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Frankly, there's no reason to use WhatsApp

WhatsApp needs no introduction. The multi-billion user messaging platform is considered Too Big To Fail. But, apart from its sheer size, is there any other reason to use WhatsApp? We've collected arguments for and against the chat app.

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Reasons for WhatsApp

1. I'm on WhatsApp because all my friends are.

The most common argument in favor of WhatsApp is the number of active users. When you ask someone why they use WhatsApp the answer is invariably, "How else would I contact my friends?" Look around! We all have at least one alternative. Whether it's texting (which usually doesn't cost extra anymore), or email (which every adult has), or another messenger, everybody has an alternative to WhatsApp already on their smartphone! Phone calls might be old school, but it's a cell phone. That's what they're for.

AndroidPIT huawei p9 1436
Give your grandma a call. / © AndroidPIT

2. All my group chats are in WhatsApp.

Once you start group event planning on WhatsApp, good luck moving away from the app. Is WhatsApp even the right tool for the job?

Group chats on WhatsApp are noisy, confusing and you aren't able to set member permissions or a topic. New users get access to the whole contents of the chat, which can be more than a little problematic. You also can amass a large number of inactive groups after time, which can't be deleted by the admin until all participants leave the group.

whatsapp group
At least there's a mute option. / © AndroidPIT

Group chat in WhatsApp is basic. Try Facebook Messenger for large groups and you'll get more features. Before you start complaining - no, you don't need a Facebook account to use Messenger. Just register with your cell phone number like you did in WhatsApp, and you're good to go.

Messenger Install on Google Play

3. WhatsApp is secure and encrypts messages.

End-to-end encrypted chats are great, but they aren't a full guarantee of privacy or security. Metadata is still stored by WhatsApp, in addition to your phone number and all your friends'. WhatsApp is also now owned by Facebook, so there's a strong chance they may have your data as well.

Whatsapp Encryption
Encryption might not be enough, if they're storing your metadata. / © Wired

The best way to stay anonymous is with Threema. The Swiss company doesn't even require your cell phone number or email address. If you want to give them your email or phone number, though, they will help you find your friends on Threema without saving your data on their servers. Or you can just ask your friends directly for their Threema IDs.

Threema Install on Google Play

4. WhatsApp is free.

The catch with Threema is that most aren't willing to pay a few bucks when WhatsApp is offered for free. There are even free alternatives to WhatsApp. Telegram has a huge user base, Signal has better encryption, and Facebook Messenger is technically superior and just as big, so why use WhatsApp at all?

AndroidPIT telegram
Apps like Telegram are also free. / © AndroidPIT

If WhatsApp is free, we must ask why. How are they making money? Telegram claims they can use investor money for now. WhatsApp and Facebook, on the other hand, are financed through targeted ads. They have a lot of personal information about their users which is supposedly anonymized, and that is the product they sell to marketers. Some people may be more than a little uncomfortable with this.

Telegram Install on Google Play

Reasons against WhatsApp

1. Verification by phone number

WhatsApp is tied to the mobile phone number you signed up with. Why would any chat service provider require you to give them the phone number of your SIM card? This is an unnecessary link. The key to anonymity is to avoid such links.

You can't use the argument that WhatsApp needs the number to help you find your friends. Threema does the same thing, but without saving your info. There's no reason to allow apps to access your private address book full of other people's contact information.

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2. WhatsApp is limited to one smartphone

You can only use WhatsApp on one device, which must be a smartphone. In this day and age, why do people accept this limitation? When you want to use your desktop, you still have to have your cell phone on and connected to the internet. It's madness. Facebook Messenger, Telegram, and Hangouts all allow you to use a tablet, smartphone, or PC. 

AndroidPIT huawei mediapad whatsapp
Try using WhatsApp on your tablet. It's annoying. / © AndroidPIT

3. WhatsApp doesn't do backups well

If you switch phones, all your chat data is gone. There are backups in Google Drive or iCloud, but you have to set them up manually. Then it's a matter of luck whether they are restored properly to the new device or not. If you switch from Android to iPhone, or vice versa, restoring your chat history is impossible.

With Telegram, Facebook and Hangouts, everything is in the cloud and immediately available across all your devices.

whatsapp backup
Turn on your backups! / © AndroidPIT

4. Switching cellphone numbers is problematic

Once again, WhatsApp is tied to your phone number. So when you change it, it can be a huge pain. Use the migration assistant in WhatsApp to move things over, but be warned, your contacts won't be notified automatically about the change of number unless they're in a group what with you. So, you have to send your new number manually to all your friends. Not very well thought out.

Conclusion

If I've alienated any WhatsApp devotees, I apologize. I, myself, am a WhatsApp user due to social pressure, and have to install the app everytime I get a new phone. In addition to WhatsApp, I've also loaded up all of my favorite alternatives to run in parallel, including Skype, Facebook Messenger, ICQ, Telegram, Hangouts and Threema.

Are you a fan of WhatsApp? Or are you now looking at other available alternatives? Let us know in the comments below!

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  • X Ma1e 4 months ago Link to comment

    I'm actually moving away from FB Messenger. FB has a habit of banning users for various reasons which instantly kills their ability to use Messenger. I would never recommend FB Messenger as a reliable communication tool.

  •   2

    I found your article to be biased against WhatsApp. You had some great points there, like a WhatsApp account being limited to one smartphone. And yes, there are messaging apps that does something better than WhatsApp, but there will also be something WhatsApp does better than the other app. Frankly, I use WhatsApp only because everyone I know is on WhatsApp. I mean what good is a messaging app if there's no one using it. As far as privacy is concerned, I trust their service. Although there are other services with better encryption, as long as there is no news about WhatsApp selling our data, I wouldn't mind using it. Also, Facebook messenger and Google Allo doesn't even encrypted our messages by default. So. I don't understand why you would even brought up Facebook messenger or Hangout when you are so concerned about privacy and encryption.

  • Peter 4 months ago Link to comment

    Give me Line any day. Encryption, inbuilt translators, an unimaginably large and diverse number of stickers, Line games, on-the-go photo-video editing, on top of all the usual features . If you're in Japan throw in money transfers and more. The only failings ? Restoring and syncing to multiple handheld devices. PC is fine.

  • I too use Wotsap - mainly in workplace, but would prefer to use Telegram!
    T. allows multiple group comms/sharing by topic; allows sharing of any document type, a crazy limitation in wotsap; already provides Bot (online tasks automation) utilities that you can design and create yourself!; privacy features built in; open community development - so free or donate!
    No comparison, as far as I can see...

  • Most of my family members are using whatsapp. this is good for one on one chat but i prefer telegram for the groups and channels,
    telegram is really a solid messenger app.

  • I am actually using Whatsapp just because one of my friends is using it ( I use it once per week sometimes not at all ) to send/recieve voice messages as I am not a fan of Facebook Messenger, so Whatsapp isn't a big deal as you said.

  • fancollo 8 months ago Link to comment

    i don't use whatsapp as well, but i have my reasons. Others want to use it and they have their reasons and that's absolutely fine. Personally my main chat app is "Telegram" and as a fantastic alternative which includes basically everything other instant messaging apps also have is - Wire!
    It does chat with file send/receive support etc, video and phone call and is completely encrypted and their main statement is "privacy". Have a look and find out. My main issue with Wire (not the app itself though) is that it's rather difficult to persuade other people to move to it since whatsapp is basically like "the" chat application.

  • This Article is Extremely Biased. Not a Single app is not good enoght for everything. There are also Pros and Cons.

    1. WhatsApp is Better than Any Other Alternatives, why? Bcoz of its simplicity, and availability in wide range of OSes. No apps comes close in simplicity and stability of WhatsApp.

    2. SMS is not free everywhere like you get as extra in USA. WhatsApp killed SMS, the Prehistoric way of texting, in India.. We have move forward, can't you?

    3. Features are being added regularly and no app is good enough for everything.

    Whine whatever you like, but WhatsApp is the King of Messengers out there.

  • Somewhat idiotic and baseless allegations...

  • Tzivia 8 months ago Link to comment

    For far-flung family and friends, WhatsApp can really streamline texting and phone calls, making distances seem even smaller than they would. You're right that these are features my phone already has - locally. For those who aren't just a phone call away, it helps.

  • storm 8 months ago Link to comment

    Extend your arguments and you can get rid of Facebook entirely. And you'll be happier for it

  • Poorly written article and extremely biased against whatsapp.

    Yes there's an app that does video calls better.
    There's an app that does audio calls better.
    Some apps do group chats better while others are better at text. So would you rather have 10 different messaging clients installed or chose one that handles all I the best manner?

    The number registration is the biggest plus point FOR whatsapp. You don't need to add contacts, you have their number on your phone? Voila! They are your contacts. Simplifying matters is not a bad thing.

    Backup and restore works flawlessly, I have never had a single hiccup, if you are having trouble with downloading your backup, maybe just maybe change the Internet!

    Oh so your only reason for using whatsapp is because everybody use it? Hey, that is why you also use Facebook, Skype, grindr and shit, that is why I am reading news articles on androidpit. Yes everybody use whatsapp, it has a bigger user base. Maybe make your own app and you can be the only user, do tell how that works out.

    Lastly, officially there is no way to transfer whatsapp data from Android to iOS and vice versa. But it is possible. At least if you are writing an article you better know your shit dude! Google for backuptrans.

    • Bastian Siewers
      • Admin
      • Staff
      8 months ago Link to comment

      Hi!
      I'm a little confused about what you are saying here.
      For example: Eric says that one of the biggest advantages of WhatsApp is that basically everyone is using it. Why would the next step for Eric be to build his own app? I really don't understand what you are trying to say here...
      Backups worked flawlessly for you, that's really great, for me actually too! But guess what, there are so many reports out there, just check our forum for an example, and you will see that it simply doesn't for everyone.
      And your point about the contacts could instantly be a huge disadvantage of WhatsApp. Why? Because that system means that all of your contacts are always transfered to WhatsApp. Yes, some people just don't want that to happen, simple as that.

      And your last point: you can't be serious.. of course we are talking about official features of a service here and not some random, sometimes working solutions from third parties ;)

  • Allo and Duo by Google are good alternatives besides skype, telegram, hangouts, signal. They have great features.

  • The person writing this hasn't done enough research, for starters I've never had a problem with restorimg chats and media when switching phones, and just because you have do it manually? So what it take 10 secs (And it syncs automatically whenever you like, mine is setup to backup at 2am, only over wi-fi, every night) simple stuff.... And you CAN have WhatsApp on more than one Device, all you use is WhatsApp web, which is compatible with your PC / Macbook... Just like Facebook messenger... You should do some better research next time

    • Bastian Siewers
      • Admin
      • Staff
      8 months ago Link to comment

      Hey,
      sorry but your points have nothing to do with research. As he points out lots of people do have problems with restoring their messages, just check the web (for example our forum) and you will find lots of threads with people complaining about this feature. I haven't had any issues with it neither, but that doesn't mean noone has.
      And WhatsApp Web is nice and all but has nothing to do with Multi-Device availability.
      I switch phones more often than not, and you know what the only thing is that I actually need to take care of? Yeah, WhatsApp. Everything else is easily synchronised and I simply need to login (and I don't even need to uninstall it on the old phone!), only WhatsApp is not offering this kind of service... (and yeah, it really is annoying after a while ;))

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