How Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp Compare and Work Together

 
 
By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2016-06-08
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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    How Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp Compare and Work Together
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    How Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp Compare and Work Together

    Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp? We look at the differences and similarities between each Facebook-owned chat app, and how customers can use both.
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    They're Both Free to Use
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    They're Both Free to Use

    Facebook offers both its Messenger application and WhatsApp as free downloads. That's a smart move. By offering a free solution, Facebook is able to attract more users and get to both services registering a billion users—enough for the social network to make a significant sum through advertising. Meanwhile, there's no risk in using both services. It's a win-win.
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    Don't Forget About Bots
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    Don't Forget About Bots

    If bots are an important feature, Facebook Messenger is the right platform. The app now supports bots from a wide array of companies, allowing them to communicate with users to do everything from providing customer service to answering simple questions. Bots could be the next big thing, and Facebook Messenger is their destination.
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    How Important Is Encryption?
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    How Important Is Encryption?

    If users want to choose between WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, they'll also need to determine how important encryption is to them. WhatsApp offers full, end-to-end encryption, ensuring that not even Facebook can see the conversation two users are having. Facebook Messenger, however, doesn't include the feature, though the company is reportedly considering adding it. If privacy is paramount, WhatsApp is the right solution.
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    Go Ahead and Make Calls
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    Go Ahead and Make Calls

    Both WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger allow users to place both voice and video calls from within their apps. While calls over WiFi are free, calls over cellular networks are subject to data limits. Still, both apps offer nice alternatives to traditional calling and video-chatting services, such as Apple's FaceTime or Microsoft's Skype.
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    But Chatting Is Still the Central Experience
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    But Chatting Is Still the Central Experience

    Calling might be fun, but it's chatting that most users are after with Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp. Both apps allow users to send text messages, emoji and all kinds of other content to users in a chat window. Better yet, users can engage in group chats. It's also worth noting users are not limited in the number of messages they can send to others.
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    A Nice Way to Send Photos, Videos
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    A Nice Way to Send Photos, Videos

    Those looking for a nice way to send photos and videos won't go wrong with either WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger. The apps allow users to snap photos or videos easily and send them off to friends with no trouble, similar to messaging apps built into iOS and Android. The multimedia content can be saved in the chat history or deleted later.
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    Sharing a Location Is Nice
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    Sharing a Location Is Nice

    The ability to share your location is available in both Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp. This feature is especially useful for those who are meeting with friends who can't quite find each other.
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    WhatsApp's Support for Offline Messages
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    WhatsApp's Support for Offline Messages

    WhatsApp comes with full support for offline messages. So, if a user sends a message to another while the recipient is offline, the message is delivered and waiting for the recipient when he or she opens the app.
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    Send Some Cash With Messenger
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    Send Some Cash With Messenger

    Facebook has added a payments feature in Messenger, allowing users to send cash to others without any trouble. Users simply attach an account to Facebook Messenger and decide how much they want to send. The money is deposited instantly into the recipient's account for use anywhere and everywhere.
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    Pick a Device, Any Device
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    Pick a Device, Any Device

    Both Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp are platform-agnostic. The apps can be used on Android and iOS, as well as on the Web. So, even if a user decides to switch to another platform, he or she can pick right up with chatting and calling on a new device. That has contributed significantly to the fast uptake in both platforms.
 

When Facebook acquired WhatsApp for $19 billion in 2014, there were some who questioned the move. After all, the price was extremely high, but Facebook's goal was to tap into the messaging service's user base and offer a new way for its own users to communicate. Now, two years later, the idea seems to have made some sense. Although Facebook likely hasn't earned a positive return on its investment just yet, the company is exploring how to monetize WhatsApp in meaningful ways. More importantly, Facebook has shown that Messenger, its own chatting app, and WhatsApp can live side by side and deliver outstanding services to users of all types. In the following slides, eWEEK looks at both of Facebook's messaging apps, discusses their similarities and differences, and identifies what has made them leading solutions for those who want to chat with others around the world without using traditional Short Message Service (SMS) or Apple's iMessage. Read on to learn more about Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp.

 
 
 
 
 
Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Gearlog.com. Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for CNET.com, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at http://twitter.com/donreisinger.
 
 
 
 
 
 

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