This blog is about comparing the 3 major messaging apps (Whatsapp, Line and WeChat) to see which is the most interesting. It is not about why Facebook bought Whatsapp. After all a company as big as Facebook does what it is going to do. . . period. I doubt the conversations was “We are the greatest communication tool in the history of mankind. We connect 1.2 billion people each day. Why don’t we use this great resource and billions of our extra dollars to raise the education level and collective well being of all peoples of the planet. Give them the resources they need to be active participants in shaping a better world. Or should be buy Whatsapp and order pizza?” The 3 apps:
1. Whatsapp – rose to prominence primarily because it was a free alternative to text messaging. Though in its early daze few trusted it and used IM services to send important texts. Since then Whatsapp has included the green check marks to show received and viewed which helped add trust to the service. Facebook stated it wanted to keep the messaging simple and uncluttered. Well Whatsapp is simple like oatmeal without milk and brown sugar. It’s oatmeal but . . . yuck.
2. WeChat is out of China and with that comes a slightly odd interface. It started out as a voice messaging app. This allowed easier communications than typing in Chinese characters but it quickly expanded to include text. The user interface seems perfectly normal and easy to use but there is just something about it that is not quite right. It lacks the finesse of Line. Many worry about personal privacy with China based apps which are notorious for allowing businesses to spam customers. WeChat has very clear rules for business and allows 2 types of accounts; Service and Subscription. This gives the user control over the communications they receive. It is not invasive at all and quite good on keeping up to date on a wide range of topics. Also uses QR codes in addition to username, phone number an email for identification.
3. Line is out of Japan and when the Japanese do something good they do it very good. Line is a sleek and intuitive app that is easy to use with many features that go beyond messaging. The Band function is cool. It is a social media organizer. However, the additional features do not clutter or confuse the simplicity of using the messaging function whether text, voice or video. Line is very clean and uncluttered. Also uses QR codes in addition to username, phone number an email for identification.
In Summary, if we used a 3 bears analogy, Whatsapp would be too cold. WeChat would be too hot and Line would be just right.