Discord vs WhatsApp: Let’s compare!

Milica Vucicevic

Last updated on: January 16, 2023

If you’re searching for a team communication app, you’ve certainly come across Discord and WhatsApp.

Both of these apps are very well-known and reliable platforms for communication.

They both support chatting through text, as well as video calls.

And in this day and age, with the rise of remote work, you need the right business tools to effectively communicate

But, are these two apps the right choice for you and your business?

In this blog post, we will compare the two platforms and analyze the differences between them.

First, we’ll do a quick overview of all the main features of both Discord and WhatsApp. Then, we’ll explore the differences in more detail, according to these categories:

  • Pricing,
  • User interface,
  • Max participant capacity,
  • Notifications,
  • Search,
  • File sharing and storage,
  • Meeting length,
  • Communication,
  • Integrations,
  • Support, and
  • Security. 

By the end of the analysis, you should be able to form a conclusion on which of the two you prefer.

Let’s get it going.

Discord vs Whatsapp - cover

Discord vs WhatsApp overview 

Although both Discord and WhatsApp offer similar features when it comes to communication, they cater to different groups of users.

Discord primarily rose to popularity within the online gaming community.

With Discord, gamers were able to stream games and play together, all while chatting in group or direct messages.

Discord’s homepage
Discord’s homepage

Around 2020, Discord decided to rebrand and open up its doors to a broader range of customers.

They added more business-oriented features and toned down gaming-centric marketing. 

Furthermore, Discord is a household name for university students and college communities.

WhatsApp is an instant messaging app. 

With over 2 billion (yes, with a B) active users a month, it’s by far the most popular messaging app there is.

WhatsApp’s homepage
WhatsApp’s homepage

Although you may find businesses that use WhatsApp as their main platform for communication, it’s more in line with personal communication.

Chatting with your family or jumping on video calls with your friends is easy on WhatsApp.

You can also get on a voice call and send pictures and videos, as well as other media.

Not to mention the convenient voice messages.

Here’s a side-by-side comparison of the main features of Discord and WhatsApp:

Pricing$0 to $9.99 per month– Free
– WhatsApp Business API is paid
User interfaceComplex Intuitive, simple
Max participant capacity2532
NotificationsMedium Medium 
File sharing and storage– Unlimited storage
– 8MB file size limit for free
– 500MB file size limit paid
– No storage
– 100MB file size limit Android
– 128MB file size limit iOS
Meeting lengthUnlimited Unlimited 
Communication– Instant messaging
– Audio calls
– Video calls
– Screen sharing
– Instant messaging
– Audio calls
– Video calls
– Voice messages
IntegrationsSeveral appsNo integrations
SupportStandard Standard 
SecurityStandard Advanced 

Now, let’s compare Discord and WhatsApp in detail.

Discord vs WhatsApp pricing 0:1

First off, let’s take a look at the pricing of these two apps, as this is a very important factor when deciding which platform to use.

Discord offers all of its core features for free.

In their free plan, you get access to:

  • Video calls for up to 25 people,
  • Unlimited storage,
  • Unlimited access to message history, and
  • Up to 100 servers.

For voice calls, there is no participant limit in their free plan.

Discord has two paid plans — Nitro Basic and Nitro.

Discord Nitro
Discord Nitro

The Nitro Basic plan costs $4.99 a month and it includes:

  • Custom animated emojis,
  • Custom stickers,
  • Bigger file sharing,
  • Custom video backgrounds, and
  • Nitro badge on your profile.

The Nitro plan comes out to $9.99 a month. This plan gives you access to all of the perks and features of Discord, including the ones mentioned above in the Basic plan.

Here are a few:

  • HD streaming (4K),
  • Custom server profiles,
  • Messages up to 4,000 characters, and
  • Access to more activities.

On the other hand, WhatsApp and WhatsApp Business App are completely free.

WhatsApp Business API

However, their WhatsApp Business API does have some costs.

WhatsApp Business API homepage
WhatsApp Business API homepage

On this platform, you pay per conversation.

WhatsApp defines a conversation as all messages delivered in a 24-hour session.

The first 1,000 conversations in a month are free, and after that, you pay per conversation.

The prices vary according to your location.

Rates for the USA range from $0.0066 to $0.1432 per business-initiated conversation and $0.0030-0.0859 per user-initiated conversation. 

Also, since Facebook hosts this platform — you have to pay hosting fees. These start from $50 a month.

Finally, you need a service provider to integrate WhatsApp Business IPA into your third-party platform. This also has a fee.

Although all of this can be confusing, we’ll take into account that most people will use the regular app or the WhatsApp Business app.

So, because WhatsApp offers great functionality for free, this point goes to them.

Pricing plansDiscordWhatsApp
Free planYesYes
Cheapest paid plan$4.99/
Overall impression⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Discord vs WhatsApp user interface 0:1

When it comes to interface, the differences are obvious.

As mentioned before, Discord is a platform dedicated to gamers, so the more elaborate interface is understandable.

Discord’s interface
Discord’s interface

You can see and access all of your servers on the leftmost side of your screen.

When you select a certain server, all of the channels pop up.

On the right side of the screen, you have the list of all of the server members.

You can also see the active calls and join them with ease.

But, your direct messages are in a different menu. So, accessing them is not a click away.

Overall, the layout of this platform does take some getting used to, so there will definitely be a learning curve.

You can pick between the dark and light themes in Discord.

On the other hand, WhatsApp and WhatsApp business both have the same look.

You have a list of your chats, and with just a click you can see your conversations.

WhatsApp’s interface
WhatsApp’s interface

There is also an option to change the font size and zoom level to make it accessible to more people.

WhatsApp also lets you customize the appearance of your app with:

  • Chat wallpapers,
  • Themes, and
  • Font size.

As WhatsApp is more user-friendly than Discord, it gets the point in this round.

User interfaceDiscordWhatsApp
LayoutComplexSimple, intuitive
Overall impression⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Discord vs WhatsApp max participant capacity 0:1

Next up, let’s compare numbers. 

For business-related purposes, it’s important to be able to gather as many people as you need in a video or audio call. 

So, let’s see how many participants are supported in these apps.

Discord has a surprisingly low number of participants supported on video calls.

They limit the number of participants to 25. That number is the same for both free and paid plans.

During the pandemic lockdown, they temporarily increased the capacity to 50 users, but have since returned to the original 25.

However, Discord offers live streaming capabilities, which WhatsApp does not have.

They also don’t limit the number of participants in voice calls.

When it comes to WhatsApp, their latest update bumped up the number of participants to 32 — for both voice and video calls.

As this category focuses more on video calls, WhatsApp will get this point.

Max participant capacityDiscordWhatsApp
Max participants in the free plan2532
Max participants in paid plans2532
Live streamingYesNo
Overall impression⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Discord vs WhatsApp notifications 1:1

The ability to customize notifications on team communication apps is vital to ensure you don’t get distracted by notifications.

Discord lets you mute messages, channels, and entire servers.

Also, you can mute individuals or allow only notifications about messages in which you’ve been mentioned.

Notification setting in Discord
Notification setting in Discord

Moreover, you can turn off notifications altogether with Do Not Disturb mode.

Discord also allows for tailored notifications for individual channels, and you can set different preferences for different devices.

One cool perk you have in Discord is their robot voice that you can set up to read your notifications. This is especially helpful for gamers who don’t want to pause their game to read notifications.

WhatsApp has a few customization options as well.

You can change the notification tone and turn on vibration notifications.

WhatsApp also allows you to:

  • Mute people, groups, or calls,
  • Turn on notifications for reactions,
  • Turn on high-priority notifications, and
  • Change the ringtone for calls.
Notification settings in WhatsApp 
Notification settings in WhatsApp 

If your phone has an LED indicator, you can even change its color when it blinks for a notification.

All in all, both Discord and WhatsApp have great customization options when it comes to notifications, so both apps get a point.

Notification configurationMediumMedium
DND modeYesNo
Mute messagesYesYes
Overall impression⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Discord vs WhatsApp search 1:0

Search options and filters are essential tools to help you find whatever you need in your chats, without spending hours manually scrolling through messages.

Discord offers standard search options.
You can:

  • Search messages and channels,
  • Search people and files, and
  • Filter by time, date, sender, and channel.
Discord search options
Discord search options

Thanks to their unlimited chat history, you can rest assured that you will always find what you’re looking for.

As for WhatsApp, you can:

  • Search messages,
  • Search media by using filters, and
  • Search for users.

WhatsApp conveniently stores media, links, and docs separately, so you can view different media in different spaces.

However, filtering your search isn’t possible.

All in all, Discord has better search options, so it wins this point.

Message searchYesYes
File and people searchYesYes
Overall impression⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Discord vs WhatsApp file sharing and storage 1:0

Next up, let’s look at file sharing capabilities and storage options.

Discord has unlimited storage.

So, you can access everything in your history at all times for free.

You can also send files — however, there is a limit.

You can only send files that are up to 8MB in size. If you upgrade to a paid plan, that number increases to 50MB for the Basic plan and to 500MB in the Nitro plan.

In WhatsApp, you can share:

  • Images and videos,
  • Audio files,
  • Locations,
  • Contacts, and
  • Documents.
File sharing in WhatsApp
File sharing in WhatsApp

The limit for the file size in WhatsApp is 100MB on Android and 128MB on iOS.

WhatsApp uses your phone and cloud storage to save files, so you don’t get any space from WhatsApp.

Discord takes this point, because of its unlimited storage capacity.

File sharing and storageDiscordWhatsApp
StorageUnlimitedPhone and cloud storage
File sharingUp to 8MB in the free planUp to 500MB in the paid planUp to 100/128MB
Overall impression⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Discord vs WhatsApp meeting length 1:1

Both Discord and WhatsApp make up for their lackluster participant capacity with their unlimited call times.

That is, unlimited length of both voice and video calls, in both free and paid plans.

Fun fact: the longest Discord call ever lasted for about 1,451 hours — about two months.

So, you will surely never run out of time with these two apps.

Both apps get a point in this category.

Meeting lengthDiscordWhatsApp
Length in free planUnlimitedUnlimited
Length in paid plansUnlimitedUnlimited
Overall impression⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Discord vs WhatsApp communication 1:0 

Let’s see how Discord and WhatsApp compare in textual, video, and voice communication.

Discord vs WhatsApp text communication

Discord supports both direct and group messaging.

You can communicate through channels, which can be either public or private.

Discord does limit the number of channels per server to 500, but that should be more than enough for your business anyway.

Also, you get unlimited access to your chat history in both free and paid plans.

You also have access to:

  • Mentions,
  • Reactions,
  • GIFs and emojis, 
  • Message formatting, and
  • Threads. 

WhatsApp also lets you chat with individuals or in group chats.

While writing messages, you can:

  • Mention people,
  • React to messages,
  • Send stickers, GIFs and emojis,
  • Create polls, and
  • Attach files.
Text messages in WhatsApp 
Text messages in WhatsApp 

In WhatsApp, you also have read receipts and you can see when someone was last active.

Furthermore, WhatsApp can send your live location and share your current location as you move.

WhatsApp also has stories — a feature that brings WhatsApp closer to social media apps.

Discord vs WhatsApp video calls

Now, let’s take a look at video calls. 

In Discord, you can choose from different window modes and types of views to make it convenient for game streaming.

You can share your screen and break out into rooms, as well as live stream from your webcam.

Discord also supports:

  • Modifying your stream quality, voice, and audio settings,
  • Modifying participant settings, and
  • Switching between video or stream-only view.

In WhatsApp, video calls lack the feeling of a conference call.

Considering the fact that WhatsApp is geared towards personal communication, their video calls are equipped only with the essential features.

You can turn off your camera or your microphone and add participants to an already started call.

You don’t have the option to share your screen or break out into rooms.

Discord vs WhatsApp voice communication

In Discord, you have voice channels.

In these voice channels, you can start a voice call with an unlimited number of participants.

Voice call in Discord
Voice call in Discord

However, you can only send voice messages in these channels, and not in direct messages.

WhatsApp also offers you the option to start voice calls.

The max number of participants on voice calls is 32.

But, you can send voice messages in direct messages, as well as group chats.

When you listen to a voice message, you have the option to speed it up by 1.5x or 2x.

Although both Discord and WhatsApp are among the best tools for communication, Discord gets this point because of the abundance of features in video calls.

Chat historyUnlimitedUnlimited
Mentions and reactionsYesYes
Channels and threadsYesNo
Emojis and GIFsYesYes
Screen sharingYesNo
Live streamingYesNo
Overall impression⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Discord vs WhatsApp integrations 1:0

This category is an easy win for Discord, because WhatsApp doesn’t allow integrations with other apps.

Discord allows you to integrate with a number of apps, such as:

  • Twitch,
  • Twitter,
  • Spotify,
  • Youtube, and
  • Reddit.
Integrations in Discord
Integrations in Discord

As you can see, integrations are mainly allowed with social media and music streaming services. 

This makes sense when you think about their primary target audience.

Although the number of apps in their app directory is less than impressive, this is an easy point for Discord.

Number of integrationsSeveral apps with gaming-related appsNo integrations
Overall impression⭐⭐⭐⭐

Discord vs WhatsApp support 0:1

Customer support is an important part of your experience as a user. 

Discord offers an extensive Help Center to help you find a solution to any problem.

You can also join community forums and get your answers from other users who have faced similar issues.

Discord’s Help Center
Discord’s Help Center

Moreover, the paid plans don’t offer any additional support.

WhatsApp isn’t much better in this category.

If you run into a problem, you can go to their Help Center or FAQ.

WhatsApp’s Help Center
WhatsApp’s Help Center

Email support is an additional feature that WhatsApp offers.

Unfortunately, neither of these two apps offer very much in the way of customer support, but for the email support, WhatsApp will get a point.

Customer supportStandardStandard
Knowledge baseYesYes
Help CenterYesYes
Overall impression⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Discord vs WhatsApp security 0:1

Last but not least is security.

Another important factor to consider when you’re looking for a team communication app is data security.

Discord offers these security features:

  • Data encryption,
  • Two-factor authentication, and,
  • Customizable security settings.

However, when it comes to business communication, it’s not considered highly secure.

It doesn’t offer the gold standard, which is end-to-end encryption.

On the other hand, WhatsApp has strong end-to-end encryption protocols, for both group and individual messages.

In WhatsApp, all of your messages are encrypted by default, so even users who are less tech-savvy are automatically protected. 

WhatsApp also offers two-factor authentication.

A downside to WhatsApp is the fact that its parent company Meta can gain access to some of your information through WhatsApp.

This is disclosed in their privacy policy and refers to information such as:

  • Your phone number,
  • Your IP address, and
  • Your transaction data.

But, your messages are always fully protected.

Even though many people find this data collection invasive, WhatsApp is still regarded as a very secure app.

So, this point goes to WhatsApp.

End-to-end encryptionNoYes
Two-factor authenticationYesYes
Overall impression⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Discord vs WhatsApp verdict 6:7

The final score reveals the winner — WhatsApp has come out on top!

User interface01
Max participant capacity01
File sharing and storage10
Meeting length11
Total score67

In conclusion, WhatsApp seems like a better solution for your team communication needs.

However, Discord isn’t that far behind.

Both apps offer great functionality and useful tools and features for a productive work environment.

So, whatever you choose, you will not regret it.

But, what if there is an even better platform, designed specifically for business communication?

Looking for a Discord or WhatsApp alternative? Try Pumble

If you’re still unsure if Discord or WhatsApp are just right for you and your team, why don’t you consider another option?

You can try Pumble, a free team communication app.

Pumble, a free team communication app
Pumble, a free team communication app

Pumble offers many useful features for communication and collaboration, such as:

  • Audio and video calls,
  • A user-friendly interface,
  • Unlimited users and chat history,
  • Guest access,
  • 10GB of free storage space per workspace, and
  • Customizable notifications.

So, if you are searching for a reliable and effective way to communicate with your colleagues, sign up for a free Pumble account right now, and try it out yourself.

✉️ What about you? Have you tried Discord or WhatsApp? What are your favorite features of these two platforms?
Share your experience and tips at blogfeedback@pumble.com and we may include your answers in this or future posts. And, if you liked this blog post and found it useful, share it with someone you think would also benefit from it.

Author: MilicaVucicevic

Milica Vucicevic is a communication author and researcher at Pumble, focused on team communication in remote work environments. Through her posts, you’ll learn more about professional communication, and tools and techniques for better team communication. As a remote worker herself, she relies on her experience when writing, and implements her findings in her own professional life. When she’s not writing blog posts, you can find her enjoying the great outdoors, replenishing her energy for her next quest for knowledge.

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