WhatsApp Vs Telegram: The Battle of Messengers
- 2020-05-31 13:20
While there are too many good messengers in the world to even list them, there are two titans: WhatsApp and Telegram. For many reasons, others are left behind in this competition. WhatsApp retains its leadership so far, but Telegram is growing incessantly, gaining new millions of users each day.
So which of the two is better: Telegram or WhatsApp? Of course, you can have both on your phone and your desktop, but still, you will have to choose when starting a chat with someone. So let’s make a choice, considering pros and cons of each messenger.
When it comes to communication, the basic set of features is similar. Both services offer unlimited texting and voice calls between their respective users. Both support emoji (the default set) and stickers (their own sets, different but equally rich).
The biggest difference between Telegram and WhatsApp, though, is a video calling feature. WhatsApp has video calls since 2016, while Telegram officially denies it plans to ever introduce them at all. So, if you need video calls, Telegram is no option.
As for public chats, both services support them. But Whatsapp vs. Telegram contest is easily won by the latter when it comes to attachments. You can share your books, notes, songs and videos with your friends or team. On the other hand, it provokes pirate channels to distribute protected content.
As for apps, both services can be used via mobile apps, web interface, or browser extensions. If you use Opera, WhatsApp extension is available by default. If not, you can install standalone clients or Chrome/Firefox extensions.
Security Issues and Reasons
When it comes to Facebook, the main problem its projects experience is leaks. Facebook makes its huge money on analyzing people’s behavior and targeting ads, so they reach the audience – at least, so they say. But the facts are that third parties can get access to Facebook databases. Not that it gets personally you exposed. But being an object of political manipulation is also no fun.
Another problem may arise if Facebook does what its spokespersons have announced. It would have been great to communicate across all its services, including Instagram, Messenger, and WhatsApp. And what if anything goes wrong? It’s hard to imagine how huge the risks may be.
As for Telegram, it has proven itself to be quite secure, even securer than your average messenger (except for specialized solutions like Signal). But it’s the so-good-that-it’s-bad case. In Telegram, one can hide their phone and email from Telegram contacts (except for those who already have it). This enables truly anonymous communication. That’s why it became popular among those seeking anonymity, including political opposition, as well as drug dealers, radicals, and pirates.
This caused a reaction in some countries. Officially Telegram is banned in China, Russia, Iran, Pakistan, Indonesia, and Bahrain. In other countries, though, it’s just as officially used by authorities to accept anonymous reports from citizens.
Along with that, Telegram has other security options WhatsApp lacks. You can send and receive self-destructing messages with a customizable timer. A secret chat message cannot be forwarded to another recipient. If the recipient tries to screenshot the message, the sender is notified. To authorize a new device, you can use either your number or your currently active Telegram account (so a SIM card with the number you initially used may be inactive and gone long ago, and the account still active).
Of course, along with basic features, both messengers offer extra features to make the communication easier and more diverse.
Cloud features. WhatsApp lets you save your message archive in the cloud, but you need to set it up manually. Your history is archived once a day or even less often. Telegram, on the other hand, stores the archive constantly, so you can seamlessly switch between devices. Its cloud can also save your photos and videos, documents and other data.
Microblogging. WhatsApp has this feature, useful if you need to inform your contacts about something, not making it public. Telegram doesn’t have this option but offers something else instead.
Publishing platform. That’s where Telegram is king. Its site telegra.ph is optimized for reading within the app, though it’s accessible from the outside. On it, you can publish notes and photos, spreading them through channels.
Public channels. Telegram lets users create their public channels and subscribe to others’. Politicians and artists, musicians and scientists, book and game reviewers start their channels and reach their audience of millions.
Bots. That’s another advantage of Telegram. Bots can be used for polls, for Internet searches, for submitting answers to questionnaires, for troubleshooting, for entertaining purposes… for anything. Making a bot is quite easy due to guidelines. An AI learning system makes bots a powerful tool that WhatsApp has nothing to put next to.
There are reasons to prefer any of these platforms. So the outcome of Telegram vs WhatsApp depends on your actual needs.
Reasons to prefer WhatsApp:
- Video calls;
- Easier to install on mobiles and desktops;
- Your friends and family are likelier to use WhatsApp.
Reasons to prefer Telegram:
- Advanced security features;
- Firsthand information and maybe content from channels and public chats;
- Bots for various tasks.
All this leads to the conclusion that WhatsApp is better for generic purposes, like talking to friends, family, or colleagues. Telegram is irreplaceable for protected communication and reading channels. And it still makes sense to remind that your phone memory is enough to have both, switching from Telegram to Whatsapp when necessary.
Your Experience and Conclusions
Have you tried both of these messengers? Which one do you prefer? And which do you use more often? No, that’s not the same. Maybe you want to add something we have missed about these messengers. Perhaps you’ve recently switched from Telegram to Whatsapp or vice versa. You’re welcome to leave a comment here. And we’ll be grateful for that.