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WhatsApp Messenger vs. Facebook Messenger – Two Different IMs, One Company

There has never been a wider choice when it comes to instant messengers like there is today. However, there is one big problem – which app is the best for your communication needs?

WhatsApp Messenger and Facebook Messenger are two leading instant messengers that control over 79% of the IM market. The weird thing about these two apps is that they are owned by one person and this is Mark Zuckerberg. Facebook bought WhatsApp for a fee of $19 billion early last year. Despite splashing this huge amount, The Zuck himself said that the company will do nothing to change what WhatsApp is.

However, this application has undergone several major changes since this man took over reins of the IM and more is expected to come in the near future. WhatsApp, just like Facebook Messenger, is available on iOS, Android and other major platforms like Windows Phone and BlackBerry. However, the small difference here is that while Messenger is free of any charge, WhatsApp is a freemium app that must be paid for from the beginning of the second year, but only a mere $1 dollar is required a year.

Why is instant messaging important?

It can be argued that traditional SMS is operating on borrowed time and in just a few years to come, it will be no more. This is so because everything will be done over the internet and for sure, everything regarding this change is already in motion.

WhatsApp already has more than 800 million people and it’s targeting to clock 1 billion users by the end of this year. Facebook Messenger on the other hand just clocked the 700 million mark. WhatsApp alone processes over 30 billion messages a day, which is a mind-boggling figure. There are many other players in the industry including Skype, Google Hangouts, Viber and WeChat and they are really showing some tremendous growth. In no time, traditional SMS will lose meaning as people will prefer apps that allow them send videos, photos, voice notes, share contacts, locations and offer many other services more than just texting. However, this post delves on the big guns: WhatsApp Messenger and Facebook Messenger,

So, will it be WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger?

Cost

As noted above, Facebook Messenger is a free to use app. There is no cost for using it apart from what you might incur from internet charges. On the other hand, WhatsApp is only free to download and use for the first one year. You will need to start paying a fee of $1 per year to keep using it. However, there is nothing you get different when you start using the paid version – everything remains the same as with the trial version.

User interface

The design of WhatsApp is nothing compared to what you get on Messenger. In fact, this is one area where this app lets itself down. Yes it’s functional, but it appears dated. In essence, this UI needs an extensive facelift as it looks a bit cheap, ramped and nasty. Even though this might be the perfect look to enter a market with, this app is not new. It has been around since 2009 and by now, we should be seeing something better.

If you are looking for something that will keep your eyes happy, Facebook Messenger is just that. It has a slick look that takes a blue on white styling. The interface you get is also very intuitive and accessing anything is very easy. You can see symbols for Chats, Contacts and Settings when on the homescreen.

Features

These two apps have almost the same capabilities. WhatsApp is used to send voice, video, text and audio messages, all of which can also be sent using Facebook Messenger. You can also share location on both apps. However, it is only Messenger which offers both voice and video calling services. WhatsApp only added the voice calling feature just recently and all supported platforms are yet to receive it.

WhatsApp will ask for your phone number during sign up, however, Messenger only needs your Facebook log in details to sign you in. Better still, the Messenger app also allows the users to include their phone numbers so that they can communicate with both their Facebook contacts and phone contacts as well. This gives Messenger a wider reach than WhatsApp, no wonder it is growing at such a lightning pace.

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