What’s the difference between WhatsApp and Telegram?

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WhatsApp and Telegram are instant messaging platforms that are designed to make communication quick and easy. Each app comes with a mobile and web version - this means conversations can be managed on multiple devices, a feature that is valued highly by users. 

Both apps display read and delivery confirmation, as well providing users with the option to create group chats and make voice calls. 

Despite some similarities, there are some distinct differences between WhatsApp and Telegram.

Privacy

WhatsApp is one of the most popular instant messaging services in the world, but with the broadcast of it’s latest security breach you may be thinking of abandoning this app for an alternative. Perhaps Telegram is your answer.

With the acquisition of WhatsApp by Facebook - people are becoming increasingly suspicious of the platform’s security capacity. WhatsApp promised end-to-end encryption, but recent reports emerged suggesting that spy malware had been created that could hack into and monitor people’s accounts - specifically in this reported case, politicians and activists from Israel.

Telegram, on the other hand, is a multi-platform messaging application that allows the user to send encrypted and “self-destructing” messages - meaning a message or photo will disappear after a specified period of time. The primary features of Telegram include a chat function, voice call option and similar to the “broadcast” capacity on WhatsApp, Telegram has “channels”. Channels allow an unlimited number of subscribers, making them a great option for broadcasting messages to large audiences. You can also open and use Telegram on multiple devices at the same time, unlike some other messaging applications.

Unlike WhatsApp, Telegram users have a public “username” - ensuring that privacy can be protected. It is possible to have conversations on Telegram without requiring a user's phone number.

Number of users

WhatsApp currently boasts 1.6 billion active users compared to Telegram’s reported 200 million monthly active users. This means it’s much more likely that your friends or family would have WhatsApp as opposed to Telegram. 

One of the biggest disadvantages of Telegram at the moment is that it is not as well known as WhatsApp, but this is beginning to change rapidly across the world. It’s quite possible that Telegram will over take WhatsApp in terms of users in the coming years.

Files

Telegram has the capacity to allow users to save images, text messages, multimedia files and documents to the cloud. 

Telegram users can send any type of file via Telegram up to 1.5GB. WhatsApp, on the other hand, restricts video, images and document type files. 

Telegram also has bots. Telegram bots are applications set to perform specific functions, follow instructions, and interact with users. Bots run inside the Telegram app and do not require an additional installation procedure. Functions of the bots include: sending relevant information about the weather or useful news articles, scheduling reminders, playing music, creating to-do lists, and other useful processes.

In summary, WhatsApp allows users to make group video calls, has a larger user base, provides end-to-end encryption, but it lags behind Telegram in terms of features such as limited file sharing and cloud storage.

Telegram, on the other hand, has various bots, file sharing, platform compatibility and privacy, but does not have a video call function and has a smaller user base. 

WhatsApp or Telegram? Now you can take your pick!

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