The marketplace dominance WhatsApp enjoys has recently been challenged by Line. Some users are thinking of making the switch, but they should be aware of the fact that Line is radically different from WhatsApp in several ways.
The software was designed for an international audience and also includes some cute functions that are drastically different from the more business-oriented functions that WhatsApp provides users with. Line and WhatsApp might very well appeal to completely different market segments.
Comparing the Two Programs
1) WhatsApp has long been praised for the large number of platforms that the software came out on. It even provides support for users who are working with Symbian phones, and there’s a Java2ME version available for those who might be interested in it. Line is currently available for BlackBerry, iOS, Andorid and Windows Phone. There’s a version available for Windows and Mac desktop computers, as well as a Web version. These should help endear it to those who want to use a desktop or laptop computer instead of a mobile device.
2) Line has recently added voice calls via VoIP for WiFi and 3G users, and WhatsApp has a voice memo system. They’re both technically different functions, but they work similarly enough to be considered identical. Some users might like the WhatsApp way of doing things, but others might instead prefer Line’s way of offering voice chat. It all comes down to preferences at this point, but WhatsApp used to be a clear winner in this category. Line technically can make regular voice calls, which is nice for those who might be trying to skimp on phone minutes.
3) WhatsApp offers standard emoticons, but Line has an additional feature that allows users to post animated digital stickers. These perform the same job as emoticons more or less, but they’re done in a style reminiscent of several popular Japanese artists. Many of them look like tiny faces straight out of the pages of a comedy manga.
4) Line hasn’t reached the popularity of WhatsApp outside of Japan, so every once in a while users might come across a section that wasn’t translated properly if at all. Then again, Line also provides additional support for the Japanese language. Users who actually need to send messages in Japanese will strongly prefer this app to WhatsApp, but a majority of American users will still stick to WhatsApp.
5) WhatsApp comes with everyone needed to use the service installed. Line supports a variety of plug-in packages that serve to complement the software’s capabilities. Many of these don’t serve a useful purpose, so some users won’t want to install them merely because they take up extra space.
Which App is the Winner?
WhatsApp has more users, but it can only send messages to those who are using mobile phones. This makes it attractive for individuals who are always on the go, but Line is a more complete traditional instant messaging program that provides options for those who want to stay in touch using a variety of devices.