Mobile Messaging Feature-by-Feature: WhatsApp vs. Line vs. Viber vs. Telegram, and more

By on February 25, 2014, 1:10 AM

Messaging is not only among the top activities on smartphones (if not THE top activity), messaging apps are increasingly seen as social networks. After all people use them to send each other texts, videos, photos and other content either one-on-one or as a group. Sounds familiar, right?

While WhatsApp is an international phenomenon, it still isn’t as big a deal in the US. It’s also purposely light on features due to a “no ads, no games, no gimmicks” policy. But as it is with any hot trend, there’s no shortage of alternatives. Inside you'll find our side-by-side feature comparison for today’s top contenders this side of the globe, followed by some notes on each company’s Terms of Service and Privacy Policy to give you some perspective on where they stand.

Read the complete article.




User Comments: 19

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Guest said:

What about WeChat, KakaoTalk and ChatON?

atherosXD said:

BBM and Facebook Messenger will be coming to windows phone too this year. April maybe?

Guest said:

Telegram seems to be perfect for me but there are some little things that does concern me.

Guest said:

Telegram seems to be perfect for me but there are some little things that does concern me.

Such as? Would be nice if you can elaborate.

Guest said:

Telegram is the best! its the next gen whatsapp killer that does more straight out of the box... like sending 1080p video's up to 1gb and send any file type you want.

fuzi7 fuzi7 said:

What about WeChat, KakaoTalk and ChatON?
Exactly. WeChat has more users than any of the ones reported. It is also more feature rich.

Guest said:

Hangouts should be much better than it is. If it was implemented the same way Apple do iMessage I wouldn't bother with WhatsApp. Sadly in it's current form it's just easier to use WhatsApp. Personally, I blame Google+ as they use this for authentication rather than the users phone number.

Demios Demios said:

On the Hangouts front. It does allow voice calls and location sharing, pretty easily too. As for stickers those sound like alternative emoji I cannot argue that since I've never looked into it. Additionally I get that we are talking mobile apps and not other features it sounds odd to list other variants and not note that it supports broadcasts and screen sharing via the webclient or chrome app.

Guest said:

What about Skype?

Jim$ter said:

In the USA I would say most people use Facebook APP , Facebook Messenger, or good old SMS. Sure there are plenty of others buy almost everyone is on Facebook and everyone has SMS so that's very hard to match. Kids seem to use snapchat the most. Personally I think its stupid and annoying to use but I'm sure that's why they like it...lol

Guest said:

Great article. I have Telegram installed and I didn't know it had a read receipt.

Guest said:

I'd use hangouts if it was removed from Google+. Of course, Google wants to force its failed social network on everything which is why I have been leaving their products as they are increasingly impossible to use by themselves. The other day Gmail wanted me to create a Drive account just to view a PDF...

Guest said:

Hangouts is very decent and has a Hangouts for SMS feature which delivers messages free via SMS if you have no WiFi/cellular data connectivity. Also the article doesn't seem to cover group video calling which is free on Hangouts.

Staff
Jos Jos said:

Great article. I have Telegram installed and I didn't know it had a read receipt.

In Telegram, the first check mark means delivered and the second means read. This differs from WhatsApp's use of the double check marks: first means sent, second means delivered, and they don't have a read receipt.

Guest said:

Sorry, got some problem with sending comment.

I'm worried about 3rd party unofficial clients and possibility of leaking data trough these, the possible lifetime of whole service - what if someday they'll decide to turn it off? People will find another alternatives or return to other services but still, I'd like to use messenger that will be here for a longer while... Also, since it's russian product - how much secure it is from any FSB data requests?

Guest said:

I started using Line (to the bequest of my Japanese friends) about a month ago. The reason most of my friends used Line is because (as they say), it's not as heavy... and it's consistently compared to how bloated Skype has become in terms of resource requirements.

Which brings me to my question... How much system resources do all these Apps take? I can tell you right now that I'm running at 110K for Skype on my desktop, while Line is sitting at a comfortable 14.5K (also on my desktop). I'm curious what the stats are on iOS and Android devices (in terms of how much processing power they consume).

willwhitworth willwhitworth said:

This chart is all kinds of wrong. It doesn't seem like the author did enough research before creating it. For example, you cannot share videos through Hangouts and it does allow location sharing. Facebook Messenger does have a read receipt. Please fix your chart.

Guest said:

Thanks god im still not lazy and can type the phone number or write an sms to my friends / family with a mobile phone with a normal keyboard

Guest said:

If you install a second client for Telegram (for instance on your desktop) that client will download your entire past conversation history. So they are definitely storing that. If they say they only keep your phone book, they are lying.

Guest said:

Tango should have been on the list.

psycros psycros said:

What, no ICQ?

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