If WhatsApp Leaves India Amid Ongoing Legal Battle, Here Are 5 Alternative Messenger Apps You Can Try

In an unexpected turn of events, WhatsApp's lawyer last week told the Delhi High Court that Meta’s messaging platform would rather exit India if forced to break its encryption

This comes after WhatsApp’s lawyer highlighted a conflict with the 2021 IT rules that could compel the messaging giant to decrypt messages, a move that contradicts its core privacy principles. The Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, introduced in 2021, apply to major social media platforms like X, Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, demanding compliance with new norms.

“If we are told to break encryption, then WhatsApp goes,” WhatsApp's lawyer told the court.

Should WhatsApp withdraw from India, millions of users will be scrambling for a reliable alternative. Fortunately, there are several messaging apps ready to take the baton. Here are five standout alternatives that promise to keep your conversations flowing without a hitch.

1. Telegram Messenger

iPhone 7 shows its screen with the Telegram application. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Telegram has steadily grown in popularity due to its strong emphasis on privacy and security, offering features like end-to-end encryption and self-destructing messages. Not only does it provide similar functionalities to WhatsApp, such as group chats, voice and video calls, but it also supports large file transfers and massive groups that can accommodate up to 200,000 members. Telegram is a top contender for those seeking a feature-rich platform that doesn't compromise on privacy.

See Also: How To Create And Manage An Event On WhatsApp

2. Hike

Hike-an Indian social media platform. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Hike Sticker Chat, commonly known as Hike, is an Indian messaging app that has carved a niche with its vibrant and culturally diverse sticker packs, which make chatting more expressive and fun. Beyond basic messaging, Hike offers news updates, cricket score alerts, and even a digital wallet service. It’s a well-rounded app that caters specifically to the Indian user's tastes and preferences, making it an excellent local substitute for WhatsApp.

3. JioChat

Phone with JoiChat app on the screen. Image Credit: JioChat

JioChat is another Indian gem that extends beyond simple messaging. This app integrates seamlessly with other Jio services, providing features like video conferencing, voice calls, and file sharing. It's tailored to deliver a rich user experience with localised content such as stickers and channels. JioChat is particularly attractive for users who are already part of the Jio ecosystem, offering a smooth, integrated communication solution.

4. Signal

Signal app, a cross-platform encrypted messaging service developed by the Signal Foundation and Signal Messenger, is displayed on screen with WhatsApp and Messenger. Image Credit: Shutterstock

For those who prioritise privacy above all else, Signal stands out as the gold standard. Endorsed by renowned privacy advocates globally, Signal offers state-of-the-art end-to-end encryption for all messages and calls. Its open-source nature and minimalistic design ensure it remains transparent and easy to use. Signal deserves serious consideration if you're looking for a straightforward, highly secure messaging app.

5. Skype

Apple iPhone with Skype application on the screen. Image Credit: Shutterstock

While primarily known for its video calling capabilities, Skype also offers robust instant messaging features. It’s a great tool for both personal and professional communication, supporting multimedia sharing, video calls, and group chats. Skype's advantage lies in its widespread acceptance and integration in corporate environments, making it an ideal option for those who need to maintain both personal and professional contacts in one app.

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Posted In: Social MediaTechMessenger AppsWhatsApp