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WhatsApp vs. WeChat vs. Line: The Best Messaging App To Download

29 April 2016, 3:58 pm EDT By Lauren Keating Tech Times
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We are always on our phones talking to family, friends, followers and the world, yet we prefer to communicate through text. If you are a text-o-holic, downloading a messaging app is simply a must.

While you could group text to make plans or fill your circle of friends in with the latest news, messaging apps are better for a number of reasons.

Case in point, not everyone you know has an unlimited texting plan. Additionally, what if you need to talk to someone who is on vacation or just moved to another country? Messaging apps are typically free to download and free to use, providing the platform to communicate in real-time.

The app stores are filled with various messaging apps that appear to be the same, but actually have both slight and significant differences. Among these types of apps are the most popular ones: WhatsApp, WeChat and Line.

Instead of forcing your friends to download all three to see which one you wind up liking the best in the end, we are breaking down the pros and cons and major features so that all you have to do is download and start chatting.

When it comes to WhatsApp vs. WeChat vs. Line, here's what you can expect.


WhatsApp

Price: Free

Available For: iOS, Android

Languages: English, Arabic, Catalan, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Malay, Norwegian Bokmål, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Simplified Chinese, Slovak, Spanish, Swedish, Thai, Traditional Chinese, Turkish, Ukrainian, Vietnamese.

Pros: All you need is an Internet connection on your phone to be able to send free messages including text, videos, photos and files to your contacts anywhere in the world.

Main Features: Users can send and receive individual and group messages in real-time. If you don't have the app open, your phone dies or it has no service, WhatsApp saves the messages so that you can view them all when you can. Users can also make calls directly through the app, customize sounds and notifications, access messages on the Web and even format text. You can even send files from Word, Excel and PDFs.

Best Features: All types of messages are encrypted in WhatsApp, so users can have peace of mind that their files are protected. There are no usernames needed, and contacts are synced automatically from the phone's address book so you can start chats right away.

WeChat

Price: Free

Available For: iOS, Android

Languages: English, Arabic, Chinese (Hong Kong), French, German, Hebrew, Hindi, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Malay, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Simplified Chinese, Spanish, Thai, Traditional Chinese, Turkish, Vietnamese.

Pros: Over half a billion people use WeChat, so there's a good chance your friends already have this app downloaded. Users can also talk to contacts for free across countries, but this messaging app has much more social features than WhatsApp (that will be explained below).

Main Features: Users can send text messages with groups of up to 500 people, as well as make voice and video calls, and send videos and images. There are many ways to add contacts, such as sending an email, text or via social media like Facebook and LinkedIn, scanning a contact's QR code, adding official accounts and using "Friends Radar" to find nearby friends. Users can do more than just chat on this app, since there are gaming, shopping and even electronic payment features, although the latter two are only available in China.

Best Features: WeChat is the messaging app for those who want to do more than just send their friends a text. The platform allows users to play games with friends, compete in fitness challenges using WeRun-WeChat, and friends can even send animated stickers to further express how they feel or stress a point. The latest update to iOS comes with Apple Music and iTunes support to share songs. Users can also share and view photos in the "Moments" section, which is similar to Facebook's News Feed.

LINE

Price: Free

Available For: iOS, Android

Languages:  English, Arabic, French, German, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Malay, Portuguese, Russian, Simplified Chinese, Spanish, Thai, Traditional Chinese, Turkish, Vietnamese.

Pros: This app has over 600 million users worldwide, making it another popular option for sending free messages, including voice and video calls. Users can store messages and media to easily share for later.

Main Features: Users send text, voice and video calls for free, as well as store messages and media to easily share later with friends. Up to 200 people can be included in group calls. There is a "Timeline" feature similar to Facebook where users can share posts, photos and stickers publicly so that friends can see what they are up to. There is also a QR reader, although contacts are imported automatically from the phone's contacts.

Best Features: Line brings more fun to group chats by allowing to sending stickers, which is a main difference from WhatsApp, but makes it more similar to WeChat. However, many of the stickers and themes need to be purchased with Line coins (in-app purchases). Users can also add official accounts, news sites like CNN, streaming services like Hulu, artists like Taylor Swift and more. There is also the option to set up Line pay, the app's mobile payment feature.

Conclusion

via GIPHY

All three apps are extremely popular and great options for those looking for free communication with family and friends. WhatsApp's main selling point is its end-to-end encryption, and it is a no-frills service that is best used for business. WeChat and Line, on the other hand, have more social features, with WeChat offering a bit more with games and Line used by many celebs.

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