7th June 2018

Whatsapp vs Facebook Messenger - are they really all that different?

Laura Knowles

Laura Knowles Senior Account Executive

Digital

Whatsapp vs Facebook Messenger - Are They Really All That Different?

Recently I was chatting with my friend on Facebook Messenger and he asked me if I had Whatsapp? I replied, “No.” I don’t; I had never seen the interest with Whatsapp or the need to have it as I use Facebook’s chat service so much.

A few years ago I did download Whatsapp but the fact that you had to pay for it after a year really put me off - why should I pay for a messaging app when there are plenty of other, free, options out there? This conversation got me thinking, maybe I should download Whatsapp and see what I’m missing out on.

After doing some reading I discovered that you no longer have to pay to use Whatsapp and that the app was now owned by Facebook (oh the irony!). This could explain why both platforms are similar in their offerings, both use a wi-fi / data connection and have messaging, video calling, voice messaging and can send and receive video/ photos/ files.

Again both platform have group chat to save you sending multiple messages and also you can see when your message has been read and when users were last active so you can see if people have read your message and are not responding or just not reading your message and ignoring you….Not that this ever happens to me! ** Cough, cough! **

So what if you don’t have Facebook?

Whatsapp is a perfect solution for the social-media shy. There are no ads or endless posts from long-losts school friends, and it’s more private than Facebook, since you don’t tend to add as many friends Like Facebook it works both on desktop and mobile but it have some features which may have the edge over Facebook when it comes to a marketing point of view.

Many brands are using Facebook’s chat bot capability to extend their conversation with consumers and provide instant messaging and customer services. But with the rise of dark social, used by brands such as Nike, Whatsapp’s broadcast function could be a much more cost-effective, direct and less-salesy way of reaching influencers and audiences.

At the moment it seems Facebook Messenger and Whatsapp’s features are on a pretty even playing field, which is hardly surprising since they’re essentially one and the same. And even though I’m not a total Whatsapp convert just yet, I’m interested to watch the two services as they develop and diversify in the future. 

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