Signal vs WhatsApp

Last updated: April 15, 2022

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Signal
Privacy is possible, Signal makes it easy. Send high-quality group, text, picture, and video messages, all without SMS and MMS fees.
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WhatsApp
WhatsApp Messenger is a cross-platform mobile messaging app which allows you to exchange messages without having to pay for SMS. WhatsApp Messenger is available for iPhone, BlackBerry, Android, Windows Phone and Nokia and yes, those phones can all message each other! Because WhatsApp Messenger uses the same internet data plan that you use for email and web browsing, there is no cost to message and stay in touch with your friends.
Signal vs WhatsApp in our news:

2022. WhatsApp's new Communities tool sounds a lot like Slack


WhatsApp has added a new feature - Communities. A "Community" will be composed of people who are all part of the same organization or group — WhatsApp gives the example of a school or apartment building — and sub-groups for people to discuss specific topics. There will also be a mechanism for admins to send announcements to all the members. Communities sounds a lot like Slack, the messaging platform that's extremely popular in the digital workplace. WhatsApp is also rolling out some general changes to Groups that also have a Slack-ish ring to them. Most notably, that includes emoji reactions. Praise be! But there's also increased size for audio calls (they'll be able to accommodate 32 users), increased file sharing size to 2 GB, and the ability for admins to delete messages.


2021. Signal expands encrypted group video calls to 40 people



Messaging app Signal can now support group video chats with 40 participants — up from five — and end-to-end encryption will still be intact. End-to-end encryption means only the participants in the call can view the messages or video. No one, including the messaging provider, government authorities, or hackers, can view the calls, unless a participant accepts them into the video session or they snatch your device.


2021. WhatsApp brings its Business API to the cloud to speed adoption



WhatsApp is launching new, cloud-based version of its WhatsApp Business API, hosted on parent company Facebook’s infrastructure. With the shift to the cloud, the setup time for integrating with the API will drop from weeks to only minutes, the company claims, so businesses can more quickly transition to WhatsApp’s API platform to communicate with their customers who have opted in to receive their messages. The company has been steadily building out its Business API over the past couple of years to become one of the key ways the otherwise free messaging app will generate revenue from its service. Businesses today pay WhatsApp on a per-message basis, with rates that vary based on the number of messages sent and region. Currently, tens of thousands of larger businesses have adopted the existing (non-cloud based) API, including brands like Vodafone, Coppel, Sears Mexico, BMW, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Iberia Airlines, Itau Brazil, iFood and Bank Mandiri, among others.


2021. WhatsApp adds voice and video calling to desktop app



WhatsApp is rolling out support for voice and video calling to its desktop app for Mac and Windows. For now it will only support one-to-one calls, but that it will be expanding this feature to include group voice and video calls “in the future.” Video calls work “seamlessly” for both portrait and landscape orientation, and the desktop client is “set to be always on top so you never lose your video chats in a browser tab or stack of open windows,” the firm said, which began testing the feature with a small group of users on desktop late last year.


2020. Signal adds encrypted group video calls



Signal, the free and open source encrypted messaging app, launched end-to-end encrypted group video calls. The feature, which at present is limited to five people per call, allows members of a Signal group to pop in and out of an ongoing call at will. Notably, unlike Facebook's Messenger Rooms, group video calls on Signal are end-to-end encrypted. In an existing Signal group, you only need to tap the video icon in the upper-right corner of the screen to start the call. Once you've done so, group members can join or leave the call at their pleasure.


2020. WhatsApp finally launches payments



WhatsApp has announced that users in Brazil would be the first to be able to send and receive money by way of its messaging app, using Facebook Pay, the payments service WhatsApp owner Facebook launched last year. The payments service — which currently is free for consumers to use (that is, no commission fee taken) but businesses pay a 3.99% processing fee to receive payments — will work by way of a six-digit PIN or fingerprint to complete transactions. You use it by linking up your WhatsApp account to your Visa or Mastercard credit or debit card, with initial local partners including Banco do Brasil, Nubank and Sicredi. Cielo, a payments processor, is also working with WhatsApp to complete transactions. “We have built an open model to welcome more partners in the future,” it noted.


2019. WhatsApp adds business catalogs


WhatsApp is expanding its business app with a new “catalogs” feature that will allow the businesses to showcase and share their products and services to potential customers, who can browse photos, view prices and read product descriptions to help inform their purchase decisions. These catalogs effectively serve as a mobile storefront on WhatsApp and one that can be operated without the need for a web page at all. Instead, the business owner simply visits the new Catalog option in their app’s settings and uploads photos of whatever it is they’re selling and fill out the details, which can optionally include a product or service code.


2019. WhatsApp Business app added customer service features to its desktop and web apps



A year ago, WhatsApp officially introduced its standalone app aimed at small business customers. And now it’s making the app easier to use on the desktop and the web by porting over several of the most popular features that were previously available only on mobile. These include tools to organize and filter chats, as well as to quickly reply to customer inquiries. Quick Replies feature lets businesses respond to common questions from customers with pre-written replies. It joins several other customer service features, like automated greeting messages that are triggered when the customer pings the business account, or away messages that can be scheduled for those times when you’re not able to immediately answer new inquiries.


2018. WhatsApp launched encrypted group video calls



WhatsApp has supported video calling since 2016, but calls were, until now, limited to two participants. With the latest change, the app is upping its support to four total participants. That's a fairly modest increase, particularly compared to other services. Facebook Messenger supports group video calls of up to 50, while Skype supports 25 participants. But the feature is likely more challenging for WhatsApp than some of its competitors. Its video calls, like other messages sent within the app, are end-to-end encrypted by default, for one thing. The company also needs to ensure new features are optimized for people with slower connections and older devices.


2018. WhatsApp adds Telegram-like channels



WhatsApp added an option to have only admins to send messages in group chats. This could be useful for people and companies that use WhatsApp as a way to send mass updates, and to cut down on noise and clutter. In fact it's an alternative for Telegram's channels, where only administrators can broadcast messages. This format is suitable for corporate micro-blogs to deliver company news, discount-offers or announcements to large number of customers.