When Business Standard pitted the two applications against each other on various features, it appeared a close battle for supremacy was inevitable.
WhatsApp creates an account on the basis of your phone number, while BBM uses alpha-numeric keys called pins. The former's process is easy, as you don't have to remember passwords while shifting to a new device. It just sends a verification SMS to your number and the app scans for it.
For friends whose numbers you already have in your address book, this works out very well - WhatsApp automatically tells them you are on WhatsApp too. On the downside, this means you have to give out your phone number to add a new friend. Also, you must pop your SIM card into a new device when switching to set up WhatsApp. This can be a hassle if you are using a secondary phone or temporary SIM.
BBM's set-up doesn't require you to input your number. Unlike WhatsApp, you have to start building up your BBM contact list from scratch. But while switching devices, you can back up your contact list to the cloud and then remotely restore it on a new device.
Text: Business Standard
Images Courtesy: BlackBerry BBM, WhatsApp