WhatsApp vs. WeChat – Boils down to your Needs

This is the age of smartphones and most of us have given up the use of traditional SMS messages and calls.

Instead, we depend on messaging apps for communication. WhatsApp and WeChat are two very popular messaging applications. Here’s a comparison of the two apps, in respect of the various categories.

WhatsApp – Support for Platforms

iPhones running on the iOS 4.3 and higher, as well as the Android devices 2.1 and above support WhatsApp. You cannot download the application on your iPod or any other tablet, as it is not optimized for it. WhatsApp is also supported by Blackberry 4.6 devices and Windows Phone 7.5 and higher along with many other Nokia phones, though it is not supported on your PC. WhatsApp is a paid application with a $0.99 charge for iOS phones, whereas it is available free for one year on other phones and then costs $0.99 for further use every year.

WeChat – Support

iOS 4.3 version, Android 2.0, Blackberry 5.0 and Windows Phone 7.5 version along with the recent Nokia S40 beta version offer support for WeChat, which is a free app. The app also comes with a web chatting feature, enabling you to chat with a contact on a PC browser. You can also send files to the device. Another interesting feature is the Web Grab feature enabling you to shake a webpage from a PC browser to your mobile device.

Communication Features

In case of WhatsApp, you can send pictures, texts, as well as video clippings and data related to your location, which opens on Google Maps. You can also send audio clippings and contacts of your friends to another contact through WhatsApp. But there is no support for voice calling. You can chat with groups with a maximum of 30 people in the group along with the use of a wide range of Emoji.

As for WeChat, you can send pictures, audio and video clippings, text and data related to your location along with contact details. In addition, WeChat offers support for video calls and a live chat feature, whereby you can talk with friends in a walkie-talkie fashion. The app also features some social add-ons, which allow you to make new friends in an interesting way. For instance, the Look Around feature allows you to make friends with others who are nearby. The Shake feature enables you to engage with a stranger. The Drift Bottle helps you cast messages that others using WeChat can read. You can also disable all these social features if you don’t want them. It allows group chatting with a maximum of 40 members and offers interesting features such as stickers and customized emoticons that you can use.

Security Features

WhatsApp requires you to give a valid mobile phone number before registering for the app service. Once your mobile number is registered, the app will go through your phone contact list and note the ones who already have the app on their mobiles. You can then send messages to friends and contacts having the app on their device without getting any approval or screening. If anyone has your number of their device, they can also freely send messages to you. But you can block a sender if you don’t want to receive messages from them. People can also see when you were online, but you can also turn this feature off.

Similarly, WeChat also needs a mobile number and scans your contacts list. However, you have to send a contact a request for chatting with them by clicking on the Add Contact button and get an approval from them before you start chatting.

Bottom Line

Both WeChat and WhatsApp allow users to send text and photographs as well as videos and data related to location. They offer all the basic functions of a messaging application. However, users can have more fun with WeChat, as it also has a lot of social and fun features that can help you expand your networking circle. WeChat also offers support for voice calls, so you can make free calls to friends and contacts.

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