Amateur political scientist that I am, I ran a nonscientific anecdotal poll on my Twitter, and shared the results with my IG fam as well. I asked my followers which app they use the most among the alternatives to native standard text messaging: telegram, signal, viber, or whatsapp. 45 people responded. 51% whatsapp, 31% telegram, 9% viber, and 9% signal. A few others commented or DMd me apps not on my list.
I have downloaded all of these apps on my iOS, and used all extensively except signal. As a nonprofit Signal stands out at trying to abide by G00gle’s old motto of “don’t be evil”, which since they tossed that out eons ago no one should question their decision to get rid of gwal sheger Timnit Gebru. Whatsapp is owned by FB, which has become a meme for Silicon Valley censorship amongst the new right. But, I use this app most frequently to communicate with those close to me. In addition to text, I call people on here when wifi is better than my cell phone service. I thought Viber was a fav amongst Ethiopians before my poll, but I do not like the feel and function of it. I’ve been guilt tripped and peer-pressured into re-downloading it after deleting it on more than one occasion. Telegram is pretty clean, and has become host to specialty pages where you don’t have a two-way convo. Instead, you just read and listen. I follow a page for learning Ge’ez, a page for learning Afan Oromo, and a page for Ethiopian Studies (mostly history).
What do you use? Why? Why not?
Hi. Thank you the nice discussions all around. Signal is the best I believe, it does not store any information unencrypted. So employees at signal can no read the chats between people. I also like the desktop app, I use a Mac. Even though not many colleagues use signal, I still use the 'note to self' feature a lot, that is sending things to my computer from my phone and vice versa. I also use telegram, but mostly for professional discussions - eg work groups. I also join a number of self interest groups on Telegram and most of my geek friends are now on Telegram. WhatsApp, still is the most popular but can get a bit overwhelming since 'everyone' is on whatsapp so I try to keep my contacts limited on whatsapp, on a different phone. Overall, I wish more people used signal, but I see more and more people joining telegram nowadays. Telegram and WhatsApp can both read messages on their servers, however telegram seems to have better policies - even as I have not gone into detail to understand why telegram choose this. However as mentioned, the groups features on Telegram seems to be widely appreciated. I never used viber. good luck.