In 2017, and with 2018 coming up soon, there are a ton of new messaging apps coming out and older messaging apps with established user bases. Both new and old are implementing new features, so it can be hard to decide which to use.

Is it worth trying to get your friends to use a new app, or is it not worth the hassle? These are questions I myself have struggled with and I decided to write an article to help you and your friends decide which platform is the best.

Now, I wouldn’t recommend using every platform (although you might have to a little bit) since it can be messy, but instead use one app as your main application, and then the other apps when you have to (for example, Grandma might just love using Facebook after all).

So which messaging app should be your go-to, or your designed favorite messaging app? What are the pros and cons of each?


Facebook Messenger

Facebook Messenger has definitely evolved since its inception. It started out as just a way to talk to your Facebook friends on website. Now, in 2017, it’s just as laden with stickers, emojis, free voice/video calling, ways to transfer money, and of course–stickers, as the other apps.

Messenger gives me a bitter after taste since it forces you to install it on your phone if you want to message people on Facebook (it requires you to download both the Facebook app, and the messenger app separately) and it doesn’t have a native PC app. The cool thing about messenger is that a lot of people use it, and you can call people on your PC in-browser with free video and voice calling.

It also has ways to talk to companies, send payments to people, and a few other nifty features.

Pros

  • Lots of new features every year
  • Large user base

Cons

  • Mobile app is obnoxious requiring two downloads
  • Messenger mobile app is notorious for using a lot of battery
  • No PC app, requires third party or in-browser use

WhatsApp

facebook-messenger-vs-imessage-vs-whatsapp-wins-2017-2018

WhatsApp is the sleek and intuitive app that I use as my main app of choice. Facebook Messenger caught up to WhatsApp’s end-to-end encrypted messages eventually with the new “secret option” but WhatsApp was one of the first apps to provide this level of security. Facebook even bought WhatsApp in 2015, which shows that it holds a relevant place in the market. It’s one of the biggest apps in the world with over a billion users.

My favorite thing about WhatsApp is that it has a great PC app with tons of features which means I can chat and call on my phone, then use my PC while working to message my friends throughout the day on their phones. I can send files to my friends on their phones super easily, and the app has easily searchable gifs, and all the emojis I can handle.

Whatsapp is easy to customize with different background colors available, and it works great on PC even letting me paste images directly into chat with just copy-paste.

Pros

  • End-to-end encryption is default
  • Great PC app with all the features you need
  • Easy to use and install with phone integration

Cons

  • PC app lacks voice calling
  • US has smaller userbase

iMsg

iOS’s iMessage application has become one of the best mobile messaging platforms around. If it had a PC app, then I would most likely use it over WhatsApp. The bad news is that it doesn’t, and since it’s “Apple Owned” Android doesn’t get a piece of the action and fun either.

In 2017 and 2018 it’s getting better and better with tons of emojis, stickers, app integrations, payment methods, and more. It’s just a bummer it’s so locked to iPhones. It’s my go-to app for messaging other people with iPhones if I can’t convert them to WhatsApp, but if someone has WhatsApp, I can message them on my PC.

A ton of people use iMessage, since a ton of people have iphones. It’s just locked to the Apple ecosystem–probably forever, which is a bummer.

Pros

  • Most feature-rich app for iPhone
  • Many improvements with each new iOS update
  • Lots of users

Cons

  • No PC app or Android app

Who Wins?

If you want to message your friends on PC and you can convince them to get WhatsApp, it has most of the features you’d need. Unfortunately, you can’t call friends and family with the native WhatsApp PC app (you’ll need your phone).

If you’re hell bent on calling people on your PC, and you don’t have a Mac, I’d use Facebook messenger. But remember, it doesn’t have a PC app so you’ll need to use a third party app or stay in-browser. A lot of people use Facebook messages and messenger, even if they are a hassle to use.

If you do have a mac and an iPhone–instead of a PC, stick with iMessage since iCloud and Apple integration has always worked great–but you probably already knew that.

Tom Spark
Tom Spark is a chair researcher, VPN expert, and a geek product extraordinaire. When he’s not spell checking his articles with Grammarly, he’s playing video games, watching too much Netflix, and deciding if he likes his current chair or not.