The Instant Messaging Showdown of the Age
WeChat and Viber have long been battling it out for the title of the best Messenger in the market.
Most ratings of these messengers are on the basis of the number of people who use them and not their attributes. While this system is perfectly alright, to an extent, let’s see what the production houses have put on the table.
Both run on Android, iOS, Windows and Blackberry but Viber also runs on Bada and Nokia whereas WeChat runs on Nokia S40. This gives Viber a minute edge over WeChat but as the latter can connect via browser. This seems to balance out all right. Platform wise, though, Viber wins.
This is where scales tip. Aside from the basic text, photo and video sharing, Viber allows you to make voice calls, whereas WeChat has you settle with voice notes. But then the ball drops. WeChat features contact details, allows you to make video calls and, perhaps its most outstanding feature, Live Chat. Live Chat is more or less a Walkie-Talkie which makes the app so much better than Viber.
Viber features a Mac and Windows desktop app which seems pretty decent, even when compared to the earlier mentioned browser connectivity of WeChat. While you can send text and make video calls from the Viber desktop app, WeChat allows you to transfer files, which come in handy at a lot of occasions.
Viber compiles each conversation into .CSV files, zips them and sends them to the attached email, where you can store them safely. The bad news is that this only works for text. WeChat, meanwhile, allows you to transfer your chat history to another device. You can save the conversation history to their server for seven days, with a password to secure it, and access it on another device. Yet again, WeChat has it in the bag.
WeChat offers Moments Feed, Look Around, Shake and Drift Bottle as Social add-ons whereas Viber offers nothing on these lines. These add-ons make chatting with friends that much more fun but also complicates things a little. WeChat has room for an extra participant for groups, taking the total up to forty versus the thirty nine of Viber. Both offer custom emoticons and stickers and are entirely free of cost.
Not that we are saying WeChat is better, but it wouldn’t hurt to switch from your Viber to the Chinese messenger app. It is available in a variety of languages, offers slightly better features and has a steadily growing user base. Of course, Viber is much easier to use than its competitor and has a much larger user base, which also has to be taken into consideration. Overall it’s a fair choice between the two. If you need to move between devices a lot then WeChat is your pick because of its excellent backup but if you are sticking to one device then go for Viber; easier to use with almost as many attributes as WeChat.