Viber and WhatsApp are two of the most popular messaging apps nowadays, and both of them are growing at a steady rate. These two apps have distinct offerings but, for those who are new to the world of online messaging, it can be difficult to choose which app to download and use. If you’re one of those who are still on the fence about Viber and WhatsApp, read this guide to know which app is the right choice for you.
WhatsApp was launched in 2009 as an iOS app. It has one billion users as of February 2016, and more than one million calls have been made in the app as of June 2016. WhatsApp Inc., was acquired by Facebook on February 2014.
Viber, which is a year younger than WhatsApp, was launched on 2010 as an iOS app. It gained 90 million users on July 2012, and this grew to 280 million registered users and 100 million active users per month. Viber Media was acquired by Rakuten on February 2014.
Both Viber and WhatsApp are free to use. You don’t need to pay anything to download and use these apps, although you will have to pay your carrier for the data you consume when you send messages or make calls through Viber or WhatsApp. Because of these, it’s advisable to have an unlimited data plan to avoid expensive data charges.
WhatsApp does not accept third-party advertisement, although it plans to earn revenue by allowing customers to contact brands (and most likely charging the companies for it). Viber, meanwhile, earns revenues from its ViberOut voice calling service, which allows users to call non-Viber users for a fee.
Viber works on certain Android, iPhone, Bada, Symbian, Nokia S40, and Windows Phone devices. It can also be used in computers that are running on Windows, Mac, or Linux.
WhatsApp, meanwhile, is compatible with Android, iPhone, BlackBerry, Symbian, Nokia S40, and Windows Phone devices. However, by the end of 2016, the app will no longer provide support to devices that are running on S40, Symbian, BlackBerry OS, BlackBerry 10, Windows Phone 7.1, iPhone 3GS/iOS 6, and Android 2.1 and 2.2. WhatsApp has a web client called WhatsApp Web (which users can access through their web browser) as well as a native desktop program called WhatsApp Desktop Application (which is compatible with computers running Mac OS X 10.9 and above or Windows 8 and above).
WhatsApp announced on May 2016 that they’re using end-to-end encryption, which means that users’ messages can be read only by their intended recipients and that no one else (not even WhatsApp staff) can read them. This encryption is on by default, so users don’t have to do anything to activate it.
Viber has also announced that they’ve added end-to-end encryption to their app. However, this is only applicable in one-to-one conversations or group chats in which all participants are using the latest version of the app. So, to enjoy this type of encryption, it’s important to encourage your friends and family to update their Viber app.
Both Viber and WhatsApp provide you with free text messaging and voice calls to many countries around the world. They also allow you to share files with your friends and use eye-catching stickers and emojis.
The main difference is that Viber allows you to make video calls while WhatsApp is still in the process of integrating video calls in its service. Viber supports video calls in iOS (iOS 7 or later in iPhone 4s or newer models) and Android (Android 4.0 or later in devices that have a 1.3MP camera or higher and 1.5 GB RAM or higher).
Which App to Use?
WhatsApp is a great choice if online security and privacy is an important factor for you, while Viber is an excellent option if you’d like to make video calls with your friends. The best way to choose between these two apps, though, is to know which app is used by most of your friends and family members and will let you communicate with the majority of your loved ones.
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