Mobile messaging apps are a great alternative to text and email messaging. Not only do they provide native social networking features, but you get features like free video calling over data or WiFi, enhanced security, and more.
These apps are also available for mobile or desktop platforms and support major operating systems.
Messaging apps are preferred over traditional text messaging because they don’t cost extra fees, especially if you’re chatting with people across the globe. And in most cases, you don’t have to share your phone number to communicate with them.
Plus, you can contact your colleagues outside work hours since you can make video or voice calls or send documents to them. For remote or distributed workers, these apps offer a way to conduct meetings and stay connected across the workday with employees in different time zones.
Viber and WhatsApp are two of the popular messaging apps available today renowned for their additional features, which include native QR code scanners, GIFs, stickers, and more.
If you’re trying to decide which of these apps to use, this comparison review will share more about them, how they work, their features, and pros and cons to help you decide.
Viber is a messaging and calling app that connects you with your loved ones or others wherever they are located. Millions of people use the app for free to make high-quality video and voice calls or send messages and group chats that are secured with end-to-end encryption.
The app is the brainchild of Rakuten, a Japanese e-retailer, who started it as a VoIP app. Over time, Viber has grown to include group messaging, fully synced mobile and desktop apps, among other features we’ll cover in this guide.
Like other services, Viber offers unique features like the Communities, which offers a social network where people around the globe discuss topics that interest them. In partnership with Snapchat, the app also provides AR-powered selfie lenses and self-destructing Secret Chats.
Viber is free to use, but also offers a premium service known as Viber Out for making unlimited international calls to users who haven’t installed the app on their devices.
WhatsApp is another popular messaging and calling app with a standalone chat service that’s used by more than two billion people worldwide.
The app receives regular tweaks to its features, including privacy and security, which have been in the spotlight after parent company – Meta – announced that they were changing their privacy terms and conditions.
Soon after that announcement, millions of users moved to other messaging apps, mainly Telegram and Signal, which promise better privacy and other useful features, including more members in groups or channels.
You also get fine-tuned controls, chat history, and end-to-end encrypted backups. Like Viber, you can make disappearing chats and also transfer your chat history from one phone to another.
WhatsApp is ubiquitous, easy to use, and you can conduct group chats or video calls, send files like music, documents, photos, or videos, and even share map (live included) locations with others.
Viber lets you have authentic conversations just the way you like them so you can deepen your relationships with loved ones, colleagues, and people with whom you share interests. To help you do that, here are some of its powerful features.
You can send texts, files, videos, and photos via Viber quickly. You can also send instant video messages or quick-sending voice messages from the app. The messaging is private and secure so you can have open and authentic conversations with your loved ones or colleagues.
Viber allows you to make crystal clear video and voice calls and switch from either easily.
If you want to talk to a group of people, Viber allows you to do that using this group chat and call feature for voice or video calls. It’s best for a group hangout or family meeting, among other group activities.
Viber offers end-to-end encryption so no one can access your chats – not even the Viber team. Nothing you share can be used for advertising purposes, as some other apps do.
The chats are always safe and private and you own all your conversations. This way, you don’t have to think twice about what you may or may not share when using the app.
Viber doesn’t read or listen to your calls or chats, unlike other messaging apps. It won’t read your personal chats – whether group or one-on-one, so they’re completely safe so that you and the people you talk to can hear or read them.
Not only that, but Viber stores nothing you share on their servers once delivered. The messages hit the recipient’s device as an encrypted code, unless their devices are off or they’re offline, in which case the messages stay for a limited time on Viber servers.
Viber has a self-destruct timer that allows you to send each message as a disappearing message in your chat. Once the person reads your message, it’s automatically removed from the chat on both sides of the conversation.
While the feature is active, you can take screenshots, but the other person will get a notification in the chat.
When you send a message and it has typos or you accidentally hit the send button before working on the text, you can edit or delete the message. Just long tap on the message to fix it quickly. Plus, you can remove it altogether even if it was already seen and control whatever you share.
You can start a safe chat directly when you meet new people in a community or if you find them by name search, without having to expose or exchange your phone number or theirs. You can also hide chats from anyone you don’t want to see the message in a group chat by hiding the chat from your chat list and accessing them with a PIN whenever you want.
You can control the delivery status or online status from being seen by others.
These are public groups on Viber that have people with the same passions – influencers and brands or other groups. You can join these communities with unlimited members, admin controls, endless growth possibilities, and more.
The communities help new members see chat history or join the conversation and you can keep members’ privacy. You can also moderate the discussion if you’re an admin or super admin to manage the community, allow members to add friends using the invite link, and decide whether your members can post in the chat.
You can also delete unwanted messages, ban users who violate your Community rules, and encourage safe chats directly and privately using the hidden-number chat feature.
You can use endless GIFs or stickers for any and every expression on Viber chats.
Viber allows you to exchange secret keys to verify the identity of the person you’re chatting with and notifies you if anything in the contact details changes.
Instant Shopping is Viber’s way of allowing people to add a catalog of products and brands to their chats. You can open a menu of options with the tap of a button, browse, and share products into your chats directly.
When you’re ready to make a purchase, you can tap again to go to the brand’s site and finish your purchase or talk to a customer service representative.
The service is part of the instant shopping experience that Viber together with Rakuten brings. It’s a combination of the knowledge of messaging and eCommerce experience that allows people to connect freely with brands and businesses. It will be rolled out gradually worldwide.
The QR scanner is used to perform tasks in the app. You can install it to another device, join the group, add contacts, and purchase credits to make Viber-to-phone calls or premium stickers.
You can install a secondary app using the QR code and make tasks easier to perform without typos. The feature is available for mobile devices only.
Viber Business offers solutions that help you advertise, promote, and market your business products or services to your customers. You can reach out to new customers thanks to the Stickers and Ads feature, and get incremental visibility.
The messaging solution helps you engage targets and customers under a one-to-one conversation, attract a wider audience with messages and offers, and stand out using strong video content or imagery so people can be engaged and interact with you.
You can make it easy for people to interact with you from their messaging app, and protect the crucial or sensitive information you don’t want them to miss. You can also send relevant messages, ads, and promotions to retain their interest, maintain a relationship, and reward loyalty.
You can also share files, photos, and videos with customers, and pay only when customers receive your messages.
WhatsApp offers simple, reliable, and secure messaging for devices used anywhere in the world, and avoids SMS fees.
This is a free-to-download app designed for use by small business owners. The app allows you to create a catalog to display your offerings to your customers and connect with them by automating, sorting, and responding to messages quickly.
Not only do you get a business profile where you can list your company’s email, website, and address, but you also get labels for organizing and finding your messages and chats easily, plus messaging tools to respond quickly to customers.
With the WhatsApp API, you can support and deliver important notifications to your customers for medium or large businesses.
You can share some of your personal moments via WhatsApp in the latest version of your app. When the encryption is in place, your calls and messages are secured, so only you and whoever you’re communicating with can listen or read them, no one else in between – not even WhatsApp itself.
Group chats are available to help you communicate with and keep in touch with your loved ones or coworkers. These chats can help you share photos, messages, and videos with up to 256 people at once. You can also give your group a name, customize notifications, or mute them, among other things.
This is the web-based version of WhatsApp for desktop and web to help you keep the conversation going. You can sync all your chats seamlessly to your computer so you can chat on any device you want.
You can speak freely on WhatsApp via voice or video calls, no matter their location. Having face-to-face conversations for when sending a text or voice isn’t enough. The calls can use your internet connection instead of your voice minutes so you won’t have to worry about costly charges.
This is an optional feature that provides extra security to your account on WhatsApp. You can see the screen after the successful registration of your phone number.
Each product or service in your catalog comes with a unique title plus optional fields such as website link, description, product, and product code. These are identifiers that help customers easily identify products in the catalog.
You can upload up to 500 products or services to your WhatsApp Business catalog. When updated, your potential and current customers can browse through your offerings and connect with the business.
Customers can also select what they want and share with others so they, too, can reach out to you and ask questions. The catalog sharing option allows businesses to promote your catalog and reach more prospects.
This feature lets you send your catalog link anywhere through other platforms, including social media, and enables other prospects to discover your business and message you directly about your offerings.
The WhatsApp QR code allows people to add you as a contact on WhatsApp. They can quickly scan the code unless you reset it or delete your account, otherwise, it will expire.
However, you need to share the code with someone you trust, because they can forward it to others who can add you as a contact.
It’s an easier way to discover your business, while new or existing customers can send you a message on WhatsApp by scanning your code. You can customize the pre-populated message that someone gets once they scan the code.
You can enable optional business features, including customer service, business discovery, and shopping experiences.
People can send you questions, buy from you or get helpful information through the customer service feature while the discovery feature helps people discover your business via Instagram or Facebook from ads that show them a clickable button to message you via WhatsApp.
This feature is available in limited countries and particular devices. It allows you to send or receive money to and from others.
Novi is a digital wallet that lets you receive or send money without leaving your chat on WhatsApp. It’s not available in all countries except the United States, but it’s a work in progress to be available in other countries.
The shopping button gives users direct access to your WhatsApp Business page catalog. You can get the button from your chat with the users, so it’s easier for them to view and check out your offerings while talking to you directly.
You need a registered account to the app to make the shopping button available and set up a catalog. If you meet the requirements, the button will appear automatically to your customers in their chats with you.
With this feature, you can call and spend time with loved ones or others you share interests with. Use the Messenger app by opening it in your web browser or mobile browser and create rooms where large groups can be on a video chat.
You can send invites through links to your group chats or contacts in WhatsApp so they can join the rooms, whether they have a Facebook account or Messenger app.
Viber offers support via a knowledge base or social media platforms.
The app offers APIs that help you create unique experiences without registration fees. The team will support you through the integration and development process. You get a tech stack from which you can develop bots using REST, Python, or NodeJS, and their open-source projects are maintained by an active contributor community and Viber itself.
The bots will run on major operating systems and platforms, including Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS.
WhatsApp also offers support via social media and a help center.
An API is included for integration purposes so medium and large businesses can power their communication with customers worldwide for simple, secure, and reliable connection.
You can also use it to go to market and partner with messaging experts in WhatsApp’s global business solution directory for enterprise business to customer communications.
Viber is free to use.
WhatsApp is also free to use, including its WhatsApp Business app.
|Voice and video calls
|✅ Instant shopping
|✅ Shopping button
Integrates with Facebook and Instagram
|Stickers, emojis, and GIFs
|✅ (charged per completed authentication)
- Free to use
- Large monthly active user base
- End-to-end encryption available
- Works on all platforms
- Offers QR code for easy access across platforms
- Color coded chats based on security levels
- Supports self-destructing messages
- No need to register with aliases, passwords, or usernames
- Unlimited free text messages, voice, and video calls to other users
- Group text messaging available
- Cheap calling to mobile or landline numbers
- Extensions allow you to share files via chat
- You can send money through Viber
- Offers GIFs and stickers
- Encryption only for one-to-one group chats
- Requires phone number to sign up
- Features ads
- Relatively poorer quality than similar apps
- Free international calls
- Easy to use
- Integrates with Facebook and Instagram
- End-to-end encryption available
- Offers group messaging for many people
- Video chats for up to eight people
- Can send files of up to 100MB
- Doesn’t have ads
- Privacy and encryption is questionable
- Can’t use WhatsApp Business in regulated industries or across organizations
- File sending limited to 100MB for photos and 16MB for videos
- Group chats limited to 250 people
We’ve looked at what Viber and WhatsApp have to offer.
For this round, we recommend using WhatsApp. Not only is it feature-rich and offers similar experiences that you’d find on other messaging apps, but it comes with the advantage of a large active user base so it’s constantly adding newer features as they go along.
Plus, WhatsApp has low-data usage, sometimes none in other regions, and it’s easy to use with a simple but sleek user interface.
WhatsApp also has a vibrant business app with lots of features that work across other apps including Facebook and Instagram, making it ideal for targeting larger audiences.
Tom loves to write on technology, e-commerce & internet marketing. I started my first e-commerce company in college, designing and selling t-shirts for my campus bar crawl using print-on-demand. Having successfully established multiple 6 & 7-figure e-commerce businesses (in women’s fashion and hiking gear), I think I can share a tip or 2 to help you succeed.