iMessage and Facebook Messenger are currently vying to be the top dog in the world of online communication – both offer user-friendly ways to hold real-time conversations with one or multiple people, both rely on an internet connection and both are free.
While both appear, on the surface, to be extremely similar platforms, they’re actually very different animals, and each option has its unique pros and cons.
We take a look below at the differences between iMessage and Facebook Messenger, in order to see which option comes out on top.
Facebook messenger users are able to easily personalize their Messenger accounts using customized colour schemes, themes, and emojis and by adding nicknames to contacts. The iMessage app does not currently offer similar options for customization.
Whereas Facebook Messenger can be installed and accessed on any device with an internet connection, iMessages can’t currently be exchanged by those using a PC or an Android device, which is a significant blow to iMessage’s bid for the best messaging app title.
There is a solution to this situation, however: Spike offers an iMessage for PC (or Android) app that allows users to incorporate all of the key advantages of iMessages into their existing email platform. The app is simple to download, and facilitates the use of all the key features of iMessages. Which keeps iMessages in the game, after all.
A big plus point for iMessages is the lack of ads and advertising pop-ups present, whereas distracting ads masquerading as messages or content is a frustrating part of the Facebook Messenger experience.
Content and blog posts look more professional, too, without ads appearing unnecessarily.
Another advantage that iMessages has its end to end encryption of all communication sent – something that Facebook Messenger can’t lay claim to. End to end encryption works by encoding data using a complex algorithm, so that only the sender and the sendee can read messages and any attached files.
There is some question, however, about iMessages’ cloud back-up facility, which potentially doesn’t offer the same level of encryption. However, saving data to this cloud is optional, should users have concerns.
Ability to Network
Facebook Messenger’s intrinsic ties to its Facebook parent means that it operates in conjunction with the social media platform itself. This facilitates actions such as tagging, commenting, and network building.
Facebook Messenger users can sign in with their general Facebook password too, which adds to the convenience of the app. iMessages, on the other hand, does not support integration with any social network, but rather acts as a stand-alone platform.
An important functionality advantage that iMessages has over its Facebook Messenger rival is the presence of its inbuilt browser.
This means that the user doesn’t have to exit the app to open links or to view websites, which makes for a much more seamless messaging experience – this is especially useful in, for example, a group chat work meeting, where all participants can easily access links provided without having to navigate out of the chat screen.
Imports and Exports
Facebook allows its users to export data to email in order for it to be forwarded on if required, or to act as backup storage, whereas this facility isn’t available with iMessages.
Again, due to its intrinsic affiliation with the main site, Facebook Messenger also permits users to upload their pictures from the Facebook platform to send or share in their communications.
iMessages is the clear winner in this round: it supports 34 languages in comparison with Facebook Messenger’s 30 (the only messaging app that supports more languages than iMessages is Blackberry Messenger, with a total of 36).
This means that it is more accessible for users globally, and has a bigger potential consumer base.
Sorry, Facebook Messenger, but this round’s not looking good for you, either: the visual effects on offer with iMessages are both impressive and wide-ranging, from the ability to send full screen animations to handwritten notes to messages written in ‘invisible ink’ that need to be swiped on to be revealed.
Other innovative features include allowing iMessage users to simply tap on a word to have it replaced by an emoji, and being able to select a specific word or phrase in a message to ‘react’ to it, in a similar way to the manner that users can interact with Facebook posts.
Facebook Messenger and iMessage both offer the user top quality functionality and plenty of additional features – choosing the winner will largely depend on the specific preferences of each user.
Facebook Messenger’s status as an arm of Facebook itself means that its link with social networking is inherent, something that iMessage can’t claim. But this may be no bad thing for many people.
The iMessage app wins out in terms of security, the visual effects it offers the user, and its ad free credentials.
However, its significant weak spot is its inability to sync with PCs or Android devices; with apps available now, however, that make this possible, then iMessage could very well take the crown of best messaging app.