Instant messaging applications are now everywhere. They allow for swift and realtime interaction with friends, family, colleagues, your boss — anyone. And only for a minimal dent to the pocket too.

Low-end smartphones and cheap data have only made these messaging applications more accessible, with VoIP upgrades that are making telcos jump.

Here is a list of instant messaging apps you are likely to find on any regular smartphone in Nigeria.



The multi-platform instant messaging app allows users to send messages severally without paying for SMS provided there is active internet connection. Users can do a ton of other stuffs on it like, send images, audio messages, and videos like every other in the instant messaging ilk. Whatsapp has iterated considerably in the past few months, with a web client, a material design, VoIP and Google Drive backup coming at users in a rapidfire.

Facebook Messenger


Messenger app is the official app for the social media platform, Facebook. The Messenger app also integrates with a user’s phonebook and can allow a user sync phone number of her Facebook friends to her phone. Messenger allows for photo, audio and video sharing, group chats and VoIP.



HowFar is a free location-based messaging app that allows users search and interact with other people using the app within few meters of their location. It allows users send photos to friends and phone contacts.

BlackBerry Messenger


BBM was initially exclusive to Blackberry mobile devices until 2013 when it made a crossover to Android, Windows and IOS devices.

The app allows users connect via unique PINs. Users can have multi-person chats, share timed messages, retract a message and also have customized PINs other than the basic soup of numbers and letters BBM users get on downloading the app.



Google Hangouts helps users initiate conversation, make free video or voice calls to contacts on Gmail. Users can also express thoughts with photos, stickers, emoji, and animated GIFs. Users can also host an open hangout for up to a hundred persons or a group video call with up to 10 friends.


1-2go (1)

2go is a mobile social networking app developed by 2go Interactive Limited, Cape Town, South Africa. 2go has been around since days before smartphones got into every hands and was on almost all features phones and popular Nokia S40 phones. 2go’s popularity has ebbed overtime with messaging apps sporting rich media and graphics but has remained widely popular with low-end feature phones users. The app has an interesting in-app karma/rating system; a user’s rating increases with the amount of time a spent on the platform.



Viber allows users send texts, make phone and video calls and send photos. Users can as well follow public chats, make comments and share multimedia content. With its push notification feature, users can receive messages or calls when their Viber is off. The Viber out service allows a Viber user make calls to regular numbers that are not signed on to Viber.

This post is brought to you in partnership with, an app store that curates locally developed applications and applications Nigerians use the most. Discover great apps to use in Nigeria at

Photo Credit: dannebrog via Compfight cc

Bolade Popoola Author

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