Viber vs. WhatsApp: Which App Does More?

The best way to test a messaging app is with an SMS.

That would have been true even couple of years ago. Not any more. Instant messaging apps like Viber and WhatsApp have changed the rules of the game by becoming lifestyle brands while SMS gulps air.

Think about it. These apps are one of the reason we check our smartphones so many times each day. An hour without the tinkle of an alert and your FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) kicks in. The latest viral videos, breaking news, or the hottest gossip pass through their portals for our immediate attention.

You can’t test apps like Viber and WhatsApp with a message. You must test it against your lifestyle. So, let us do a test run with both Viber and WhatsApp and see which app does more.

A Brief Introduction to Both Apps.

WhatsApp is owned by Facebook and used by more than one billion people around the world. It is the most popular messaging app around the globe.

Viber is owned by Japan’s Rakuten and has 800 million users worldwide. It is among the more popular chat apps after WhatsApp and Facebook’s own messenger.

Both Viber and WhatsApp Are Similar in Many Ways

  1. Viber and WhatsApp are free to download and use.
  2. You can install and activate both with a simple phone number.
  3. Both have similar messaging capability with video, audio and picture messages.
  4. Both messaging apps are supported on iOS, Android, Windows, and Mac. WhatsApp can also be used as a web app while Viber has a Chrome extension.
  5. Share PDFs, documents, spreadsheets, or slideshows directly through both Viber and WhatsApp.
  6. Viber and WhatsApp allow you to make private groups and have group chats.
  7. End-to End encryption is a standard feature in both.
  8. Both are supported by Google Now and Siri.

But There Are Key Differences Too

Popular messaging apps like to keep up with one another. Boundaries between the messaging platforms erode as popular features get adopted. Even then, there are some marked differences which help us to pit one app against the other.

Making Calls

Viber forges a step ahead from WhatsApp with a feature called Viber Out. Buy call out credits and you can call any phone – landline or mobile – anywhere in the world. This way, Viber works like a phone for international calls on any number at low rates. And, a true Skype competitor.

 

With WhatsApp, you can make local and international VoIP calls to other WhatsApp users only. You can’t call someone on any other landline or smartphone number. For instance, you can’t access 911 and other emergency service numbers through WhatsApp.

Both Viber and WhatsApp allow you to record and send short voice messages.

Which app does more: Viber.

Take A Photo (Or Video)

With Viber, you can take a photo and choose a sticker to add a few frills to it. Or, just go with some text and doodles.

WhatsApp lacks stickers but you can make up with emois and doodles. The camera also has a few filters which you can add to the GIFs, photos, and videos shared with the WhatsApp camera.

Which app does more: Viber.

Use from The Desktop

Both WhatsApp and Viber have cross-platform desktop support. Viber has a Linux client too. Viber steals a march over WhatsApp as you can make phone and video calls through its desktop app. A small but important bonus is that you can transfer ongoing calls between devices.

The Widows, Mac, and browser versions of WhatsApp offer the instant messaging and file sharing features alone.

Which app does more: Viber.

Chat with Groups

Both Viber and WhatsApp allow you to set up private groups and chat with a close circle of friends or family. One person is the designated group admin. You can also set up an unlimited number of groups. WhatsApp allows 256 people to chat at once in a single group while Viber has an upper limit of 250.

But Viber takes it one step further with Public Accounts. These are like “common rooms” where businesses, interests, brands and users can all meet and interact. Think of them as a combo of IRC chat rooms and the Facebook pages of today.

You can even build a bot to make conversations interactive. Public Accounts are a useful tool in the hands of a business who want to provide another level of experience.

Which app does more: Viber.

Security with Encryption

Right out of the tin, both WhatsApp and Viber offer end to end encryption. No third party can listen to them. Messages display the default lock icon. On WhatsApp, you can take an extra step to verify the security with a QR code and a 60-digit number as you can see below.

On Viber, you can authenticate the contacts that you trust the most from the chat screen itself. This gives you an extra level of protection as Viber learns that the person you are communicating with is who they say they are.

Which app does more: Both are same.

Self-Destructing Messages

WhatsApp doesn’t have this Snapchat-esque feature yet.

Viber allows you to start a secret chat and set a self-destructing timer which will delete the message at the time limit. You can secret chat with one contact or as a group. You can also make your video messages disappear after a set limit once it has been viewed one time.

 

Which app does more: Viber.

Shop and Play

Here’s where the similarities start to swerve in other directions. Viber has several features that add to the “fun quotient’ of the app. One of the newest additions to the menu is called Instant Shopping.

Brand hop with Instant Shopping. Browse a catalog of branded products from your chat. Share them with your friends before you decide to buy the product from the brand’s website. Instant Shopping was opened in the U.S. and is rolling out worldwide.

Send money through Viber. Users from United States, United Kingdom, Ireland and France.  can also use the app as a digital wallet and send money to another country using Western Union through the Viber app.

Express yourself 1000 colorful stickers. Use the free sticker packages or buy more from the Viber Sticker Market. Because sometimes you need to really express yourself!

Play games on Viber. Play with your friends and invite anyone to play with you. Viber does not have its own games but it acts a chat bridge for some third-party games you can download from the app.

For now, WhatsApp lacks the ecommerce features but there are plans to launch payments in some countries.

Which app does more: Viber.

Viber Vs. WhatsApp – Who Is The Winner?

Let’s pause here and come back to our personal principles of using a messaging app in the first place. The messaging app you choose will be the ones your friends and family are on. That will be the winner.

In this face-off, it seems that Viber has stolen the march from WhatsApp. But you don’t have to worry as you can use both for free and see which one syncs more with your lifestyle. You might like the simplicity of WhatsApp (which helps in lower data consumption) or go for the feature-richness of Viber. After all, chat apps aren’t about simple messages anymore.

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