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Provider-dependent, non-free messengers like WhatsApp have a legitimate - if rightly controversial - role as an economic factor in our constitutional state. Nevertheless, free and provider-independent communication in chatting is socially desirable, just as it has always been a matter of course with e-mail, telephone or mobile communications. Dependencies on central instances can have fatal consequences here.

Due to the current dominance of WhatsApp (at least in Europe), free chat can only develop and establish itself if every individual shows the willingness to offer at least 1 free chat option as a communication channel to their contacts.

Paradoxically, the use of closed WhatsApp alternatives as a supplement to WhatsApp does not lead to a weakening of the dominant situation - rather, it strengthens the top dog.

Also, it is usually the case that the majority of private users in Europe (99% ?) do not currently want to / cannot delete WhatsApp. People are not really looking for an “alternative” and replacement - but for an independent and/or privacy-friendly complement that respects privacy.

To chat freely, you don’t have to collect messengers like stamps. Even if it is easy to install this or that app nowadays, every additional installation means a certain consumption of resources (energy, raw materials, storage space, time). That’s why I have a recommendation for both groups:

WhatsApp replacement

I estimate the percentage in the population of those who are actually looking for a replacement for WhatsApp (and want to delete WhatsApp) to be extremely small.

For this (small) group I recommend only “provider independent, free chat “ and not an isolated solution like Signal, Telegram, Threema, Viber etc.

All these self-proclaimed alternatives will never have the accessibility like WhatsApp (or an open chat system) due to their centralized structure and you don’t solve the problem of dependency.

WhatsApp supplement

All private users who currently do not want to delete WhatsApp or can not delete I recommend to install no X other non-free solutions in addition to WhatsApp. Here it is better to offer his contacts at least a free messenger as supplement to be also independently and more privacy-friendly accessible:

Recommendation - The combination makes it!


As a real alternative to WhatsApp with the greatest potential, normal “chat “ (normal = based on international standards) can therefore be recommended with a clear conscience, as this enables the often required interoperability.

For enterprises or authorities the use of Matrix as Teammessenger offers itself, since here a bridge to the Chatstandard is possible.

Of course, every system has its supporters as well as critics who criticize individual points or reject it as a whole. Reasons for this can be of a conceptual nature, technical framework conditions or also lie in the privacy or data protection. Every user has own requirements and own standards for a messenger system and, as is so often the case, you can’t have everything at the same time.

In short: There are different opinions and not the “best” messenger.