Before acquiring WhatsApp in 2014 for about $19 billion, Facebook had earlier on shown interest in offering $3 billion for the acquisition of Snapchat in 2013.
Currently, WhatsApp is owned by Facebook whereas Snapchat is independently owned by the Snapchat Company. These two messaging applications offer almost similar services and they independently command substantial numbers in the social networking industry. They are both popular and unique in their own ways. Snapchat has more than 100 million monthly active users with about 7 billion videos getting viewed on the app daily. WhatsApp on the other hand has close to one billion monthly active users with over 64 billion messages getting exchanged over the application on a daily basis.
Facebook’s initial interest in these two apps is still unknown. Since acquiring WhatsApp, Facebook has not initiated any revenue generation activity from the service as it is free and also does not support ads. Snapchat, with a current valuation ranging from $10 to $20 billion, supports ads on its platform through the “Discover” feature. Business aside, the contest of interest is consumer based regarding the features and the experiences that the two distinct applications offer.
Requirements and accessibility
Both apps are downloadable but for WhatsApp, a SIM card or rather a phone number is linked to the application. Snapchat is not linked to any phone number. You can log in to the service without a phone number.
Apart from mobile phone, WhatsApp can also be accessed from tablets and PCs, whereas Snapchat is only tablet-optimized. Better still, once installed you don’t need to have your SIM card on the same device you use WhatsApp on.
In WhatsApp, other contacts get to know if the user is available to get contacted at a particular moment or not. User activity history on WhatsApp can also be visible to other friends. Snapchat does not show user availability status and as such you only get to know if someone else is online when they reply to your message.
With Snapchat you can share photos from both front and rear snappers as well as create videos that you can share. Shared photos, videos and even messages on Snapchat however get deleted after some short set period of time, usually 10 seconds (self-destruction). WhatsApp allows for sharing of multimedia content too, but they can be saved and stored for as long as the user wants.
WhatsApp users are also able to share links, audio files, contacts and their status updates with other users while on the other hand, Snapchat allows users to share many pictures via “Story of the Day” feature.
Creativity with pictures
Snapchat allows for added creativity to pictures such that you can doodle, add captions, filters and lenses to your photos. WhatsApp has a library of emojis for feelings’ expression and also allows for third party stickers.
Video chat and voice calling
Users can engage in one-on-one video conversations on Snapchat whereas this is not possible on WhatsApp. This should not be confused with video calling. In WhatsApp, users are allowed to make and receive voice calls within the application without the involvement of carrier charges. This is however not possible in Snapchat.
Other WhatsApp users’ contacts on your phonebook are added automatically to your app’s contact list whereas Snapchat allows users to add contacts after their requests have been accepted. As mentioned earlier, WhatsApp contacts can be shared with other users though this is not possible on Snapchat.
Snapchat only allows users to personalize the app’s QR code. In WhatsApp, the user is allowed to personalize the theme, wallpaper as well as background color. Further, the user is also allowed to add a WhatsApp widget on the phone’s home screen for quick access to chats.
The apps have both their pros and cons. From the comparison, it seems that WhatsApp has more and better tools of communication compared to Snapchat which ideally does best when it comes to sharing of photos and videos. Depending on your needs and comfort, however, the choice of application rests with you. You can as well opt to have both applications installed on your phone and use them to experience the difference.
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