Many people are discussing alternatives to WhatsApp right now. Here I just track how many installations the currently discussed, crypto-enabled alternatives have according to the app store.
WhatsApp was already bad before Facebook acquired it. But at least now people woke up and are considering secure alternatives. Yes, this move could have come earlier, but I do welcome the new opportunity: its the first time wide spread encryption actually has a chance in the consumer market. So for most of the people out there the question is more “which alternative should I use” instead of “should I use one”. Right now I do not have the faintest idea which alternative with crypto support will make the break through – but you could say I am well prepare.
Well – that’s obviously not a long term solution. Thus, to shed some light on the various alternatives and how they stand right now, here is a quick statistical overview:
|Secure Instant Messengers, state updated 2014-03-11|
|Name||WebPage/GooglePlay||installed devices||Ratings||Google +1|
|ChatSecure||Website / Google Play||100 000 – 500 000||1 626||2 620|
|Kontalk||Website / Google Play||10 000 – 50 000||237||265|
|surespot||Website / Google Play||50 000 – 100 000||531||632|
|Telegram||Website / Google Play||10 000 000 – 50 000 000||273 089||97 641|
|Threema||Website / Google Play||500 000 – 1 000 000||9 368||12 594|
|TextSecure||Website / Google Play||100 000 – 500 000||2 478||2 589|
The statistics are taken from Google’s Android Play Store. I would love to include iTunes statistics, but it seems they are not provided via the web page. If you know how to gather them please drop me a note and I’ll include them here.
These numbers just help to show how fat an application is spread – it does not say anything about the quality. For example Threema is not Open Source and thus not a real alternative. So, if you want to know more details about the various options, please read appropriate reviews like the one from MissingM.