Mobile technology has transformed how businesses operate and connect with customers and employees. Mobile communication channels such as SMS, email, voice calls and instant messaging apps work brilliantly to improve customer service, enhance workflows and boost efficiency.

Internet-based mobile channels are now leading the way in digital communication trends, with more than 90% of people accessing the internet via their mobile phones. That said, businesses must focus on internet-based mobile communications to meet their audiences on their preferred channels.

In this article, we explore and compare two messaging apps that work over the internet: Viber vs WhatsApp. You'll discover their similarities and differences to help you decide which is the most effective VoIP app for business messaging. We also cover why it's crucial to set up a business account when using one of these apps for customer communication.

How online messaging apps like Viber and WhatsApp work

Unlike SMS, which requires access to cellular networks, online instant messaging apps send and deliver communications over WiFi. They can be used for text messages, voice and video calls, and sending media files.

The importance of a business account on chat apps

Creating a business account and an official profile on apps like Viber and WhatsApp offers many benefits, such as:

  • 'Verified' status: your business will get checked for authenticity as part of your application. Once approved, your profile will contain a 'tick' identifier proving the legitimacy of your business.

  • Helps to build trust: a verified profile shows customers your business is trustworthy, and they'll feel safe having conversations with you.

  • Provides important information: customers can easily access details like your company name, address, phone number, opening hours and business category.

  • A single channel for communications: whether you want to send text messages, visual content, or make voice calls, you can do all this in the same app.

Setting up a business profile on Viber

The process involves filling in an application form with your company name, contact details and logo, then going through an approval process with Viber Rakuten.

You will need to use an official partner to send messages on Viber - Messente is one of them. By partnering with us for our Viber business messaging service, we'll guide you through the application and manage the approval process on your behalf.

Creating a business profile on WhatsApp

The application process for a WhatsApp Business Account is similar to Viber in that you need to submit details about your business. You can also upload photos to your profile and build a WhatsApp catalogue to showcase your products.

You'll need to connect directly to WhatsApp via Meta's Cloud API to send multiple campaign types. However, if you only want to send one-time passwords (OTPs) via WhatsApp, you can use Messente's global OTP service (no registration needed).

Mobile phone showing WhatsApp screen

Comparing Viber vs WhatsApp for business communication

Viber and WhatsApp both have a user-friendly interface. In terms of offerings, they're similar in some ways and different in others. We've analysed six key features to help you compare them.

1. Text message types

Both WhatsApp and Viber offer text messages for sharing written content, files, images, web links and contacts. You can also send voice and video messages within chats. Viber has a larger file size limit for messages compared to WhatsApp.

Using a WhatsApp business account, you can send 'session messages' when responding to user-initiated conversations with a 24-hour messaging window. But if you want to initiate a conversation (outside the messaging window), you'll need to use 'message templates', which require approval from WhatsApp.

On the flip side, Viber offers three distinct types of business messages: promotional, transactional, and conversational. You can also convert time-sensitive messages to SMS in the event of message delay through Viber (if the recipient doesn't have an internet connection, for instance). And you can utilise Viber's chatbot and in-app advertising to enhance your marketing strategy.

2. Group conversations

Group chats are available with both apps to engage multiple customers in one conversation. But sending one-way messages in bulk, like you might wish to do when announcing a customer-wide promotion, isn't an option with WhatsApp marketing. The app clearly states it's not a bulk messaging app and is strictly against automated messages, considering them spammy.

You can, however, send bulk messages with Viber through its 'Broadcast Lists' feature that allows for audience segmentation, message scheduling and personalisation. Viber also offers 'Communities' as an extra advantage - allowing an unlimited number of subscribers to join and receive your content in public chats.

3. Voice and video calls

Both apps support video and voice calls for contacts using the same app, e.g. a WhatsApp user can call other WhatsApp users, and the same goes with Viber.

Viber goes one step further. The feature ‘Viber Out’ allows you to make VoIP calls to mobile and landline numbers (over the internet) so you can contact people who don't have a Viber account.

4. Privacy

WhatsApp and Viber each follow the top level of encryption standards, so you can rest assured your messages and personal data are in safe hands.

Additionally, Viber has a couple of extra features - 'Secret Chats' and 'Hidden Chats'. A secret chat contains self-destructing messages which can't be forwarded or have screenshots taken of them. In comparison, hidden chats are kept in a different section of Viber for more privacy and can be accessed only by PIN code.

5. Marketing analytics

WhatsApp for Business provides basic statistics, including an overview of messages sent, delivered, read and received. Analytics functionality can be extended with an API if you use a third-party service provider.

Viber Business Messages can easily be integrated into your CRM, offering extensive analytics for monitoring marketing campaign performance and customer interactions. By doing this, you can leverage customer data (behavioural insights, purchase history, customer journey stage, etc.) to send highly targeted and personalised campaigns.

6. Pricing

WhatsApp doesn't charge for the first 1,000 conversations each month. After that, fees kick in and are charged per 24-hour conversation session. Messaging rates vary depending on the destination country or region and whether it's the user or your business initiating conversations.

Viber Business Messages involves a country-specific minimum monthly commitment, and pricing is charged per transactional or promotional message. The rates vary according to country. To give you an idea, with Messente, you'd pay 0.0046 to send a transactional Viber message to Lithuania and 0.0092 € for a promotional message to the same destination. Note that you'll only pay for messages delivered (received at the customer's end).

Woman looking at smartphone home screen with app icons

Viber vs WhatsApp: which is best for business messaging?

Viber and WhatsApp are big players in the online instant messaging space. They each have a range of valuable features to enhance customer communications, including multiple message types, voice and video calls, group chat functionality, analytics and end-to-end encryption.

Regarding the WhatsApp Viber debate, the best one for your business depends on your requirements and budget. But if you need CRM integration for promotional, transactional and conversational messages, plus the ability to send one-way broadcasts, Viber could be your best option.

Want to learn more about Viber Business Messages? Talk to our experts today.