21/10/2013 13:00 | By David Nield, contributor, MSN Tech
Alternative social networks and chat apps


WhatsApp (© MSN)
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If Origami is for families, then WhatsApp is definitely for the teens. It's a messaging app that has morphed into a social network of sorts, letting you share private messages and pictures with a select group of contacts. Rich with emoticons, audio, video and images, part of WhatsApp's appeal is that it is so flexible: you can use it to keep in touch with a family group, or a gang of friends, or your other half. You can think of it as text messaging taken to the next level.

WhatsApp is available for Android, BlackBerry, iOS and Windows Phone, so it's not as platform-dependent as something like iMessage. You can use the service for free for the first year, after which point you can pay $0.99 (about 60p) a year to keep on using it. For something similar but more transitory, try Snapchat, another private messaging service where your photos, videos and messages disappear after a specified time.

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