Which one should you use? Pros & Cons
While there is certainly no dearth of instant messaging apps for smartphones, there are only two apps that enjoy huge popularity among the masses – WhatsApp and Telegram. When it comes to features and basic functionality, both apps are almost similar. However, there are certain aspects that distinguish them. For example, if you want to start a community or an online club, Telegram would be the more ideal application because of its larger group size and the option not to make your phone number public to everyone. WhatsApp, on the other hand, is more suitable for communicating with people you know now. In this article, we compare WhatsApp and Telegram so you can decide which one is the ideal app for you.
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The most important factor when deciding which instant messenger to use is its popularity. No matter how good an IM is, it won’t be very useful if you don’t have any contacts on it. With over 2 billion monthly active users, WhatsApp dwarfs every other instant messaging app in terms of popularity. With over a billion downloads and 500 million monthly active users, Telegram is still quite popular but is easily beaten by WhatsApp.
In terms of privacy, both apps are pretty evenly matched with Telegram almost edging out WhatsApp by a slim margin. Both apps offer end-to-end encryption for messages. Recently, WhatsApp also introduced end-to-end encryption for status updates. Telegram also offers a ‘secret chat’ feature, where the messages are encrypted and can be set to self-destruct after a certain period of time. Users are not allowed to forward or take screenshots of messages sent in a secret chat. While WhatsApp also offers self-disappearing messages, Telegram offers more timer options. Finally, Telegram gives the user the option to keep their phone number private. You can set up a username and let other people add you through it. It is not necessary to make your phone number public, although it is necessary to log in to Telegram. This makes group chats safer for users who are not comfortable with their phone numbers being shown to everyone in the chat.
File sharing and groups
WhatsApp has been behind Telegram for the longest time in terms of file sharing limit. Earlier this year, WhatsApp announced that users could share files up to 2GB in size, matching Telegram’s limit. However, if you are a Telegram Premium subscriber, you can share files up to 4GB in size. Telegram users also get free cloud storage.
WhatsApp also recently increased the group limit to 1,024 members. In comparison, Telegram allows 200,000 members to be part of a group. This is what makes Telegram a great platform for hosting communities and online clubs. Many online personalities use Telegram as a platform to communicate directly with their community. Since you have the option to make your phone number private, group chats on Telegram work very well. You can even use multiple bots to moderate the groups.
Both programs offer some exclusive features that may appeal to different users. For starters, Telegram lets users upload more than one profile picture. While WhatsApp may lack this feature, it makes up for it by allowing users to post images and videos as status updates.
WhatsApp is also fast becoming a platform for businesses to connect directly with consumers. You can use the platform to order products, book tickets and even get in touch with customer service. With WhatsApp recently launching its own payment portal, it has become incredibly easy for users to use the e-commerce services on the platform. Telegram has nothing to match WhatsApp in this regard.
Telegram allows users to access one account on multiple devices. WhatsApp will offer multi-device connectivity in the future, but as of now you can only use one account on one smartphone. However, you can access your account on a web browser using WhatsApp’s web portal.
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These are the main points of difference between WhatsApp and Telegram. While Telegram offers a wider range of features, WhatsApp’s popularity largely works in its favor. If you want an app to communicate with your family and friends, there is no better alternative than WhatsApp. However, if you want an app to host a community, Telegram is the way to go.
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