Telegram vs WhatsApp

Telegram? No, I am not referring to the old form of communication telegraphy. Telegram is a new (actually been in development for over a year) cloud based messaging service which pretty much does everything our beloved WhatsApp does but a lot more. It is what I use more than WhatsApp. After having been using it for over a year, I feel confident to actually publicly give a positive opinion on this instant messaging service and most importantly, I can say that it has improved so fast and has caught up to WhatsApp. In fact, we’re now at a point where it looks like WhatsApp is now playing catch up with Telegram.

So what’s all the fuss about? I guess WhatsApp does everything you need it to do. As technology consumers, when we’ve used something for a length of time, we expect improvement. I have been testing all sorts of mobile based instant messaging platforms for a long time, whether it be WhatsApp, Telegram, Viber, Google Hangouts, Snapchat, etc and each one satisfying different needs. Telegram in particular stands out simply because of its simplicity, security, privacy, features, ethics and much more. Any queries of concern that I did have has been answered in its FAQs.

Telegram vs WhatsApp Side-By-Side Comparison

  Telegram WhatsApp
Price Free One-off Fee (iOS)/Annual Fee (Android)
Devices
  • Android
  • iPhone/iPad
  • Windows Phone
  • Mac OS X
  • Windows
  • Linux
  • Web
  • Android
  • iPhone
Device Usage Any Only on one
Message Storage Cloud Based Phone Based
Desktop App Yup Catching Up
Animated GIFs Yup Nope
Animated GIF Library Giphy N/A
Chat Group Limit 200 contacts 100 contacts
API Open None
Attachment Limit None Compressed
Official Apps Open Source – Source on GitHub Closed
Unofficial Apps Yup, encouraged You’ll get banned
Stickers Yes Nope
Secure Yes, with a hacker’s bounty Has had man in the middle attacks
Self-destruct Yup Nope
Username Yup – don’t have to give number Nope
Attachment Type Anything Audio, Image & Video
Backup/Restore Cloud – automatic Complicated because of chat storage
Change Number Keep Everything Complicated because of Payment

So getting to grips with Telegram isn’t so hard if you already know your way around WhatsApp. In fact, it is more fun once you’re on the bandwagon. Obviously, you can’t just go cold turkey on WhatsApp because of its popularity however you can improve your mobile instant messaging experience and eventually people will make the transition – a bit like those old BBM days.

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