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It is not the first time we are discussing WhatsApp and WhatsApp Plus. fact, this is for the umpteenth time and as of now, you should agree that the Facebook-owned messaging app is and will probably retain its stature as one of the most convenient messaging apps of all time.

There are close to one billion people who relish using this application and the figures keep growing as each day passes by. The Google Play Store alone records that WhatsApp has been downloaded on more than one billion occasions, however, this application is not just meant for Android users. There are millions of other users on iOS, Windows Phone, BlackBerry as well as Nokia Symbian OS.

What makes WhatsApp an almost all-round communication tool is the fact that it recently added a voice calling feature. Here, it means the messenger joins the likes of Skype, WeChat and Viber in offering users with free voice calls over the internet. Pundits predict that Facebook developers will include a WhatsApp video calling feature for all platforms very soon, which is a way of ensuring the app competes fairly with others.

But then there is a modified version of this messenger known as WhatsApp Plus. As the name suggests, it is simply WhatsApp, but with a plus as far as features and offerings are concerned. To help you get a better understanding of this modified version, here is a head-to-head comparison of WhatsApp Plus and the original WhatsApp.

WhatsApp and WhatsApp Plus similarities and differences

Basically, WhatsApp and WhatsApp Plus are two very similar apps in terms of functionality and features on offer. However, the latter has gone through some vigorous changes that have made it a much better app, with modified features and services.

From the word go, you may have noticed that WhatsApp prefers using green on its icon while WhatsApp Plus sports blue color, yet the icons are very similar. Since Facebook took over WhatsApp in February 2014 for a fee of $19 billion, it has introduced quite a number of changes in the app. Other than the voice calling and addition of WhatsApp Web PC client, the latest version of this messaging app comes with a fresh, green material design as well as grey and white colors.

On the other hand, WhatsApp Plus offers more than 700 themes; all of which can be used to customize the look of the app. In addition, the app lets you change the font styles, sizes and colors as you wish; features that you won’t find on the original app.

Both apps are equipped with beautiful emoticons; however, WhatsApp Plus offers more. Users can also access the same emoticons that those using Google Hangouts have access to. Unfortunately, the additional emoticons on the modified version only work between people using the modified version, otherwise, they will appear as question marks on the original app.

WhatsApp has made some adjustments in its emoticons collection recently, adding the Vulcan salute and the middle finger emojis. In addition, users can now enjoy using these emojis in a variety of six colors, which eliminates the racial barrier that the previous Caucasian-only emojis provided.

Privacy concerns are primarily what made some users dump WhatsApp for WhatsApp Plus. Initially, it was only the latter app that allowed users to hide their online status and last seen as well. However, upon realizing this, developers of the original app added these functionalities to the app’s privacy options.

In terms of sharing files, WhatsApp still lags behind WhatsApp Plus. This is true because while the latter allows sharing of files with sizes of up to 50MB, the former only allows a maximum of 16MB.

Finally, WhatsApp charges its users $0.99 per year for using the app from year two onwards, yet WhatsApp Plus remains free throughout.