LINE Vs WhatsApp: Comparing the Two VoIP Apps

Young man holds a smart device while using Whatsapp app
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Both WhatsApp and LINE allow you to make and receive free calls on your mobile phone and are among the most popular instant messaging apps. But which one is the best for saving money on calls and for a clear connection? This comparison takes into consideration criteria like popularity, cost, features, and others. 


The number of people using an app is an important factor in deciding to use it, as calls are free between users of the same network, so the more friends and correspondents you have on one app, the more opportunities to make free VoIP calls. 

WhatsApp is the clear winner here as it has the largest base of users worldwide. While WhatsApp is popular worldwide, the Japan-based LINE's popularity is concentrated in some countries of Asia. 


Both apps offer their services for free, at least initially, allowing users to make calls. Whatsapp, however, is not unlimitedly free. After the first year of use, there is a fee to keep using it. LINE, on the other hand, does not impose that restriction and the use of the app remain free. The winner here is LINE. 

Voice and Video 

WhatsApp offers free voice calling between its users, a feature that introduced in early 2015, while LINE had this feature before WhatsApp.

LINE's advantage over WhatsApp here since it also offers free video calling, which the latter does not. 

Also, the calls in LINE are of better quality than those on WhatsApp, perhaps due to the number of users on the network. Moreover, WhatsApp calls are found to consume more data than LINE calls, and subsequently eat up your mobile data plan quicker than LINE. The winner here in clearly LINE. 

File Sharing 

Both apps allow you to share files over the network for free. The type and format of files that can be shared are limited to multimedia files, such as photos, videos, recorded voice messages, and contacts. Both apps allow sharing of location, too. There isn't much difference in this respect between the two apps so this is a draw. 

Calling Landlines and Mobiles 

LINE scores high here as WhatsApp offers calls only to WhatsApp users.

Say you want to call someone abroad who is not connected to the internet, or who is not registered on WhatsApp. You cannot as WhatsApp does not go beyond its network. LINE can. You can still use LINE to make the call to any phone worldwide, whether landline or cellular, at a cheap rate. This is called LINE Out, and the rates are competitive in the VoIP market. 

Here the winner clearly is LINE. 

Group Messaging 

Both apps offer group communication. LINE groups are better since they allow up to 200 participants while WhatsApp allows only 100. Also, the features in LINE groups are better for management than those in WhatsApp.

LINE wins here. 

Privacy and Security

Both apps offer encryption of communications over their networks. LINE uses ECDH protocol, and WhatsApp uses Signal Protocol. 

Both LINE and WhatsApp get you registered on their network through your phone number. Some may wary of this and prefer to keep their number private. Both allow you to use your Facebook account to register rather than your phone number.

The winner here is LINE. 

Other Features 

The sticker market is well developed in LINE with some interesting free stickers, some depicting real-life characters and others conveying emotions in a very meaningful way. Stickers can be sent through WhatsApp, but generally, require another app for those.

Given that LINE users may not have a phone number, you can have contacts in LINE beyond your phone's contact list. There are some interesting ways of adding friends on LINE; you can scan their LINE QR code, and more interestingly you can have them shake their smartphone while you shake yours close to one another for adding each other to the LINE contact list. 

Both apps can be viewed as social networking apps, but LINE is more developed in this regard, having familiar social features like a timeline. 

Also worth noting is that there are some countries—especially in the Middle East—where WhatsApp calling is blocked, while LINE may not be. 

Bottom Line 

Considering the apps and their features, LINE does a better job than WhatsApp in most aspects. It has more features, and in cases where they share features, LINE has the edge.

However, the one big advantage WhatsApp has is that it has a much, much larger base of users. So, while LINE may be a better tool, most people end up using WhatsApp because of the latter's popularity.