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10 Hottest Messengers A College Student Could Use

Staying connected while in college is a super important thing. How else are you supposed to know when the exams begin, at which time the dorm party starts or the name of that grumpy professor who will attest your thesis? That's when instant messengers come in handy.

We've prepared a list of top 10 IMs that will make your student life a bit better.

10. GroupMe

GroupMe app screenshots

GroupMe is ideal for huge classes and college sports teams. Dozens of students can be present in the messenger's chat room simultaneously. If you shoot hoops or pitch a ball for your alma mater, then GroupMe can deliver important messages from the coach, like practice hours getting rescheduled, etc.

Besides, GroupMe is perfect if you're a shy introvert. If you don't feel like sharing your contacts with other students so far, the app will help you stay in touch with them. It's like a big digital classroom, via which you can learn, for example, what homework you have for your biology class.

9. Telegram

Telegram app screenshots

This is one of the most versatile IMs on the market right now. One of its major pros is that you can create thematic channels and invite other students to join them. They can be both public and private. This feature is especially useful for campus groups and clubs. If you're a part of theatrical production, marching band or a student science lab — Telegram will do a great job at coordinating your efforts and schedules.

Another useful feature is the secret chat option. In such a chat, you can set a timer for as much time as you need and exchange secret messages/media files with your fellows. After the time is up, they will auto-destruct. The secret chat doesn't allow screenshotting/screen recording, which is helpful if you're paranoid about your sensitive stuff getting leaked.

8. Facebook Messenger

Facebook Messenger app screenshots

Timeless classic, FB Messenger is probably installed on everybody's phone. And that's what makes it indispensable. Learning about campus news, discussing a collective project or just idly chatting — Messenger can do it all.

Apart from messaging and sharing media, you can also invite your college buddies to play games together. Galaga, Words With Friends, Porg Invasion, Blackjack, soccer-based Golden Boot and others are waiting for you. Unless your phone is capable of handling Fortnite, of course.

7. Google Hangouts

Google Hangouts app screenshots

What's really beautiful about Hangouts is that you don't need to tinker with it, setting up a profile or registering the phone number. Odds are you already have a Gmail account. And if you do, you can start using Hangouts right away.

Apart from texting, you also get video and audio calls of decent quality. A little nifty feature allows you to do group calls with up to 150 participants at the same time! Hosting an online conference, brainstorm or a polemic discussion is disgustingly easy this way. Besides, you can call any cell phone number using just your connectivity/WiFi, but only if the recipient uses Hangouts too.

6. Discord

Discord app screenshots

Designed for gamers, Discord can be a magic wand to the college students as well. The thing is, Discord is amazing at providing well-structured thematic channels. You can create channels like Spoke Fans, Zul'Gurub Raiders, Philosophy Club or Chemistry Lovers (with Walter White as avatar) in Discord with 1,000 participants to join. Which isn't bad for a free app.

5. Skype

Skype app screenshots

An old working horse, Skype still provides video/audio calls of good quality, as well as IMs. It's good for hosting a small web-conference too. As a bonus, you can leave video and audio messages for a person to be viewed later if they are offline, similarly to an answering machine. And if you're a fan of rare emoticons, Skype is your call: TIE Fighter from Star Wars or Sadness from Inside Out are at your service.

4. Slack

Slack app screenshots

The most popular corporate messenger, Slack is perfect for big group projects. Firstly, it's useful to know how to use it since almost every company works with Slack to coordinate their employees. Secondly, its feature palette is impressive: you get Dropbox integration, document-editing right in the app, file pinning to the chat, etc. Besides, you can customize notifications in Slack to focus on certain tasks more efficiently.

3. IMO

IMO app screenshots

At some point, you will miss home and your parents. And probably younger siblings. To see the dear faces and share your emotions from a tough college life, you can use IMO. And there's a number of good reasons for that.

First, IMO provides video calls of the highest quality possible. Then, IMO works amazingly smooth on various devices, including old gadgets with limited RAM, slow chipset, etc. The app is still compatible with 3G network, meanwhile other IMs seem to discard that feature these days. And finally, its apk size is laughably small: only 18 MB.

 2. Signal

Signal app screenshots

Signal is gaining popularity in countries with oppressive regimes. Why? Because its messages are set to auto-destruction, just like in Telegram’s secret chat. The only difference is that Telegram may store your info on their service, while Signal completely erases it without a trace.

A college student doesn't have to worry much about being wired by the government. But if you're anxious about your private information getting stolen — project info, student startup ideas, a strategic plan of egging a rival fraternity's house —  Signal can be a guardian angel.

History students will appreciate the app's humor with various historic figures — like Clement Duval or Friedrich Nietzsche — being featured in the Signal's promotional screenshots.

1. WhatsApp

WhatsApp app screenshots

The biggest and most reliable, WhatsApp offers premium call quality and messaging absolutely for free. Unlike in some other apps, there are no pop-ups, interstitial ads, banners, etc. You can also host an audio conference with a few participants, leave voice notes, use the app's iconic emojis or stickers, share a 24-hour status or customize its wallpapers.

Don't Shoot the Messenger

We've reviewed only 10 apps a college student might enjoy using. But perhaps you have your personal preferences when it comes to a good IM to be used on the campus? If yes, share your knowledge with us in the comments!

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