Mobile Messaging App Face-Off: WhatsApp Vs. Viber Vs. WeChat

Posted by Harshad

Mobile Messaging App Face-Off: WhatsApp Vs. Viber Vs. WeChat

Mobile Messaging App Face-Off: WhatsApp Vs. Viber Vs. WeChat

Posted: 18 Jun 2013 08:01 AM PDT

This is the generation of ‘smartphone holders’. Yes we are talking about you. If you are reading this, chances are your smartphone is no further than 3 feet from you and you sometimes hear custom notification alerts for your email, messages and updates even when nothing new came in.

WhatsApp Vs Viber Vs WeChat

For most of us, we have forgone the use of SMS and calls and have depended instead on messaging apps for most of our communication needs. All messaging apps are not created equal. Some are better than others, but the question is which is the best?

We’re here to help you answer that by comparing what we feel are the 3 best messaging apps (so far) out there: WhatsApp, Viber and WeChat. In this showdown, we will be looking at these apps in 5 categories, listed below in no particular order.

Not big on text? Skip the details and go straight to the table recap down below.

1. Supported Platforms & OS

Let’s first take a look at the platforms, mobile OS and devices each app supports.


WhatsApp is supported on the iPhone on iOS 4.3 and above, and Android phones 2.1 and above. However, you cannot download it on the iPod, any tablet of any OS or on jailbroken or unlocked iPhones (or maybe you can but it won’t be optimized for it).

WhatsApp also works on Blackberry OS 4.6 and above, Windows Phone 7.5 and above and a wide range of Nokia S40 and S60 phones. However, it is found lacking in the desktop support department.


WhatsApp is a paid app, going for a one-off $0.99 for iOS, while on other phones, it is free for a year and will cost $0.99 per year of subsequent use.

Supported Platforms: iOS | Android | Windows Phone | BlackBerry | Nokia S40 | Nokia Symbian


Viber is supported above iOS 4.3, Android OS 2.0, Windows Phone 7, as well as on Blackberry OS5 and OS7, Nokia S-40 and S-60. Viber also works on Bada and has recently been made available for desktops (Mac OS 10.7 and above, Windows) via Viber Desktop. This means that you can make a call to friend who has Viber on their computer.


Viber is a free app with no ads so if you are allergic to ads, you are going to love Viber.

Supported Platforms: iOS | Android | Windows Phone | BlackBerry | Nokia | Bada | Windows | Mac


WeChat is supported above iOS 4.3, Android OS 2.0, Blackberry OS 5.0, Windows Phone 7.5 and until recently Nokia S40 (beta). To add to that the Web Chat feature lets you chat with a friend on the desktop browser; linking is done with your device via QR Codes.


Web Chat also lets you send files to your device and there is a handy browser plugin called Web Grab that lets you shake webpages from your desktop browser into your phone.

Like Viber, WeChat is also a free app.

Supported Platforms: iOS | Android | Windows Phone | BlackBerry | Nokia | Web WeChat


All 3 messaging apps are supported on iOS, Android, Windows Phone, BlackBerry and Nokia. However, WeChat has a web app which allows you to send WeChat messages from your browser. Viber also offers cross-platform desktop solutions for both Windows and Mac letting you not only text friends on smartphones but also make calls to them.

We would say Viber is a few steps ahead of WhatsApp and WeChat, in terms of supported platforms.

2. Messaging & Communicating features

Now we’ll take a look into each app and what they have to offer.


With the use of an Internet connection you can send text, photos, video clips, your location data (that opens up on Google Maps), audio clips as well as a friend’s contact to another friend via WhatsApp. It does not however support voice calls.

(Image Source: Pankaj Chhabra)

WhatsApp also allows group chat (max: 30) and the use of a massive pile of Emoji.


Viber has voice calls using 3G or Wi-Fi on top of being able to send text, photos, videos and location data. With the recent update of Viber Desktop, you can even make calls to a friend on a desktop.

To have Viber work on your desktop you need to first have Viber on your smartphone. Once it is set up, you can even swap an ongoing Viber call on your smartphone to the desktop and back, seamlessly.


Its built-in custom emoticons and stickers (larger versions of emoticons) are something extra for users who prefer using images while chatting. Group chat is supported for up to 39 people.


Apart from sending text, pictures, videos, audio clips, location data and contact details, WeChat also supports Video Calls, and also Live Chat where you can communicate with a friend in a walkie-talkie fashion. WeChat is also the only app with a few social add-ons that let you make new friends randomly.


Look Around lets you make friends with people by proximity. Shake is the roulette style of engaging with a random stranger and if you aren’t big on talking, just use Drift Bottle to cast messages into the open sea in WeChat for others to read. If you don’t want to use these social add-ons you can disable them under Settings > Feature.

Group chats can be initiated via QR codes which you can email up to 40 friends to join in and chat. And it also comes with built-in stickers and custom emoticons for you to use.


All 3 apps allow you to send text, photos, videos and location data – ‘basic functions’ as it is also found in other messaging apps. You certainly can have more fun on WeChat as it comes with a wide variety of communication and social features built to expand your networking circles.

Viber and WeChat also support voice calls if you want to make free calls with your friends or family members, however, if you just want to contact your friends via text messaging, WhatsApp will suffice.

3. Privacy & Security

These apps use the contact list on your device to determine which of your contacts are already using the app so you can begin chatting with them. Here’s how they work.


WhatsApp requires a valid phone number to register for the service. When it is registered on your device, WhatsApp will scan your device’s contact list to determine who are already on WhatsApp. You can send messages to WhatsApp friends without any sort of ‘contact approval’.

This also means, whoever has your number can also WhatsApp you but you can block them by going to Settings > Chat Settings > Blocked. This will ensure that you do not receive messages from them. Others can also see when you’re online or the last time you used the app, but you can turn this feature off under Settings > Chat Settings > Advanced.

The 2 green ticks in a personal (not group) conversation determines if your messages have been delivered to them, but you have no way of knowing if they have read your message or not.

WhatsApp only works on one number and one device although there is an option to re-register a new phone number to your existing WhatsApp account. WhatsApp encrypts your messages as you send it so it is harder for the message to be intercepted by a third party.


Like WhatsApp, you’ll need a mobile number to validate Viber; the access code is sent via SMS. Viber instantly integrates with your own contact list on your device so you can message them via the app. People with your contact number can see if you’re currently online, or the last time you opened up Viber. You can turn this off under More > Settings > Online Status but note that doing this means you can’t see their online status too.

Viber uses Google Analytics to track information like IP Address data storage and maintenance services (among others) of its users. If you don’t like this, you can turn it off at More > Settings > Collect Data.


Like the former two, WeChat also requires a mobile number and will notify other users that you are on WeChat. It will then scan your contact list but in order to begin chatting with people, you’re required to send them a contact request by tapping the Add Contact button. They’ll then have to approve your request before you can start chatting.

When you use WeChat’s social add-ons, WeChat users who are not on your contact list cannot see your phone number. If you don’t like to share your phone number but want to chat with these users, you can use a WeChat ID or QR Name Card to mask your identity.

There are many privacy options for Friend Verification, Block List, Moments Feed and more. You can change all of these under Settings > Privacy to ensure your information is safe.


Although you can turn off Google Analytics on Viber, it poses a privacy issue for those who don’t know about this default data collection mode (but now you do).

WeChat offers a lot of social features but provides privacy settings to disable them, and the requirement of adding a contact means random people cannot message you. But if you purely want a messaging app just to contact the friends you already have on your Contact list, for free, then stick with WhatsApp.

4. Backup Options

Before you commit to using a primary messaging app, you should think about the backup options available on each app to keep your precious messages.


The backup process on WhatsApp is different on each device but essentially the chat history is saved on the device on a daily basis for Android, Windows Phone and Nokia. To transfer all your chat history to another device (imagine that you got a new phone) on the same OS, you can manually backup your chat history before transferring it to your second, newer device.

For the iPhone and Blackberry you can opt to email your conversation to yourself to store as a makeshift chat history. This also works on the Windows Phone.


Viber has a simple backup feature where it will compile each conversation you have into separate .CSV files. It will then zip all these conversations and attach it onto an email which you can send out (to yourself).

Viber Backup

However, only text is backed up, all your audio and video clips aren’t. This is good for storing your messages on your computer but doesn’t allow you to restore it to a different device.


WeChat has the best backup options that easily allows you to transfer your chat history to another device. It allows you to select the conversation history you want to save to their server for 7 days. You can set a password to back it up. Once you’re logged into another device, you can tap on ‘Restore’ to get all your messages back. There is no option to export your chat history though.

WeChat Backup


It boils down to your needs, if you find yourself changing devices a lot then WeChat gives you the option to easily do that without losing any chat history. Viber keeps it simple by backing up only text (no media) and if you are opting for WhatsApp, we suggest you have a look at their FAQ page for more backup instructions for your OS and device.

5. Popularity Counts

It would appear that WeChat has the most functionality and features to offer among the three while Viber has more support on more platforms, leaving WhatsApp as only a basic messaging app that works for smartphones (and one you have to pay to continue using).

But ask around and it’s probably that more of your friends are using WhatsApp rather than WeChat or Viber.

WhatsApp had the advantage as it was released earlier than the other two apps, hitting the smartphones in September 2011, while Viber was released in Dec 2012 as a direct competitor to Skype. Both reported having 200 million users in April and May of this year. In comparison, WeChat may have 400 million registered users but only around 50 million of them are outside of China.

Which Is Right For you?

If you want to meet new people for business or leisure, then WeChat is definitely for you. It is almost like a standalone social network app which allows you to connect with people outside of your contact list and is enjoyed by many teenagers. It’s Hold to Talk feature is also gaining popularity as some people like to communicate by talking instead of the slower text messaging.

You would like Viber if you’re constantly working on a Windows or Mac computer as you can quickly send messages to friends on smartphones, without having to pick up your mobile device. It’s also great for business purposes with its ability of high quality voice calls.

However, WhatsApp is still the app to have mainly because most people have this "old" app. But due to its limited functionalities and it being a paid app, you may need to find alternative methods to contact your friends. What good is a messaging app if you paid to use it but your friends don’t want to? It’s always good to install a free alternative just to keep close contact with buddies.


As a conclusion, these 3 apps are amazing tools for communication offering more than a regular SMS service, without the need to pay for sending messages. However, these messaging apps may face competition from the rise of Facebook Messenger, Hangouts (formerly known as Google Talk) and Skype which could possibly replace these apps later on.

Would you want us to pit FB Messenger, Hangouts vs Skype? And which messaging app are you on? Let us know in the comments.

Recap: Comparison Table

Here’s a quick recap neatly packed for your reference:







Supported OS
  • iOS
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • BlackBerry
  • Nokia S40
  • Symbian
  • iOS
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • BlackBerry
  • Bada
  • Nokia
  • iOS
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • BlackBerry
  • Nokia S40
  • $0.99 (iOS)
  • $0.99/year for other devices
Communication Features
  • send text, photos & videos
  • location data
  • audio clips
  • contact details
  • send text, photos & videos
  • location data
  • make voice calls
  • send text, photos & videos
  • location data
  • audio clips
  • contact details
  • make video calls
  • Live Chat (Walkie-talkie)
Desktop Compatibility
  • Mac & Windows desktop app
  • Text & video calls
  • Supports Web Chat with desktop browser
  • Transfer files to device
Social Add-Ons Moments Feed, Look Around, Shake, Drift Bottle
Emoticons Standard Emoji keyboard Custom emoticons, Stickers Custom emoticons, Stickers
Group Chat 30 Participants 39 Participants 40 Participants
Backup Options Manual backup and restore only for Android, BlackBerry and Nokia Basic text backup attached to email Easy backup and restore, cross-platform

Reported Users

200 million active users 200 million
registered users
195 million active users
Customer ratings on Apple App Store
(May 2013)
99k ratings, 4.5 star average 76k ratings, 4.5 star average 11k ratings, 4.5 star average

[Giveaway] GoVisually Design Project Collaboration Tool

Posted: 18 Jun 2013 06:30 AM PDT

GoVisually is an online platform that enables designers and clients to communicate and collaborate remotely in one interface. We’ve talked about this tool a few weeks ago, and today we are working with friends at GoVisually to bring you another giveaway contest.

To get an idea of how GoVisually works, check out the video below.

Like how this tool works? Now let’s find out how you can be one of our winners!

The Prizes

Up for grabs is a One-Year Subscription to the GoVisually Freelance Plan. The plan allows you to create and manage 20 projects in total. We are looking for 5 lucky winners. So let’s get things rolling!

How to Enter the Giveaway

Using the widget below:

  1. Login via your Facebook account / Email address.
  2. Like us on Facebook (if you aren’t already a fan)

That’s it!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This contest ends 25th of June 2013.

Find out how else you can earn entries (and a higher chance of winning).


Freelancers: 10 Emerging Fields To Tap Into

Posted: 18 Jun 2013 03:01 AM PDT

Editor’s note: This is a contributed post by Paul Dunstone, the founder of JobStock.com, a freelance marketplace that provides job opportunities for freelancers across 250+ different job categories. Paul is also the editor of the Job Stock blog which provides tips for freelancers and small business professionals.

The freelancing industry is definitely an evolving environment. With new fields of interest constantly gaining popularity, and employers on the lookout for top talent on a daily basis, there’s no doubt that there are emerging exciting opportunities out there for talented professionals.

Over the past year, the freelancing industry has really started to see some solid growth across a number of fields that have not been traditionally considered to be fields where freelancers might have been able to gain consistent work. Although some of these fields are branches of already existing popular areas of interest, they are well worth investigating if you have the skills, time, and are looking for a little (or a lot) of extra cash on the side.

1. Search Engine Marketers For Baidu

Baidu.com is China’s search engine of choice due to government restrictions concerning the use of Google in that region. Baidu is the "search giant of China”, with millions of page views each month, and an incredibly large and active user base. This of course has presented companies who trade in this region with a massive opportunity to reach consumers via search just as they did with Google.

Interestingly this is now spreading to companies outside the region who are also seeing benefits of targeting Baidu. If you’ve got experience in utilizing your SEO skills for Baidu, this is a very unique skill to have at your disposal right now.

2. Responsive Web Designers

The world of blogging is abuzz with Responsive Web Design, and for good reason. If you’re a developer who’s had experience producing device-dependent web design that either scales perfectly per device, or shows and hides content based on the screen size and device type, there are tons of companies looking to hire you right now.


Responsive Web Design negates the need to have a separate mobile-optimized and desktop-based site, so companies are seeing real cost savings by heading down the RWD path.

3. T-Shirt Designers

Everybody loves a cool t-shirt right? Sure. Well the online t-shirt design space is booming. There are countless sites and organizations looking for talented designers who can work with fabrics and make design considerations based on t-shirt sizing, and this is a really fun industry to get into.

If you’re a graphic designer, with solid print or web experience, this field may be a good option for you to add to your portfolio of works.

4. Virtual Assistants

These days, there are so many people working from home with small businesses who don’t have office space to accommodate employees. So what do they do? They hire a VA, or virtual assistant. VA’s are the go-to person who takes care of everything you don’t have the time to.

virtual assistant

From appointment management, to copy typing, to all sorts of office-related tasks, virtual assistant positions are a great way to pick up some extra cash, and can be very profitable if you’re looking after (and can handle) more than one client.

5. In-Store Payment Specialists

Developers who have experience integrating in-store payment services such as PayPal Here, Square, or anything to do with Near Field Communication technologies are tough to find right now because the technologies are so new.

With literally thousands of restaurants all moving across to mobile based payment systems, developers who are capable of understanding the balance between the human interaction with the customer, and the technology that make it possible, are in a great place to do some really interesting work over the coming years.

6. Competition Specialists (Social Media)

Companies are constantly asking themselves; “how do I build more followers on my Facebook page?” One of the most successful methods in recent times has been to for social media marketing experts to implement social media competitions that capture both ‘likes’, and user data via entry forms.

Competitions such as these have a two-prong effect where you build your market base via regular email marketing to your competition entrants (with permissions of course), and also through a larger follower base. If you’ve got skills with Facebook Sweepstakes or other competition mechanisms, this is a great space for you to gain work.

7. Infographic Designers

Countless marketing departments are getting to the point where they’re looking at doing some more creative online work now that they’re happy with their web presence and are driving some quality traffic. For many of those departments, infographics have become the golden goose they’re looking at implementing on their blogs and social media accounts.

Although infographics have been around for a while, many still believe they are expensive and difficult to produce. This is simply not the case. If you look around, you can achieve some really great outcomes for a very reasonable price.

8. Amazon Web Services Specialists

AWS has grown in popularity greatly over the past few years, largely because of its backing by Amazon, it’s scalability, and by offering complex services at an affordable price point previously unseen in the marketplace.

amazon office

Because Amazon has made a large push into the hosting services space, and the fact that many big-brand companies are using their services, technical professionals who can assist clients in setting up their AWS platforms, or help with transfers to AWS are in high demand.

9. Videos for Crowdsourcing

If you’ve got a flair for taking video and bringing it full circle to a production ready-state, the explosion of crowdfunding sites such as KickStarter.com has resulted in many individuals looking to hire freelancers who have had success in helping others raise funds for their cause or project.

This takes a specialist skill, often someone who can find the balance between selling the product and humor. Either way, this area of expertise can lead to work on some really fun projects.

10. Conversion Optimization Specialists

Companies are now looking for web specialists who excel at optimizing the user path through corporate websites. Whether it’s via advanced eye-tracking technologies, or restructuring of content on your home page, or implementation of key messages designed to guide your users through to a goal or conversion, specialists who can get the most out of a website, are currently being viewed as the next stage in marketing professionals for the web.

Brush up on your conversion optimization skills, and you’ll find you are highly valued in the freelance marketplace.


Fotor – Free Photo Editor For Mobile, Desktop and The Web

Posted: 17 Jun 2013 10:01 PM PDT

Not all images need to be edited using Adobe Photoshop or Adobe Lightroom. Without any prior know-how, using Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Lightroom for minor image-editing exercises can be a slightly overkill. When someone ask suggestions for image editing software, usually many will suggest them Adobe Photoshop but, would you actually buy a software just for minor editing? Especially when there are plenty of freely available solutions online, such as Fotor?


Fotor is an online photo-editing website which allows you to edit your images, create photo collages, make photo cards and turn your image into an HDR image. It’s also a handy tool to have as it works across multiple platforms. Follow the links to get it on your Windows computer, Mac, Windows 8, Android and iOS.

Let’s take a look at what this tool can do on Web.

Edit Image Online With Fotor

To start, browse over to Fotor and upload your image. It might take a few seconds or more to upload, depending on the image file size.

1. Photo Editing

For ‘Photo Editing’, you can find features such as basic edits, effects, frames, clip art and add text. You can do basic adjustments such as crop, rotate, and resize your image.

The function for basic edits is almost similar like the ones you find on software such as Adobe Photoshop. You can control the white balance for the image, adjust tone and straighten your images. It doesn’t have functions such as replacing color, adjusting color tone or adjusting curve like Adobe Photoshop as Fotor is more for basic editing rather than complex.

If you are an Instagram user or a fan of filters, good news, you can add filters to your images too. As compared to software like Adobe Photoshop, with Fotor you don’t need to manually adjust the color and other settings. All you need to do is to choose which filter you want and straight apply it on your image – which is much more easier.


You can also add clip arts like party hats, sunglasses and others on your image. In Adobe Photoshop you would have to can do it too. But, you would need to find and install brushes or crop out the image to place it on your image. Fotor makes it easier for you, just choose which clip art and apply it on your image. The choices might be limited or some of it might not be your style, but it is definitely easier.

Add clip art

2. Photo Collage

You can also create photo collages with Fotor. There are a few types of photo collage templates to choose from such as funky collage, text collage and shape collage. Simply choose a photo collage template and drag your images in the image slot, and you are done! Easy.

Funky collage, text collage and shape collage are only available on the web version of Fotor. On the desktop version, the templates are more clean and neat. Even though there are no fun and funky templates on the desktop version, there are a lot more templates choices you can choose from on the desktop version compared with Fotor web version.

Shape Collage

3. Photo Cards

Want to make cards for special occasions? With Fotor you can create ‘Photo Cards’ for special occasions, such as for Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day, Birthdays and more. This is an easier way to make photo cards if you are in a rush or if you do not have any skills in using other software.

There are already pre-made photo cards templates, so all you need to do is to choose which template that you like, instead of creating a card from the start. While creating the photo cards, you can add filters and even text to your image to spruce up the card. The editing you can do on it is limited, but it is an easier alternative if you do not have the skills to create a photo card from the start.

Holiday Photo Card

4. High Dynamic Range (HDR)

The last feature that Fotor offers is turning your image into an HDR image. An HDR image is an image that is as close as it can get to what your eyes are actually seeing. Usually professional photographers uses HDR as they want to make their photos looks more realistic. It is very unlikely for someone who wants to do basic editing to use HDR, so this feature is pretty much a bonus.

To create a HDR image, you need a same image with three different levels of exposure – under-exposed, over-exposed and balanced exposed. Fotor will process the images for you, while you play with the ‘Local Tone Balancer’ and ‘Ghost Reduction’ options after it is done.

HDR Image

This is actually very easy if you compared to creating a HDR image using Adobe Photoshop. You need to learn how to use Adobe Photoshop first, if you want to create a HDR image using it. But, with Fotor, just put the three images in boxes, click on start and let Fotor do the hard part for you.

5. Saving & Sharing Your Images

When you’re done, you can save your work in JPG and PNG format then share your images to Facebook, Picasa, Flickr or Twitter. If you’re using the desktop version of Fotor, you too can share your images straight from your desktop to your social sites.

Additional Info

The ‘Photo Cards’ and ‘HDR’ features are only available on the web version of Fotor. On the desktop and mobile app, you will only have the ‘Basic Edits’ and ‘Photo Collage’ features. The mobile app also allows you to capture and edit your photo all in one app.

Overall, Fotor is an useful online and desktop photo editor if you are looking for something basic and easy to use, plus it is free.



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