipts Exists Deletion trigger
Briar Yes No
Discord Yes Yes No No
Element Partial Yes Yes No
Fractal
Gadu-Gadu
Gajim Yes Yes No
Google Chat Google Workspace accounts only Google Workspace accounts only Yes No
Google Messages (RCS) No Yes Yes No
ICQ Yes
Jami No Desktop only No Not applicable Yes[114] Android only[114] Yes
Jitsi No
Kadu
KakaoTalk
Kik Messenger
Line No Partial Yes No
Linphone
Mattermost Yes Yes No No
MCabber
Messages (Apple) No
Messenger No Yes Yes Yes
Movim Yes Yes No
Mumble
Palringo
Paltalk
Pidgin Yes
Psi Yes
RetroShare No No Yes No
Ricochet
Sicher Yes
Signal No Yes Within 3 hours[115] Yes Yes Yes Yes Read[116]
Skype
Slack Yes Yes Yes
Snapchat No Yes Yes Yes
Surespot No
TeamNote Yes Yes No
Telegram Yes Yes Yes No Yes No Yes Read
Tencent QQ
Threema No Yes Yes No
Trillian Yes
Viber Yes Yes Yes Yes
WeChat
WhatsApp No Partial Yes Yes No
Wire Yes Yes Yes Yes[117]
Client Sent messages Read messages Self-destructing messages
Editing Deleting Delete for contacts Delete notification Receipts Hide receipts Exists Deletion trigger

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
Element
Fractal
Gadu-Gadu Yes Yes Yes No No
Gajim Yes No No No[118] 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 Yes Yes
Jitsi Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Kadu Yes No Yes No No No
KakaoTalk Yes Yes Yes
Kik Messenger Yes No No
Line Yes Yes Yes Yes Partial Yes[119]
Linphone
Mattermost Yes Plug-in Plug-in Plug-in No No
MCabber No No No No No No
Messages (Apple) Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Messenger Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Movim Yes No Yes Yes Yes For private group
Mumble Yes Yes No No No
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[120]
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[121]
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
Wire Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Client File transfer Voice messages Voice chat Video chat E2EE Encrypted local storage
Individual Groups

Miscellaneous[edit]

Messaging services can operate around different models, based on security and accessibility considerations.[122]

A mobile-focused, phone number-based model operates on the concept of primary and secondary devices. Examples of such messaging services include: WhatsApp, Viber, Line, WeChat, Signal, etc. The primary device is a mobile phone and is required to login and send/receive messages. Only one mobile phone is allowed to be the primary device, as attempting to login to the messaging app on another mobile phone would trigger the previous phone to be logged out. The secondary device is a computer running a desktop operating system, which serves as a companion for the primary device. Desktop messaging clients on secondary devices do not function independently, as they are reliant on the mobile phone maintaining an active network connection for login authentication and syncing messages.

A multi-device, device-agnostic model is designed for accessibility on multiple devices, regardless of desktop or mobile. Examples of such messaging services include: Skype, Facebook Messenger, Google Hangouts (subsequently Google Chat), Telegram, ICQ, Element, Slack, Discord, etc. Users have more options as usernames or email addresses can be used as user identifiers, besides phone numbers. Unlike the phone-based model, user accounts on a multi-device model are not tied to a single device, and logins are allowed on multiple devices. Messaging services with a multi-device model are able to eliminate feature disparity and provide identical functionality on both mobile and desktop clients. Desktop clients can function independently, without relying on the mobile phone to login and sync messages.

Client Typing notifications Multi-device support Emoji reactions Stickers GIF search Custom emoji Themes / skins
Briar No Yes No
Discord Yes[123][124] Yes Paid Yes Yes No
Element Yes[125][124] Yes Yes No Yes Yes
Fractal
Gadu-Gadu No
Gajim Yes Yes
Google Chat Yes (an optional setting allows messages to be accessible on Gmail as well)[126][127] Yes Yes No
Google Messages (RCS) On secondary web browsers only (phone required to sync messages)[128] Only a limited set of reactions available Yes Yes Partial
ICQ Yes[129] Yes Yes Yes
Jami Yes[114]
Jitsi Yes
Kadu Yes Yes
KakaoTalk On secondary desktop devices only (phone required to sync messages)[130][131] No
Kik Messenger No[132] Yes Yes
Line On secondary desktop devices only (phone required to sync messages)[133] Yes Yes No Yes
Linphone
Mattermost No Yes Yes
MCabber No
Messages (Apple) Yes (Apple devices)[134] No No
Messenger Yes (messages are also accessible on the main Facebook website)[135] Yes Yes Yes No Yes
Movim Yes No No
Mumble
Palringo No Yes
Paltalk No Yes
Pidgin No No Yes Yes
Psi Yes Yes
RetroShare Yes No
Ricochet No
Sicher No
Signal Yes On secondary desktop devices only (phone required to sync messages; 5 linked devices)[136] Yes Yes Only on Android and iOS No Yes
Skype Yes[137][124] Yes Yes No No
Slack Yes[122][124] Yes Yes
Snapchat No[138] Yes Yes No No
Surespot No Yes
TeamNote No
Telegram Yes Yes[139][124][140] Full set of reactions only available on Telegram Premium Yes Yes Yes Yes
Tencent QQ On secondary desktop devices only (phone required to sync messages)[141] No Yes
Threema On secondary desktop devices only (phone required to sync messages).
Phone must maintain an active network connection at all times to use the desktop client.[142]
Yes No Yes
Trillian Yes Yes
Viber On secondary desktop devices only (phone required to sync messages)[143] Only a limited set of reactions available Yes Yes No Yes
WeChat On secondary desktop devices only (phone required to sync messages)[144] No
WhatsApp On secondary desktop devices only (phone required to sync messages; 4 linked devices)
Phone must not be offline for ≥ 14 days; message history limited to 3 months.
Unsupported on iPad, iPod Touch.

[145]
Yes Yes Yes No No
Wire Yes[146] No No No
Client Typing notifications Multi-device support Emoji reactions 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 In addition to other official and third-party solutions, a native desktop application can be generated for the instant messaging app website using Nativefier.[92]

References[edit]

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