Social Media

WhatsApp vs. Messenger: Which Is Better for Video Calls?

WhatsApp and Messenger are two incredibly popular social messaging applications. Although both apps are owned by the same company, their video calling features differ in many ways.

So, if you need to schedule an important video call for personal or business purposes, which of the two messaging apps can you trust to deliver an all-around better video calling service? Let’s take a look.

Should I Use WhatsApp or Messenger for Video Calls?

Admittedly, when it comes to video calls, WhatsApp and Messenger might not be the first names that pop up. There are other purpose-built, highly optimized options like Zoom and Skype. However, they come with a their own issues.

Zoom and Skype, for instance, do not perform well with poor internet connections. This is something that both WhatsApp and Messenger are better optimized to do.

And there’s the issue of ease of use. Skype and Zoom can be a bit complicated to set up. Getting a grip on their in-call features can also be a bit daunting, especially for new users. Things are much simpler with WhatsApp and Messenger—select a contact, click the video call button, and you’re live!

For whatever reasons, if you’ve decided to use either WhatsApp or Messenger, which of the options can you trust to deliver?

WhatsApp vs. Messenger: Video Quality

WhatsApp vs Messenger video quality

Unlike video calling apps like Microsoft Teams, Zoom, and Skype, Messenger and WhatsApp tend to compromise a bit on video quality. The compromise typically stems from an attempt to accommodate poorer internet connections.

If all participants in a video call stream from a quality camera while using a fast internet connection, WhatsApp and Messenger will both deliver admirable video quality.

However, with poorer internet connections, Messenger tries to maintain its quality or completely shuts off the call. WhatsApp on the other hand tends to scale down the video quality in an attempt to accommodate even the poorest of connections.

This is why WhatsApp would typically be able to maintain your video link on 3G and 2G connections just as it would do on 4G and 5G—albeit with poorer pictures and sound quality.

If both parties are using good cameras and on a reliable connection, Messenger has a marginal edge in video quality. However, if you think that there might be a poor connection on either side, WhatsApp might be the best bet.

Group Calls

Video calls aren’t meant to be solely a one-to-one affair. Sometimes it makes more sense with multiple participants. Whether it is a remote family get-together or a business conversation you want to organize, both WhatsApp and Messenger can facilitate things with their video calling features.

While WhatsApp can only allow a maximum of eight participants per video call, Messenger has room for as many as 50. Conference video calls on both platforms are easy to set up and manage, but Messenger gives whoever starts a video call some sense of administrative power. You can kick off anyone that’s causing trouble during a call. This gives you the ability to enact and enforce rules during a group video call.

Unfortunately, you can’t do the same on WhatsApp group video calls. A participant would have to willingly exit the call if you do not want them to be a part of it anymore.

On both apps, invited participants can join an ongoing video call without necessarily having to be ready before the video session starts. People you add to a group video call on WhatsApp can add other participants as well. Similarly, on Messenger, any Facebook or Messenger user that has a link to your video call can join.

Video quality for both WhatsApp and Messenger conference calls is typically impressive. However, on WhatsApp, the image quality every participant gets will depend on the contact with the weakest connection. In other words, if every participant joins the call with a strong connection, everyone gets excellent video quality.

However, if anyone joins in with a weaker connection, WhatsApp immediately recalibrates everyone’s call quality to match the weakest connection, which might lead to poorer video quality.

WhatsApp vs. Messenger: Calling Features

The whole idea of a video call is to enhance remote visual interaction. For WhatsApp video callling features, remote visual interaction starts and ends with being able to see and hear the person on the other end of a video call.

However, Facebook’s Messenger offers much more. On Messenger, you can play games and watch movies with other video call participants right from the Messenger app. Facebook has a large list of games and videos to choose from. This could be a great option for a remote family get-together or a remote movie night with close friends from work.

If you can’t find a video that interests you, Messenger has a “screen share” feature you can use to stream videos to other users during a video call. Apart from watching movies together, you can use the feature for remote demonstrations or explaining ideas, something that could come in handy when doing a video call with people from work.

That’s not all. Like Zoom, you can change your live background on Messenger or even apply a range of filters to make things more colorful. WhatsApp doesn’t currently have any live image filter or green screen features.

Which Option Works Best?

If you want to make group video calls, Facebook Messenger is a better option. Messenger will help enforce better video quality for all participants and has room for a larger number of participants. For one-on-one video calls, either app will do. WhatsApp’s only edge is being able to sustain video calls on poorer internet connections.

If your video call is business-related, it might make more sense to use WhatsApp. WhatsApp Business for instance will provide a more professional setting for discussing business.

Also, if you’re concerned about security and privacy, WhatsApp’s conversations use end-to-end encryption to ensure that no one outside the conversation can have access to your business communication.

While Messenger has end-to-end encryption as well, it’s easy to mess things up since you’ll typically have to activate the feature for each contact. If you’re not sure how to secure your conversations on Messenger, we’ve previously explained how to enable end-to-end encryption on Messenger.

If you want to make video calls between a circle of close friends, Messenger would be a better option since it offers a lot of fun tools to play around with.

Give WhatsApp and Messenger a Chance

If you’re stressed with the complexity of video calling apps like Zoom and Skype, WhatsApp and Messenger are simpler alternatives you can deploy rapidly with fewer set-up hurdles.

Sure, both options are limited in several ways. Both apps might not seem like the best options for a professional setting. However, sometimes, the simple options might be the best.

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