If you are looking for other ways to contact your loved ones, here are five free apps you can use to contact people all around the world.

Facebook Messenger While most know Facebook as a useful way to connect with the world already, not everyone also uses the Facebook Messenger app. Yet, with 104 million users in the United States, it is the most popular messaging app in the country, and it doesn’t require a laptop or computer.

The app has multiple features for communication from messaging to phone calls and video calls, and it also allows group chats for multiple people (and you can assign nicknames to your friends and family).

Viber

One of the lesser-known messenger apps, Viber is popular for users who wish to contact loved ones overseas. Once you sync your phone number to the app with a few simple steps, Viber will allow you to talk or text anyone overseas for free as long as you have an internet connection.

Sally Morrell, the mother of an international student at MU, said the app “makes it so much easier to contact my son, and it really feels like a normal phone call.” The app is best used with strong internet connection.

WhatsApp

WhatsApp is the third most popular messaging app in the U.S., behind Facebook Messenger and Snapchat. Like Viber, it requires an internet connection for use, but once that is accomplished, the app works wonders.

If you are skeptical of using Facebook, this is the best service for local contacts. WhatsApp offers free talk and text with an internet connection, as well as video call options. The app is increasing in popularity with youth, and for good reason. While the app may not be as popular overseas, WhatsApp is a good way to connect.

GroupMe Like WhatsApp, GroupMe is getting increasingly popular with younger generations. Often used as a way for classmates to connect with one another, GroupMe’s ability to organize group chats also has benefits for families.

It’s a safe bet that a studying relative would have the app already installed, which is why it’s a simple way to connect the whole family under one chatroom.

GroupMe also has a function where you can look up your contacts so you can see who else uses the app.

TalkU

Similar to Viber, TalkU is a great way to connect with friends and family overseas. The app offers unlimited texting options; however, there are restrictions to the amount of times you can use the call option.

  • Student reporter at the University of Missouri.

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