Messenger vs. WhatsApp – A Comparison of Messaging Apps
If you use a messaging app to stay in contact with family and friends, you’re already familiar with Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp. Both are free, user-friendly apps that are available to anyone in the world who has a smart phone and Wi-fi access. But what makes these apps so popular?
This article will take a close look at Messenger and WhatsApp, describing what makes them different from each other, as well as the unique features that set them apart from the rest of the competition.
A Comparison – Messenger vs WhatsApp
Here are the three main aspects that users look for in an app:
- Privacy and Security
- Sending media
- Sending Texts and Making calls
Although both apps share many functions such as the ability to create groups, edit photos in-app, and pay for purchases in-app, we did find some major differences between the features that WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger offer.
1. Privacy and Security
Privacy and security are priorities for most people on any messaging service. Here’s how Messenger and WhatsApp measure up against each other when it comes to keeping your communications secure and free from market research surveillance.
WhatsApp Privacy and Security
When it comes to protecting privacy, WhatsApp is clearly superior to Facebook Messenger. All its communications including chat texts, calls, files and photos are encrypted end to-end. This means that only the sender and the recipient can read them.
- All messages sent on WhatsApp are encrypted by default
- The security code is easily verified with a barcode
- Conversations can’t be traced
- Not even WhatsApp can see your information
- The app needs to be updated frequently
- The latest version of WhatsApp must be downloaded to ensure encryption
- Both the messenger and recipient must have the latest version of WhatsApp downloaded for the encryption to work
- You can’t contact fellow app users without scanning the other user’s barcode
Facebook Privacy and Security
Facebook, which also owns Instagram, doesn’t offer encryption but it does offer texting in “Vanish Mode” which eliminates all trace of a chat history once the text has been typed.
- Your Facebook identity is password protected
- Offers optional two-factor authentication to reduce the risk of hacking your Facebook profile and messaging service
- You can contact app users not on your Facebook Friends list
- Users can sign up for Messenger without being on Facebook
- App collects 12 kinds of personal and behavioral data from your account
- Doesn’t offer encryption
- Deleted text messages can still appear
- Conversations are traceable if Facebook Archive is turned on
- Hacked and fake accounts are common
2. Sending Media
Both WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger have a lot in common when it comes to sending texts, emojis, photos, and videos, including the fact that photos and videos must be uploaded from a third-party app such as your camera storage, Google Storage, or Air Drop.
Sending Media on WhatsApp
WhatsApp is versatile, allowing you to share your photos on any other app you want, including Facebook.
- Photos can be downloaded anywhere, including Instagram and Facebook
- Photos don’t require compression
- The file size limit is 100MB
- Chats have fun stickers
- Photos can be edited with emoji, drawings, and text
- Sends an image of contact details in the form of a Contact Stamp
- Offers WhatsApp Pay to send and receive money
- WhatsApp Pay is supported by 160 world banks
- Limit of sending 10 photos at a time
- Video uploads are limited to 30 seconds long
- Does not support PayPal payments
Sending Media on Facebook
Facebook is versatile, allowing you to share and download photos on the chat unless permission to share is restricted by the sender.
- Data efficient
- Offers the in-chat feature “Voice Notes” for sending long recorded audio messages
- Sends up to 30 photos per Messenger
- Photos can be edited with emoji, stamps, and text
- Clickable thumbnail image preview
- Automated favorite contacts
- You can send money from your debit card using messenger
- Debit support from banks in 17 countries
- Supports PayPal transactions
- Allows the creation of groups of up to 512 people
- Games to play solo or with a Friend are available within the app
- Photos are compressed to fit the messenger format
- Photos aren’t private and can end up in Google Searches
- The file size limit in the chat is 25MB
Sending Texts and Making Calls
Both Facebook and WhatsApp provide free VOIP video and text chats as long as you have internet connectivity.
Sending Texts and Making Calls on WhatsApp
WhatsApp Messenger is your best choice if you need to international or rural calls as it integrates smoothly on 5G, 3G and 2G networks.
- Works well with contacts in Europe and Asia
- Can be set to 40 languages
- Photos of people can’t be sent without the subject’s consent
- No content moderation
- Low-quality audio or video at times
- You can only sign up with your phone number
Making Calls on Facebook Messenger
Facebook Messenger excels at group chats, allowing large group chats, and the ability to contact businesses with Facebook chats.
- Allows you to message anyone at one time
- You can send a voice clip instead of texting
- Allows you to call or message businesses with Facebook profile
- Users can share a location in chat
- You can order a Lyft or Uber in chat by requesting a ride
- Allows you to confirm flights, boarding, and concert tickets
- Accommodates chats with up to 50 participants
- Conversations can be muted by turning off notifications
- Messenger works with Apple Watch
- People can add you to groups or make you a group administrator without your permission
- The application runs in the background draining your battery
What happens if a desired contact on WhatsApp has a phone that can’t read a barcode?
In this case, the sender must compare a string of 60 digitized numbers to verify that both sides of the WhatsApp chat are encrypted by manually entering them into the application.
How do I sign up for Messenger without a Facebook Account?
To sign up for Messenger without a Facebook account, go to messenger.com or download the Messenger app and choose “Not on Facebook.” The app will then ask you to register a Messenger account with your name, phone number, and optional photo.
WhatsApp Has a Slight Edge Over Facebook Messenger
Our comparison found that the two apps shared many good aspects including being free to download and being compatible with Android, iOS, and PC. However, WhatsApp allows users to upload larger 100b files, call larger groups, and is fully encrypted. Facebook Messenger is less secure allowing surveillance of your data history, browser history, and financial info. That said, both apps are free so there’s no reason that you can’t have them both.
Do you use Messenger or WhatsApp or both? What do you like best about each messaging app? Let us know in the comments section below.