Everyone feels, deep in their gut, that WhatsApp and Facebook integration is only a matter of time. Some of you may have seen the recent alarmist propaganda that WhatsApp and Facebook were merging because the WhatsApp’s alpha web page was showing a Facebook login. Sure, that’s one explanation, but WhatsApp has an altogether different one. Much less earth-shattering, but much more likely.
After catching wind of the fact that on WhatsApp’s alpha page visitors are prompted to log in with the Facebook credentials, some observers jumped to the conclusion that this was conclusive proof that WhatsApp and Facebook were about to be integrated. Not so fast.
This link is an internal link and has nothing to do with WhatsApp and Facebook combining services. WhatsApp will continue to remain a separate service. The log in requirement is to ensure that people are employees. It’s the same thing you do when you log into your email account for example.
If you follow the Facebook login link to Facebook and try to sign in, it will redirect you back to the same WhatsApp alpha page. That is, unless you’re a WhatsApp or Facebook employee with access to the alpha page’s contents.
WhatsApp does allow for some interesting features like broadcasting, whereby you can send a message to many people without revealing the recipients
|Free||Yes||No (99 cents annual subscription fee)|
|Account requirements||Facebook account||Telephone number|
|Time stamps and read confirmations||Yes||Yes|
|Automatic backup of messages||Via Facebook website||Every day at 4 PM|
|Security reputation||Not great||Recently improved (messages are encrypted)|
|Send voice messages||Yes||Yes|
|Send location data||Yes||Yes|
|Option to log out||No||No|
|Customize notifications||Only on or off||Yes|
Facebook’s Messenger app still needs a lot of work whereas WhatsApp is pretty perfect in its simplicity. Messenger offers some additional features like free voice calling that WhatsApp doesn’t have yet, but WhatsApp allows for more file sharing options and customization. Messenger is a small part of a much larger social network and WhatsApp’s basic messaging service has no frills. There are actually more differences than similarities.
Facebook Messenger can be checked on the web but WhatsApp cannot, and this is quite significant. When I want to change from swiping and have a more fluid conversation using a physical keyboard I have to switch to Facebook. WhatsApp has a very good reputation for delivering messages whereas Messenger isn’t quite as reliable.