While there is certainly no dearth of Instant Messaging apps for smartphones, there are only two apps that enjoy massive popularity among the masses – WhatsApp and Telegram. When it comes down to features and basic functionality, both apps are almost alike. However, there are certain aspects that set them apart. For example, if you want to establish a community or an online club, Telegram would be the more ideal app due to its larger group size and the option to not make your phone number public to everyone. WhatsApp, on the other hand, is more suited for communicating with people you know closely. In this article, we draw a comparison between 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 on which instant messenger to use is its popularity. No matter how great an IM is, it won’t be of much use 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 pretty popular but is easily beaten by WhatsApp.
In terms of privacy, both apps are pretty evenly matched with Telegram nearly edging out WhatsApp by a slim margin. Both apps provide 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 an option to keep their phone number private. You can set up a username and let other people add you through it. Making your phone number public is not necessary, although it is required to sign up for Telegram. This makes group chats more secure for users who are not comfortable with their phone numbers being displayed to everyone in the chat.
File Sharing and Groups
For the longest time, WhatsApp was trailing behind Telegram when it came to the file sharing limit. Earlier this year, WhatsApp announced that users can share files up to 2GB in size, matching Telegram’s limit. However, if you’re 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 a part of a group. This is what makes Telegram a great platform to host communities and online clubs. Many online personalities use Telegram as a platform to directly communicate with their community. Since you have the option to make your phone number private, group chats on Telegram work really well. You can even use several bots to moderate the groups.
Both apps offer some exclusive features that may appeal to different users. To start with, Telegram lets users upload more than one profile picture. While WhatsApp may not have this feature, it makes up for it by letting users post images and videos as status updates.
WhatsApp is also quickly becoming a platform for businesses to directly get in contact with consumers. You can use the platform to order products, book tickets, and even get in touch with customer support. With WhatsApp rolling out its own payment portal recently, it has gotten incredibly easy for users to utilise the e-commerce services on the platform. Telegram does not have anything to match up with WhatsApp in this regard.
Telegram lets users access one account on multiple devices. WhatsApp will be offering 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 major points of difference between WhatsApp and Telegram. While Telegram offers a wider range of features, WhatsApp’s popularity works massively in its favour. If you want an app to communicate with your family and friends, there is no better alternative to WhatsApp. However, if you want an app to host a community on, Telegram is the way to go.
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