Messaging Apps

WhatsApp logo - WhatsApp text with dialog balloon filled with grass green fill color with white classic rotary phone handset icon in balloonWhatsApp
The Facebook-owned messaging app debuted in 2009 as a mobile alternative to Skype. Now, just a decade later, it has easily cornered the market with a user base topping one billion.

WhatsApp offers users an extensive platform for text and video messaging along with a brilliant, cellular-powered voice call feature, allowing users to connect from around the world. There’s no word or minute count with WhatsApp; the only limit is your data.

Best features
WhatsApp offers a simple, clear interface that’s easy to use and everything you’d expect from a messaging app; however, its best feature may actually be its popularity. With 1.5 billion users in more than 180 countries, it’s safe to assume the contact you’re messaging or calling is a WhatsApp user, too.

Aside from its broad reach and many convenient features, WhatsApp has distinguished itself from other messaging apps though its outstanding network connection, especially in picking up dropped calls.

Glaring glitches
The one feature missing on WhatsApp’s platform is the message self-destruct feature. Unless you connect to a third-party app like Kaboom, your WhatsApp messages are there to stay.

Some users also complain that WhatsApp calls don’t offer the clearest connection.
Viber logo - purple dialog balloon with a white classic rotary handset and the word "Viber" in white. "Connect. Freely" is written in purple print underneath the balloon.

Viber
With over 800 million users, Viber is easily WhatsApp’s biggest competitor. The messaging app created a name for itself by being the first of its kind to offer the ability to seamlessly transfer calls between mobile devices and desktop computers.

Best Features
The primary feature setting Viber apart is its high-bandwidth connections, which allow for HD-quality voice calls. There’s nothing tinny or fuzzy about a Viber call; it’s all crisp and clear. If you’ll be using your messaging app primarily for phone calls, this may be a deciding factor for you.

Viber’s huge selection of stickers to add to your messages is another outstanding feature that is a favorite with the younger crowd.

The app also offers self-destructing messages that delete after a predetermined amount of time for added privacy.

Glaring Glitches
Viber has a rich interface that many users find cluttered and complicated. The vast library of stickers can also be overwhelming, not to mention further complicating the interface. If you like your apps clean and simple, this issue may really annoy you.
Viber’s smaller user base, (1.1 billion users) is another negative point of the app. Like WhatsApp, Viber allows you to call Viber users all over the world at no cost. But, if you want to use the app to call a non-Viber user, you’ll have to pay a small fee.

How they stack up

App NameNumber of UsersMessage Self-DestructClean InterfaceClear Connections
WhatsApp1.5 billion as of 2019NoYesNo
Viber1.1 billion as of 2019YesNoYes

Your Turn:
Are you a WhatsApp addict, or do you prefer Viber? A dark horse third option, perhaps? Tell us about it in the comments.

Learn More:
pcmag.com
webwise.ie
whatsapp.com
viber.com

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