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Soma Messenger: WhatsApp should worry, at least a bit

Soma is a new free messenger app by developers Instanza. It is available for iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch and Android.

Similar to WhatsApp, which is a messenger service owned by Facebook, Soma has a green icon with a white symbol in the middle. It enables users to send free text messages over Wi-Fi and make video calls with HD quality.

Soma has a very familiar interface: Favorites, Chats, Contacts and Settings tabs on the bottom of the screen, as well as an emoji button, a call option and a picture and voice note options.

But where Soma shines is the price. WhatsApp may be available for free at the point of download, but it charges a dollar (or the equivalent in other countries) after a year.

Soma assures users that the service will be “forever” free. This new player has a shot – all it has to do is play the cards well and market the “free” tier to take WhatsApp’s throne.

Another point in Soma’s favor is its security. Instanza argues Soma offers both a 2048bit RSA and 256bit AES encryption “for maximum security”. Apparently, WhatsApp got a score of two out seven on the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s secure messaging scorecard.

Soma also works on the iPad, while WhatsApp is only available for iPhone.

Just because WhatsApp is a “mainstream” service, that doesn’t mean it should not improve to maintain its position. Do you think Soma is a viable competitor? By the way, you can download Soma for Android 2.3 and iOS 6 or later.