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7 Best Apps Like Snapchat - Top Alternatives in 2020

Vitalii Makhov, CEO @ DOIT Software
Vitalii Makhov, CEO @ DOIT Software

Snapchat has become a leading photo and video app with 238 million daily active users (DAU) worldwide, according to recent research by Statista. Inspired by the tremendous success of the Snapchat app, a vast majority of its competitors have tried to copy its features. And now we are seeing dozens of apps similar to Snapchat. Nevertheless, Snapchat alternatives cannot copy all its features and win over more users.

Apps like Snapchat stats

The disappearing messaging app has quickly gained popularity among teenagers as well as college students. Snap Inc, a parent company for the Snapchat App, is valued at $21 billion.

By the way, did you know that Snapchat was the first app with disappearing stories? It wasn’t until then that Instagram and WhatsApp added the story feature to their apps. Let’s find out how Snapchat became so popular and what apps like Snapchat you can also use. Spoiler: we're going to compare Instagram, Wickr Me, TikTok and others. Keep reading!

 

How did Snapchat become so popular?

If you're reading this article, you obviously know that Snapchat is a popular mobile app for iOS and Android. The app was founded nearly 10 years ago in 2011 by students of Stanford University. Reggie Brown came up with the idea of a social media app that allows for sharing disappearing photos or videos. Brown approached Evan Spiegel and Bobby Murphy with the idea. And they all buckled down and started working to develop the best app.

Snapchat doubled their user count in the first year after introducing 10-second videos to the app. It was successful enough to get 50 million snaps a day!

Apps like Snapchat

Just one year after Snapchat was released, Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook, offered Spiegel $3 billion to buy the app. But Spiegel turned the offer down because he knew that Snapchat was one of the hottest apps on the market. And Spiegel was absolutely right. In 2014 Snapchat was valued three times more ($10 billion) than Zuckerberg offered a couple of years ago. And in 2018 Snapchat generated $389.82 million in revenue. Pretty impressive, isn’t it?

And before Snapchat gets on the very top of the social media world, you can jump onto the bandwagon and start developing your Snapchat alternative for Android or iOS. The trick is to find a feature that will make your app unique.

 

What features make Snapchat so unique?

Snapchat wasn’t released with all of the features it has today. It was first launched as a photo app for sharing disappearing information in 2011. Later on, the app got two new features - “Chat” and “Stories”.

As you know, the story feature allows users to share photos or videos that will remain visible for the next 24 hours. And it was the chat feature that helped Snapchat move higher on the social media pyramid.

Let’s find out what features make Snapchat unique and what features apps like Snapchat should have.

 

Taking and sharing photos (or snaps)

 Apps Like Snapchat features taking and sharing photos

The main feature of the Snapchat app is the ability to take and send photos or videos that self-destruct in seconds. There are lots of different filters, text captions, and tools for video and photo editing.

 

Self-destructing content

Self-destructing content is a custom feature of the Snapchat app that helped it become so popular among teenagers as well as college students.

 

apps like snapchat feature self-destructing content

How does a self-destructing mechanism work?

  • When a user sends a message, it’s uploaded to the Snapchat server.
  • The user gets a notification about the new snap that is downloaded to a temporary location on the user’s device.
  • As soon as the user opens the message, Snapchat deletes the message copy from the temporary location and sends an alert to the app server.
  • Snapchat then erases the message from its server. If no one opens the message, it’s automatically deleted within 30 days.

 

Photo and video filters (or lenses)

Lenses are the second most popular Snapchat feature. There are lots of funny lenses to overlay on the top of pics or videos by using the face detection technology. It’s the core feature when it comes to Snapchat. I’ll bet that at least once you have used the lens with a dog face, haven’t you?

Let’s find out how Snapchat’s lenses work

  • Snapchat takes advantage of the Active Shape Model to catch a user’s face and build facial borders.
  • Thanks to a machine learning mechanism, Snapchat builds the average face and adjusts it according to the image provided.
  • The app fixes any imperfections and aligns the filter with the user’s face.
  • Finally, Snapchat uses the following face points to harmonize a 3D mask that moves and adjusts with a face.

Filters engage users to create and share their photos with friends. And actually, Snapchat encourages users to generate content.

 

Local lenses and community filters

 Apps Like Snapchat geofilters

Local lenses are quite similar to original lenses, but there is one major difference: You can use them in a particular location.
Snapchat uses geocoding to convert geographic coordinates to a location description (the name of the place). Then, the name of the place is added to the image or video template. Users can easily create their own local lenses and add them to the Snapchat library of filters and lenses.

 

Find and add friends

 Apps Like Snapchat features find add friends

There are several ways to add friends. You can add friends via personalized QR codes. Each user has its own QR code that you can scan and start following. These are also called Snapcodes.

Another way of finding new friends on Snapchat is to use the Add Nearby feature. Once you turn the following function on, Snapchat sends your coordinates to the servers. Then the server compares the geolocation of users with an active Add-Nearby screen and shows your possible friends.

 

Chat

 Apps Like Snapchat features chat

Snapchat isn’t all about sharing snaps with the world. It’s also used as a regular messenger. Recently, the Snapchat team added 200+ new stickers. And the good news is that you can add your own stickers to the app or use a ready-made sticker pack.

 

Audio and video calls

 Apps Like Snapchat features audio video calls

Did you know that Snapchat has audio and video calls? With the updated version of the app, you can start a video chat or call your friends. In case your friend is offline, you can record and send an audio message. The following turns Snapchat into an alternative to any messenger and brings it closer to WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and Telegram.

 

Location sharing

 Apps Like Snapchat features location sharing

Snapchat users can share their location with their followers as well as the other users. Their locations are marked on the Snap Map. For privacy, you can select which users you want to share your location with.

 

Stories

 Apps Like Snapchat features stories

Snapchat users can broadcast photos or videos to their friends and followers. Stories remain active for the next 24 hours. Later, Snapchat released Live Stories, in which snapchaters visiting the same live event can contribute to the same story.

 

Discovery

 Apps Like Snapchat features discovery

This feature collects stories from editorial teams such as Mashable, CNN, Cosmo, People, and many others.

Nevertheless, there are tons of face changing apps like Snapchat, camera apps like Snapchat, and messaging apps like Snapchat, but there are no 100% Snapchat-like apps. Do you know of any app that can fully substitute Snapchat? Feel free to contact us and tell us your Snapchat alternatives.

 

Pros and cons of the Snapchat app

Snapchat has several different features, but some features make users hot under the collar. Let’s take a look at all of the pros and cons:

Pros Cons
Very easy to sign up No forward feature for messages and media files
Secure messaging No comments or likes
Audio and video calls Snapchat is available only for Android and iOS
Self-destructing media Limits for the video length
User-friendly UI Lots of software issues and bugs
Notifications when someone takes a screenshot of your snap Auto-deleting of the Snapchat stories and videos
Auto delete feature for messages and snaps No built-in analytics tools
Photo and video editor  
Snaps can be easily shared to other social media accounts  

 

Top seven apps like Snapchat you should know about 

Snapchat is an out-of-the-ordinary app and it’s impossible to find another app with all its features and functions. For example, Instagram, a photo app like Snapchat, has lots of face filters, and it’s also great for sharing and saving precious life moments. When it comes to self-destructing messages, Wickr Me is right up your street.

Telegram has no rivals when it comes to private messaging and secret chats. So if you like Snapchat’s private messaging feature, you can also use Telegram. There are tons of Snapchat alternatives, but no app is as popular as Snapchat.

Moreover, Snapchat has some features that are unique. For example, Happening Now. Do you know of any app with the Happening Now feature? We haven’t found any other app with it, but here’re top seven Snapchat-like apps you should try.

 

Instagram

Apps-Like-Snapchat-Instagram

Source: App Store
Platforms: iOS, Android, Windows Phone, desktop, and Web
Number of installs: 1,000,000,000+

Everyone knows that Instagram is an app for sharing photos and videos. And it’s an equally outstanding alternative for the Snapchat app. Instagram also features built-in filters, store and live functions. Unlike Snapchat, Instagram covers all mobile and desktop platforms. TIt’s compatible with iOS, Android, Windows Phone, desktops, tablets, and MacOS.

But Instagram doesn’t have self-destructing messages and snaps like Snapchat. Instagram has become the number-one social platform for e-commerce and other local businesses. It has everything you need to promote businesses as well as a personal brand.

Instagram can save every moment of your life, unlike Snapchat. Also, Instagram has video calls and audio messages to keep in touch with your nearest and dearest.

Instagram pros and cons

Pros Cons
Filters and face masks for photos and videos No audio calls
10-minute IGTV videos Cannot rearrange the photos on the feed
Ability to share content with close friends only Lots of additional apps (Layout for Instagram, etc)
Private chat  
Likes, comments, and statistics  
Video calls and audio messages  
File sharing  
Screenshot alerts  

 

Tik Tok

apps like snapchat TikTok

Source: App Store
Platforms: iOS, Android, and Web
Number of installs: 1,000,000,000+

Tik Tok is a Chinese social media app for sharing dance, entertainment, and educational videos. Tik Tok is one of the apps like Snapchat.

Just like Snapchat, it has lots of video filters and quite a lot of different songs and sounds to add to your videos.

There are no self-destructing files, messages, chats, and video calls. But there are tons of comments, likes, and followers. Tik Tok is available for iOS, Android, and Web.

Tik Tok pros and cons

Pros Cons
Engaging short clips No built-in messages
Simple and easy UI No self-destructing content
Lots of video filters Limited editing
A wide range of songs and sounds to choose from Limits for video length
  Time-to-time lags

 

Wickr Me

Apps Like Snapchat WickrMe

Source: App Store
Platforms: iOS and Android
Number of installs: 5,000,000+

Wickr Me tops the list of the apps similar to Snapchat. Wickr Me is one of the apps like Snapchat for iPhone and Android users. It has everything a user may need - encrypted messages, voice memos, video and image sharing, etc. Wickr Me also features unique stickers and photo and video filters, but they aren’t as interesting as the ones on Snapchat.

The app also has a self-destructing feature that deletes images, videos, and messages. One more benefit of the Wickr Me app is its full anonymity. No one can track, control, or interrupt your communication.

Unlike Snapchat, you can find your friends either by name or by importing your contacts.

Wickr Me pros and cons

Pros Cons
Full anonymity No screenshot alerts
Extremely fast and secure No sync between devices
No annoying ads  

 

Telegram

Apps Like Snapchat Telegram

Source: App Store
Platforms: iOS, Android, desktop, and Web
Number of installs: 500,000,000+

Telegram is an easy-to-use and secure mobile messaging app. It tops the list of the apps like Snapchat for Android and iOS. The app is said to be the fastest messaging app on the market. Telegram connects people through its unique network of distributed datacenters situated all over the globe.

With Telegram, users can exchange messages, make audio and video calls, send different files, create group chats with up to 200,000 members, and even create bots for simple routine tasks. Telegram is an ideal place for teamwork and hosting large online communities.

Thanks to its lean design, Telegram is extremely easy to use. And with Telegram’s secret chats, you can share self-destructing content just like with the Snapchat app. When it comes to security, it is the best app like Snapchat for Android and iOS.

Telegram pros and cons

Pros Cons
Snapchat-like secret chat Quite small user base
Group chats and public groups No screenshot alerts
Supports file sharing up to 1.5Gb No face filters
Smart bots  
High level of security and privacy  
Lots of stickers and GIFs  
Video and audio calls  

 

SnapSeed

Apps Like Snapchat SnapSeed

Source: App Store
Platforms: iOS and Android
Number of installs: 100,000,000+

SnapSeed is all about photo and video editing. This app is only available for iOS and Android. Snapseed features a wide range of tools required for photo editing, including digital filters, brushes, healing, and structure.

Unlike Snapchat, SnapSeed doesn’t have any sharing features. Also, you can’t send messages or get in touch with your friends. But you can edit photos or videos and then share your customized content via any social media platform.

SnapSeed pros and cons

Pros Cons
Easy to use No sharing option
Easy to share to different social media No built-in chat or video calls
A wide range of tools for video and photo editing No self-destructing files

 

Cluster

Apps Like Snapchat Cluster

Source: App Store
Platforms: iOS and Android
Number of installs: 100,000+

Cluster is a private photo album for family and friends. It allows you to create photo albums and share them with particular people. Cluster helps you create a private and secure space where you can share videos or photos only with the people you care about.

Cluster has no built-in photo editing tools, face filters, and no messages or calls. It’s like a digital photo album to collect all your precious moments under one roof.

Cluster pros and cons

Pros Cons
Group sharing No built-in chat
Sync between mobile and web No filters or editing tools for photos and videos
Notification when someone adds a new photo to the album  

 

Imgur

Apps Like Snapchat Imgur

Source: App Store
Platforms: iOS and Android
Number of installs: 10,000,000+

Imgur is one of the apps like Snapchat available for iPhone and Android. The app has no rivals when it comes to spicy memes, funny pet videos, and other fun content. The app allows for creating short videos and GIFs and then sharing them within the Imgur community or upload to other social media.

Imgur doesn’t have a chat feature or self-destructing messages like Snapchat, but it has a newsfeed full of funny videos, memes, and GIFs.

Imgur pros and cons

Pros Cons
Newsfeed No chat
GIF creator No photo editing tools
Lots of trendy memes and funny GIFs No face filters
  No self-destructing content

 

Summing up

Snapchat was the first social media platform with disappearing images and stories. Even though lots of apps have started copying its features, they haven’t become 100% Snapchat alternatives.

The most notable Snapchat filters are face filters and masks that are powered by a machine learning algorithm. The platform has so many features and integrations that it’s hard to find a 100% Snapchat-like app.

If you’d like to jump onto a Snapchat-like bandwagon and develop your own app similar to Snapchat, DOIT Software is the place to do it. For example, you can develop apps like Snapchat for adults only or apps like Snapchat just for kids. There are tons of Snapchat-like ideas, just drop us a line to start developing your app.

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