Instant messaging apps provide users with the ability to send text, images, and voice notes with the tap of a finger or the scroll of a mouse. Telegram and WhatsApp are two messaging apps popular for their widespread use: these apps are almost always placed side by side whilst users debate which is better.
As a self-confessed mobile app tester, I will be sharing my personal opinion on the Telegram vs WhatsApp debate. My comparison will be based on origin, functionality, and my experience with using both apps.
Instant messaging apps have not always been this popular: the launch of the AOL messenger in 1997 was the game-changer that encouraged the development of more platforms that enabled users to communicate in real-time. Before then, there was Talkomatic in 1973 and PartyLine in 1971.
Instant messaging platforms helped registered members send messages faster in chat rooms, but later became the mainstay of online communication as the years passed.
Telegram otherwise known as Telegram messenger was launched by two Russian brothers, Nikolai and Pavel Durov in August 2013. These brothers also created a messenger called VK which they left in 2014 due to political issues. Telegram was created to provide free online speech and challenge the primacy of WhatsApp.
It is one of the most popular instant messaging apps, having 500 million users and projected to reach 1 billion users in 2022.
WhatsApp or WhatsApp messenger is about four years older than Telegram: It was founded by Brian Acton and Jan Koum after the pair left their jobs at Yahoo! The platform was initially used to communicate by status, but phone number registration was included and WhatsApp became an instant hit.
It is one of the most popular apps in the world, having up to 2.5 billion users around the globe. WhatsApp is currently more used than Telegram and it was acquired by Facebook for a whopping $19 million US Dollars.
Telegram provides an opportunity for its users to send messages, create group chats, make calls as well as send stickers and files in real-time. However, it only provides end-to-end encryption for secret chats, not general chats.
The plus side is that users can delete messages sent to group chats for themselves and other users: messages and files sent in error are very much easily deleted.
There is also a self-destruct feature for messages and you can send sensitive messages using this feature. Large files such as movies, images, and other documents can be sent with a 2GB limit, unlike WhatsApp which has a 30 image and 16MB file limit.
Telegram messages are also stored on the cloud, allowing users to access them from any connected device. WhatsApp is more restrictive for multiple device use, not allowing users to use the same phone number on two devices. In addition, a Telegram group chat can have up to 200,000 members but a WhatsApp group chat can only have 256 members.
WhatsApp provides end-to-end encryption for all chats: this is a feature that gives it a stronger sense of safety than Telegram. However, WhatsApp's association with Facebook raises eyebrows about its security.
WhatsApp's updates are often frequent and annoying, forcing users to download the latest version of the app or risk losing access to their chats. Despite all of these, WhatsApp is constantly making efforts to improve user experience and reach.
The video call feature, improved design, and user experience, and regular promotion are reasons why WhatsApp is more popular than Telegram. WhatsApp also provides a WhatsApp business and email marketing feature, that is best for users running their businesses.
In my opinion, Telegram and WhatsApp are two popular Instant Messaging apps that should be used for different purposes. WhatsApp has a personal feel to it: I use the app for chats and calls: family members and friends alike enjoy the video calling feature.
Telegram groups are great for large educational meetings online and movie collections. If I want to receive or send a large file, Telegram is my go-to app. I have not needed to update my Telegram app in a long time and that is very satisfying. However, my WhatsApp frequent updates make me roll my eyes on some days. I do not like the way Telegram announces my presence to my contacts. I love how I can share multiple status uploads on WhatsApp.
Telegram and WhatsApp have their pros and cons: both apps are free instant messaging apps that have provided amazing ad free platforms for users all over the globe to communicate and their founders did an amazing job.
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