Admit it. This year has been all about messaging apps on your smartphone. While we lived off the humble old WhatsApp for years, we’ve seen the rise of sticker packs, voice calling and even self-destructing pictures on messaging apps this year. Here’s a round up of messaging apps that rocked our phones this year:

Snapchat:
This is the app all other apps have aspired to be in 2013. Snapchat allows you to send photos or videos – known as snaps – to family and friends. What’s so unconventional about this app is that the photos destroy themselves within seconds, making it perfect for secretive planning or sexting.

Send private messages...privately

Send private messages…privately

The app has revolutionised image and video sharing and paved way for other services like Facebook’s Poke to follow. With Snapchat’s rise, companies like Facebook, Google and Tencent have been showing interest in purchasing the company, while the likes of Twitter are aping the private messaging angle to its services, with some social networking elements thrown in.

However, when it comes to messaging, Snapchat is raking in users by thousands everyday and the company even claims that it’s helping them to surpass the daily number of images uploaded on Facebook. Now that’s impressive. Download Snapchat for your Android and iOS devices.

Facebook Messenger:
Surprise, surprise! The reinvented Facebook Messenger has made it to our list for being one of the better messaging apps in 2013. The product is a familiar one – you use Messenger to chat with your Facebook friends. However, this year, Facebook has laid emphasis on improving communication and even throwing in some interesting features that makes chatting with the same old friends a lot more fun.

For one, Facebook walked down the sticker route and added packs after packs of very interesting – even localised – and well-made sticker packs. These do not cost money for now, but Facebook seems to be on its way to monetising the features soon. Besides this, the Messenger got a lot more faster this year, and accessing ongoing conversations is easier thanks to chat heads.

Facebook Messenger is a neat app

Facebook Messenger is a neat app

Not to forget, Facebook has prominently marketed Messenger’s ability to send and receive SMS and emails, the former feature making the app an active contender to become the default SMS app on Android 4.4 KitKat devices. Download Facebook Messenger for iOS and Android.

BBM:
Of course, BlackBerry Messenger makes it to the list! Did you think we were going to have a round up of messaging apps and not mention the toast of the season? BlackBerry had been enticing the world with the prospect of a BBM version for Android and iOS since the beginning of the year but thanks to certain hiccups, it was November by the time the apps finally rolled out globally. It was still ridden with chinks.

BBM for Android and iOS, however, lured in millions of users within the first few days of its launch, with the familiar PIN numbers letting users add each other without the worry of exchanging phone numbers. While this was a Team BlackBerry exclusive earlier, you can now add people using pins on two other platforms, Android and iOS.

BBM was the toast this season

BBM was the toast this season

If you need any more reason why BBM is one of the messaging apps of 2013, it is the promise of what it intends to bring to the table next year. BBM Channels – the integrated social network for BBM users – and BBM voice are coming, which will drastically change how you use the app. Also expected are more emoji characters to add a bit of flavour to your chats.Download BBM for Android and iOS from the respective app stores. Oh yes, and there are no more queues so you can start using the app immediately.

(Cover image credit: Getty Images)

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