App war: Can BBM beat WhatsApp?

Now that BBM has gone cross-platform, can it beat WhatsApp? We weigh the pros and cons of these two. May the best app win!

While the entire nation fell for the bright red ‘notification’ light, I have always been a BBM fangirl. Be it the cutesy smileys, notification pop-ups or cool DPs, this messaging service has been a constant in my life. In fact, I have always been a BB girl. And I must admit, it was only because of the delicious possibility of having a personal PIN and inviting others with that code. Oooh! The BlackBerry Messenger, considered the USP of BlackBerry smartphones, is coming to Android and Apple IOS this week. The struggling Canadian phone maker had announced this development in May and now you can actually download BBM onto your Android and Apple-based phones from this Saturday (Android) and Sunday (Apple). Yay!

With BBM becoming cross-platform, can it give a tough competition to the king of cross-platform messaging, WhatsApp? We find our by weighing the pros and cons of these two. May the best app win!

WhatsApp’s USP is definitely the ‘Last Seen’ feature that has helped people connect in real time. You know if the one you’re pinging is online, reading your messages, ignoring you or simply unavailable. You can no longer pull the ‘I-didn’t-get-your-text’ act. With this feature, everybody knows what you’re up to! While for BBM, It’s definitely the charm of having a cool PIN and a barcode reader to send/receive invites. Unknown public can’t add you (unlike WhatsApp) and you’re chatting with those who you have personally invited.

While both are now cross-platform, it remains to be seen that how good BBM will be on Android and Apple. Whether it would be as smooth and sensational as its counterpart will be clear over the weekend when the services actually start.  Moreover, BBM is still not available on Windows and Symbian yet, while WhatsApp is truly across all the possible platforms.

BBM is more secure as you add people who have sent a request to you or by reading their barcode. But in WhatsApp’s case, anybody who has your mobile number can seen your picture, your ‘Last Seen’ and your status. They can even send you a ping, which you can either accept or block. What would you rather prefer? Total privacy or a little bit of fun? Hmm.

BBM has an instant notification system, which WhatsApp lacks in. After you’ve put up a status or changed your pic, it takes a while for your friends to know that you have updated your profile. Unlike BBM, where every update you make is sent out as notifications to your friends. Do you like being constantly connected? This is what will decide your loyalty!


Sharing features:
While only BB10 has the option of VoiceChat, most smartphones can avail of WhatsApp’s ‘Voicenote’ feature that allows you to send your voice snippets to a friend or a group. The sharing of photos/videos/songs is pretty much the same on both apps.

Fun factor:
Both the apps are high on the fun element. BBM comes with a ‘Show What I’m Listening To’ feature that tells your friends about your musical choices and makes you comes across as ‘cool’. On the other hand, WhatsApp has brilliant smileys for almost every occasion. But these smilesy lack the charm of BBM’s. If you used the ‘Hug’ or ‘Talk To My Hand’ smiley, you’d never go out of BBM again. Those tiny creatures are adorable.

Would you switch to BBM once it becomes available? Would you let go of your trusted WhatsApp? Do shout out to us….

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