Snapchat has become a huge deal. Massive. Gargantuan. Really any word you can muster for “huge” and it applies to Snapchat. Offering a place for you to post pictures and messages that can only last for so long, its brief lifespan is in juxtaposition with the rest of social media’s permanency. Even with the introduction of Memories, which goes against Snapchat’s core idea, the service is still one of the best and certainly the most popular way to share content with a sense of immediacy.
But maybe Snapchat doesn’t have everything you want, or maybe you’re mad about Memories, or maybe you just don’t want to be on the same bandwagon as everyone else. This list is for you. We’ve rounded up 10 apps to scratch that ephemeral itch.
1. Snapchat (Free)
So, you’ve somehow not actually used Snapchat before. That’s ok! Neither did I until recently. It’s on the list for obvious reasons, but mostly because no other app does what Snapchat does quite as well. You can easily follow your favorite celebrities or your friends through the service, exchanging messages and photos. The stories section is the highlight, often offering insight into new places and new hobbies. Plus, you can add fun filters and stickers to all your content.
2. Instagram (Free)
Instagram just launched its own Stories system, which is basically Snapchat. Besides being able to post individual pictures like usual, the Stories route enables you to share still and moving images, along with those all important stickers and captions. It all vanishes after 24 hours, so it’s a fine way to encourage you to log into Instagram regularly.
3. Cyber Dust (Free)
One of the key advantages to Snapchat is the temporary nature of messages. Cyber Dust enables you to send messages that can automatically disappear once they’re read or after 24 hours. That’s perfect for those security conscious social media users, or for those extra private moments. No permanent trace is ever left, with messages never touching a hard drive.
4. Wickr Me (Free)
Wickr Me offers a way to irreversibly remove all messages, images and video content from your device after sending them to someone, along with all evidence they ever existed. You can set up a timer so that it does this at any given point, ensuring that messages only last as long as you want them to. It’s all conducted anonymously too, being ideal for the most private of communication. Think of it as Snapchat for the business minded.
5. Burn Note (Free)
Burn Note provides notes that self-destruct after reading. As soon as you open a message, a countdown timer starts with the message destroyed once the timer hits zero. Such notes are also copy-resistant with the app limiting how much of the message is viewable at any one time. It’s not stylish, but it is useful.
6. Confide (Free)
Want a messaging service where you can retract a message that you regret? Snapchat can’t do that yet, but Confide can. Alongside that, it’ll remove messages forever once they’re read, protects you against screenshots, and works with text, photos, documents and voice messages. Bear in mind, you’ll need to sign up to a subscription service to enjoy the retraction option.
7. Telegram Messenger (Free)
Telegram is a fun messaging service underneath its staid surface. Besides offering secure and safe messaging, you can use it to send fun stickers to your friends, along with pretty much any document type imaginable. There’s no message limit and it’s 100% ad-free too. Self destructing messages are also available. Think WhatsApp crossed with Snapchat.
8. Sicher ($0.99)
Sicher is a German made messaging app that prides itself on privacy. No messages or files are ever transferred unencrypted, with self destruction an option via a timer. Even push notifications can be conducted anonymously. Despite that privacy focused exterior, Sicher still throws in photo filters to keep things light and Snapchat-ish.
9. MSQRD (Free)
One of the joys about Snapchat is being able to apply silly filters and masks to your photos before sending them to friends. MSQRD lets you do that without the need for Snapchat. You can easily turn yourself into a panda, or you can choose to face swap with your friends. It’s a fun thing to delve into, before sharing elsewhere.
10. Whisper (Free)
One reason why teenagers in particular flock to Snapchat is the ability to express themselves relatively anonymously. Whisper is an online community where people can share their thoughts and feelings anonymously. Such openness and honesty might come with its own set of issues, but it’s also sometimes refreshing to see.