WhatsApp vs. LINE: differences and comparison

Due to its popularity, WhatsApp may seem unrivalled. Yet there are a number of alternatives that challenge its prominent position could. One of them is LINE, a great communication tool that goes far beyond simply transferring text messages. It was founded in Japan in 2011 and currently has around 400 million users. Is this a serious competitor for the American platform? Here comes the answer.

What WhatsApp and LINE are similar to

Both applications share the basic functionality of sending text messages. Therefore, if we compare their user interfaces, we can quickly see the first similarities. They have a chat list that allows us to quickly access the latest conversations.


It is similar with the call list. Both are able via our internet connection Make calls and video calls. Following a traditional pattern similar to the phone application in any terminal, it is possible to easily query the incoming, outgoing and missed calls.

Call listCall list

In addition, their respective settings menus are very similar. The basic settings are available in both applications and offer the possibility to change the behavior of the notifications, change the profile picture and even write a saying with our status.

Profile management menu and settingsProfile management menu and settings

We can’t deny that status area by WhatsApp that allows the user to post short-lived content that disappears after 24 hours, the Timeline from LINE is very similar. Incidentally, the latter offers some features typical of TikTok or Instagram in this area, such as interactive filters.

Creation of states in both applicationsCreation of states in both applications

Sending files, photos and videos is allowed in both applications. WhatsApp has a limit of 100MB. Although LINE sets no limit, will Files larger than 50MB stored in the cloud for 30 days only. It is important to mention that the Japanese alternative compresses the files it deems incompatible into a ZIP file. In practice, both WhatsApp and LINE are capable of transferring any type of file.

sharing optionssharing options

When it comes to security and privacy, you should know that both platforms have end-to-end encryption. In the case of WhatsApp we find the Open Whisper System protocol, also used by other similar apps of the likes of Signal. LINE, on the other hand, uses E2EE to encrypt its communications. This protection is active by default on WhatsApp and LINE, but interestingly it can be disabled on the latter. In any case, only the sender and the recipient will know the content of the messages.

Point-to-Point EncryptionPoint-to-Point Encryption

Last but not least, you should know that both are free and available from major retailers such as Google Play or the App Store. As tradition dictates, in Malavida you will find a completely secure download link with the latest version.

How WhatsApp and LINE differ

The differences between WhatsApp and LINE can be seen when we look at the advanced features of the two. The first is an application focused on communication, including text messaging, calling, and video calling. LINE, on the other hand, has diversified its services and offers the user a very interesting range of features. A good example of this is Line Pay, which allows the user to pay in practically any store. It’s true that it’s only popular in certain markets, but it clearly makes a difference to WhatsApp.


The offers are varied. For example, the Japanese company has even launched its own antivirus.

LINE AntivirusLINE Antivirus

Similar to Telegram supports the Keep Memo Function from LINE the Storage of messages, photos, videos and links in a personal space, which is synchronized between multiple devices thanks to cloud operation. WhatsApp can’t offer anything like this, with starred messages being the most similar feature.

Line Keep MemoLine Keep Memo

In addition, LINE has games, special camera apps, lists of official accounts, a sticker creator and many other features that clearly surpass its American competitor.

In this regard, the fact that both have a sticker store may seem similar, but in reality they have very different philosophies. On WhatsApp, you can download these graphic elements for free. On the other hand, LINE has a complete shop where the user can purchase their own stickers thanks to virtual coins that they buy with real money. In fact, this is one of LINE’s main sources of income.

Shop with paid stickersShop with paid stickers

Finally, both apps allow you to create groups or make group calls, each with some limitation. WhatsApp allows groups of up to 256 people and Line of up to 499. In addition, the group calls are limited to a maximum of 8 or 200 participants. In this regard, the differences are obvious.

WhatsApp or LINE: What should I use?

The two apps discussed here, correspond to the basic functions. Both are capable of establishing communication between two or more people through chats, groups, calls and video calls. It is a fact that WhatsApp’s developers have been much more conservative when it comes to adding new features and have often been accused of being late. LINE, on the other hand, not only provides the user with the most important functions, but also with a group of services and applications that enrich the experience in an excellent way.

In short, if you want a truly advanced messaging app, LINE is your best bet. If you value simplicity and ease of use, you should definitely use WhatsApp. It is also clear that each has become popular in very specific markets. Because of this, your choice may depend on the number of contacts that are available at any one time.

Leave a Comment