We’ve highlighted the key differences between WhatsApp and Telegram so you can decide which messaging app is right for you.
WhatsApp and Telegram are two popular cross-platform messaging apps that were designed for instant messaging while maintaining a commitment to privacy, a desirable and necessary characteristic in today’s world.
While WhatsApp and Telegram may appear to be similar at first glance, there are some significant differences between the platforms that are worth noting.
One significant distinction between WhatsApp and Telegram is their approach to user privacy and data. While WhatsApp uses end-to-end encryption across the board, Telegram does so only when Secret Chats (Telegram’s end-to-end encrypted mode) is enabled. However, once users enable Secret Chats, they can send’self-destructing’ messages and photos that can be configured to vanish after a specified time period.
Another innovative new feature introduced by Telegram is its self-installed bots, which enable the app to perform functions such as sending relevant weather information or useful news articles to users. Additionally, they can set personalised scheduling reminders, play music, and create to-do lists, giving cloud-platform communication a ‘assistant-like’ feel.
WhatsApp and Telegram, like the majority of messaging platforms, offer similar features such as instant messaging and picture-in-picture viewing, as well as stickers and other cosmetic options.
Both messaging apps include cloud synchronisation capabilities, a memory usage manager, and integrated image compression and editing capabilities. Telegram can also save images and send files up to 1.5GB in size across multiple platforms, a feature that WhatsApp does not support.
With the introduction of Apple’s new privacy labels, consumers can now assess the extent to which messaging apps collect data about their activity; this is a critical component of data security and protection for users. The privacy policies can reveal critical information such as the types of data collected from each app and how the developers intend to use it.
Apart from storing basic data such as your phone number and having access to your contacts, WhatsApp tracks its users’ location, analyses their habits, and has access to their blocked contacts, among other things, in order to optimise performance. You can view the complete list for yourself by clicking Request Account Info in your WhatsApp settings’ Account section.
Telegram’s default mode does not use end-to-end encryption, which means that Telegram could theoretically access its users’ messages.
End-to-end encryption, on the other hand, can be enabled manually by enabling Secret Chats. Once Secret Chats is authorised, users’ data is secure and they can take advantage of all the standard end-to-end encryption features. When Secret Chats is enabled, users also have the option of preventing messages from being forwarded and putting their messages into self-destruct mode.
Group chats have fundamentally altered how we communicate with our friends, families, and coworkers. And WhatsApp is no exception.
Indeed, WhatsApp is the market leader in this area. While standard text messaging apps allow for small-scale personal communication with friends and family, WhatsApp allows for large-scale group chats.
By opening the app, selecting More Options, and then creating a New Group, users can invite up to 256 contacts into a private group chat where they can communicate freely and instantly. The group’s creator is regarded as the administrator, responsible for admitting or rejecting members.
Telegram, as a cloud-based messaging app, also supports group chats. However, the app has taken it a step further by offering a platform that fosters mass communication on a massive scale through group chats with up to 200,000 members.
You can join a group chat in one of two ways. One method is to click on a link. The other way is to seek out and join a particular group. A user must already have a Telegram account in order to join via an invite link (available directly from the app itself or on a desktop program).
To locate a specific group, users must exercise initiative and scour the internet for groups that match their specific interests. After identifying this, users can click on the link to connect. Private chats will require approval by the group’s administrator before communication can begin.
The online status feature on WhatsApp enables users to see when someone in their contact list was last active on the platform and whether they are currently using the app.
Nota bene: being online does not imply that a contact has read your messages (usually indicated by two blue ticks). It merely indicates that they are logged into the messaging platform. WhatsApp users on both iPhone and Android devices can hide their online status from others via the app’s settings.
As with WhatsApp, Telegram automatically determines a user’s online status based on their activity within the app. Additionally, this platform enables users to conceal their online status from their contacts on Android, iPhone, and laptop devices.
Secret chat is a type of end-to-end encryption available within Telegram that enables users to configure self-destruct timers for messages, which are indicated by a lock icon next to the chat. Due to the fact that they are client-to-client encrypted, which means that only the sender and receiver can view them, the conversation cannot be forwarded or screenshotted – providing users with the ultimate level of privacy when communicating.
WhatsApp’s most recent update now includes the ability for users to create private folders within the app for the following purposes:
This new feature adds another layer of encryption to the app, allowing users to conceal media such as images, videos, GIFs, audio files, and documents downloaded specifically from their WhatsApp chats. Rather than being visible in the phone’s gallery, the files are hidden behind a ‘.nomedia’ file that can be accessed only by manually altering the File Manager’s Settings on the phone.
One of the more convenient features of WhatsApp as a communication app is that all messages are automatically backed up and saved to your phone’s memory on a daily basis. Depending on your phone’s settings, you can also back up your WhatsApp chats to cloud storage services such as Google Drive on a regular basis.
If you want to uninstall WhatsApp from your phone but do not want to lose any important chats or messages, you can manually backup your chats prior to uninstalling by opening the WhatsApp app, selecting More Options, then Settings, and then Chats and Chats Backup.
Telegram’s ability to sort and organise conversations into distinct sub-sections and folders is a significant feature. Due to the fact that active users may be a part of a variety of group chats, this feature enables them to stay current on messaging notifications without having to archive them. They can begin the compilation process by navigating to the three-dot menu in their Telegram chats and selecting Add Folder.
Telegram also includes the ability to save messages for future use. Rather than downloading the file, Telegram allows users to save the message within the platform. In the sharing and forwarding menus, the Saved Messages chat is always displayed at the top of the list. This simplifies the process of saving favourites while still maintaining an organised messaging platform. Saved Messages are easily accessible from both the Chats list and the side panel on Android or the Settings panel on iOS.
Both messaging platforms offer a slew of features that work exceptionally well for their users. Despite WhatsApp’s massive database of over 2 billion users in over 180 countries, Telegram is a messaging app that is constantly growing in popularity, with over 500 million users (a 25 percent increase in just under a year).
Whereas Telegram previously lacked video calling capabilities, the latest version of the app supports both voice and video calls and can be used on a variety of devices – mobile or desktop.
Consumer concerns about data privacy and security are undoubtedly at an all-time high, which is why WhatsApp’s verified end-to-end encryption is an instant draw for consumers. Although the uncertainty surrounding WhatsApp’s new privacy policies in recent months has undoubtedly propelled Telegram into a new cloud-communications space that might not have seen such growth in the absence of WhatsApp.
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