If you are interested in the major similarities and differences between the two most used instant messaging options out there, this detailed WhatsApp vs Facebook Messenger guide explores everything you need to know. When compared to other instant messaging services out there including Facebook Messenger, Viber, Telegram, and Signal, WhatsApp is the most popular service of this kind with the largest user base.
According to several recent studies done on the global usage of instant messaging apps, WhatsApp is followed by Facebook Messenger that has around 1.3 billion users. The third place is reserved for WeChat that has almost 1 billion users. WhatsApp is extremely popular in Africa, the vast majority of Europe as well as North America. Facebook Messenger is very popular in Europe, Australia, and North America as well.
WhatsApp Vs Facebook Messenger – Which One is the Market Leader?
As mentioned in the previous section, with over 2 billion users, WhatsApp is the market leader. As estimated recently, WhatsApp users deliver around 100 billion instant messages every day. While WhatsApp has the biggest active user base, Facebook Messenger is closely following. There are only twenty-five countries where WhatsApp does not lead the market while at the same time, the service is the preferred instant messaging option in the United Kingdom and one hundred and sixty-nine other countries.
However, it is not the most used instant messaging app in its domestic market of the United States where Facebook Messenger is the leader. Speaking of the United States, here WeChat, Telegram, and other instant messaging options do not play any major role. In the United States, WhatsApp is the third most used instant messaging service after Facebook Messenger and Snapchat. The bottom line, this WhatsApp vs Facebook Messenger battle comes down to security, privacy, and other services’ features which are explored in detail further.
What is WhatsApp, How It Works?
The very first WhatsApp version was released back in 2009 so over a decade ago by WhatsApp LLC. Developed by Brian Acton and Jan Koum, WhatsApp is the most used instant messaging cross-platform, freeware, and voice-over-IP service. The service was acquired by Facebook Inc back in 2014 or five years after the initial release so both Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp are owned by the same company.
As expected from an instant messaging service with such a great user base, with WhatsApp, you can send voice as well as text messages, you can share files, documents, images, and videos, you can share your location, and more. The service’s client app runs smoothly on Android and iOS-powered devices and you can get the app for free from the Google Play Store and App Store. The service is also available to desktop users who use Windows and Mac OS desktop devices. However, to use the desktop version of the app, users still need to connect the app client to their cell phone number.
Providing a cellular phone number is always required to register and get started. In addition to this standard client app, the company behind WhatsApp also released a business version of the game WhatsApp Business that targets business owners. WhatsApp also uses Signal encryption technology thanks to which you can rest assured that your WhatsApp private messages and files shared are always protected and safe.
- Relies on Signal encryption protocols
- Free video and voice messages
- Sharing files, images, and documents
- Group chats and calls
- Desktop and mobile apps free
- Requires a cellular phone number
What is Facebook Messenger, How It Works?
Further in this WhatsApp vs Facebook Messenger guide, we take a look at the second most used instant messaging service Facebook Messenger. Owned and operated by the same company that operates and owns WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger was released in August of 2011 or two years after WhatsApp. Neatly developed by Facebook Inc. Facebook Messenger was released as Facebook Chat in 2010 but the company decided to upgrade the service and change its name to what we know today.
At the time of its release, Facebook Messenger was only available to iOS and Android mobile users while today, the service offers a standalone website client as well as a desktop app that can be downloaded for free from the App Store and Microsoft Store to macOS and Windows-powered desktop devices. Just like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger lets you send text and voice messages, make video and voice calls, exchange files including images and videos, as well as send stickers, and more.
In order to start using Facebook Messenger, you need to provide your Facebook login or you need to create your Facebook account if you do not have one. Unlike WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger does not require providing your cellular phone number to get started. With WhatsApp, you can share your contacts from your contact list while Facebook does not offer this option. Also, with Facebook Messenger, you cannot send documents while this option is available when using WhatsApp.
Facebook Messenger is not end-to-end encrypted like WhatsApp but you can send end-to-end encrypted messages using the Facebook Messenger Secret Conversations option. When you turn on this option, your messages are one hundred percent safe and secure as literally nobody can access them or modify them. Once again, to send end-to-end encrypted Facebook Messenger messages, you need to enable the option on the app.
- Free desktop and mobile app
- Does not require a cellular phone number
- Video and photo sharing
- Voice and video calling
- Secret Conversations option
- Vanish Mode for disappearing messages
WhatsApp Vs Facebook Messenger – Which One is Better
As suggested in the previous section of our WhatsApp vs Facebook Messenger guide both instant messaging services have their pros. While they are very similar, there are some differences between the two as well. One of the major differences lies in their privacy and data security measures. While WhatsApp uses end-to-end encryption, your Facebook Messenger messages are not end-to-end encrypted by default and you have to use the service’s Secret Conversations option to add this extra protection layer to your Facebook messages.
To use WhatsApp, you need to provide your cellular phone number, while Facebook asks for your Facebook account login info to get started. Both offer you the option to send disappearing or self-destruct messages which is a huge plus and both provide all major instant messaging options including video and voice calling, file sharing, and more. So, which service wins the ultimate WhatsApp vs Facebook Messenger battle. The answer depends on your preferences. If you want more social options, Facebook Messenger is better for you but if you are looking for a safer service, WhatsApp wins.