Both WhatsApp and Telegram are among the best and most used instant messaging applications. Aside from allowing unlimited messages, they both grant access to extra online tools. In this post, we will have an interesting discussion as to which one is better between WhatsApp and Telegram.
What’s the difference between Telegram and WhatsApp?
WhatsApp is the most used messenger app in the world at the time of writing this article. Although it wasn’t designed by Meta, it was acquired in 2014 for a sum of $19 billion.
Actually, not many people come on the internet to compare WhatsApp with other messaging apps. It all started as a result of the Cambridge Analytica data breach issues being linked to its parent company Meta.
Telegram was built in 2013 by two intelligent Russian brothers; Nikolai and Pavel Durov. Aside from being a cloud-based messenger app, Telegram offers an open API to carry out integration and development based on your needs.
Telegram is very fast, as you can send about 30 messages within a second. It has secret chats, bots, cloud storage, and media compression amongst other things.
Which one is better between WhatsApp and Telegram
We will compare WhatsApp and Telegram using the metrics below.
- Current number of users
- Ease of use
- Privacy and security
- File sharing
Telegram vs WhatsApp: Current number of users
WhatsApp has more than 2 billion active users. It has exchanged over 100 billion messages daily. 22% of users are on iOS and 73% are on Android.
Telegram has more than 500 million users in the world, as of the time of writing this article. It has 55.2 million daily active users. The average Telegram user spends 2.9 hours on the app each month.
Both WhatsApp and Telegram have a huge user base. However, WhatsApp appears to be taking the lead here. Mind you, this is not enough to say that WhatsApp is better than Telegram, as there are other factors to be considered.
Telegram vs WhatsApp: Ease of use
WhatsApp is easy to use, but it has a few shortcomings. First of all, it allows only one phone to be used per WhatsApp account.
This means that whenever you log in to a new device, you will be automatically logged out of your previous device and vice versa.
Now let’s talk about the sync and storage issues. Although WhatsApp has an option to backup to the cloud, all of its data are stored on the device.
Aside from consuming a large amount of your storage, it can lead to hanging and slowing down your phone.
Before you can have a conversation with anybody on WhatsApp, their contact must be saved on your device (unless the other person messages you first).
Unlike WhatsApp, Telegram can be accessed through multiple devices. Also, Telegram stores its data on the cloud (and not necessarily on the device). To make it convenient, it stores some recent messages on the device as caches.
That way, you can see some Telegram messages even after losing your internet connection. Telegram itself doesn’t use much space, as all its data are saved on the web (automatically synced).
You don’t need to save everyone’s phone number on your contact list before you can message them on Telegram. And in fact, you can even hide your phone number from other users.
The clear winner here is Telegram. It allows users to log in to the same account on multiple devices, doesn’t use up your phone’s storage, and automatically backs up your messages to the web while also making them somehow accessible offline.
Telegram vs WhatsApp: Privacy and security
WhatsApp has recently introduced a very interesting feature, known as “disappearing messages.” While it’s not suitable for business owners, it’s widely used by individual users and friends. It automatically deletes messages from a chat after 7 days.
However, WhatsApp has no secret chat feature like Telegram. Also, WhatsApp is currently owned and managed by its parent company; Meta. This company is widely known for its over usage of user data (in the past).
Many people don’t use it strictly because of this reason, as they believe that Facebook uses their data to study consumer behaviour and the like.
WhatsApp automatically comes with end-to-end encryption, meaning that only you and the person at the other end can see the messages. No one outside of the chat (not even WhatsApp) can have access to them.
While WhatsApp has end-to-end encryption enabled by default for all chats, Telegram doesn’t.
This means that any high-profile hacker that knows what he/she’s doing can eventually decrypt some of your messages (although there’s not a high chance that something like this will happen).
The only way you can be completely safe is if you use the secret chat feature on Telegram. Secret chats allow for end-to-end encrypted hidden conversations.
Telegram also has a self-destruct timer that automatically deletes messages once you set it up. Unlike WhatsApp which allows an unchangeable duration of 7 days, Telegram allows the duration to be very flexible.
It can even be set to 30 seconds, depending on the choice of the user.
Although they both have similar privacy and security features, Telegram appears to have an edge over WhatsApp.
Telegram vs WhatsApp: File sharing and media compression
WhatsApp allows a maximum transfer size of 16 MB for media files. As for documents, the limit is 100 MB. As if this is not limiting enough, WhatsApp compresses any media file, especially images and videos.
This reduces the image quality (to a noticeable extent), even for profile pictures and status updates.
Telegram allows users to download and upload any file, as long as it’s not more than 2 GB. This is a very good feature, as it makes Telegram very suitable for movie uploads and downloads, huge software, games and the like.
Also, Telegram doesn’t compress video files. It compresses images a little, but not to the extent to which WhatsApp does. If WhatsApp compresses your pictures, you will know immediately because of the big drop in image quality.
If Telegram compresses your pictures, you may not even spot the difference (unless you check the file size at the other end). A large part of the image quality is preserved, especially if it’s in PNG format.
Again, Telegram beats WhatsApp to its game. There’s a huge gap between 16 MB, 100 MB and 2,000 MB (2 GB). Also, Telegram appears to be leading in terms of media compression.
While it preserves a large part of image quality, it doesn’t even compress images at all.
Telegram vs WhatsApp: Groups, channel, and admin permissions
As of the moment of writing this article, there’s nothing like channels on WhatsApp. Only groups are supported, and they have a limiting number of participants of 256.
Also, a group admin has limited options to control the group, as opposed to Telegram.
Telegram lets users create groups, and a group is allowed to have up to a whopping number of 200,000 members. WhatsApp doesn’t even come close.
Telegram also allows users to create channels. A Telegram channel is allowed to have an unlimited number of participants.
Furthermore, Telegram allows group admins certain options that WhatsApp doesn’t. A WhatsApp group admin cannot delete a message or spam link dropped by a stubborn participant. The best thing the admin can do is to remove the person, but the message will still be visible.
On the other hand, a telegram group or channel admin can broadcast messages, delete any messages, add members, remove members, change the channel’s name, profile image and link, etc.
The admin can also delete the group/channel completely and dismiss all participants.
Again, Telegram emerges as the champion over WhatsApp. It supports thousands and even an unlimited number of members for groups and channels respectively. WhatsApp only supports 256.
Also, Telegram admins are granted more permissions and control over their groups and channels.
|Current number of users
|Ease of use
|Privacy and security
|Groups and channels
Both WhatsApp and Telegram provide easy and instant messaging services for users to communicate effectively. However, Telegram appears to be taking the lead.
This is based on its ease of use, privacy and security features, file sharing options and high limits, low media compression, unlimited number of channel members, and extra controlling abilities bestowed upon administrators.
But remember, the best messaging platform for you as a user will be determined by your needs, personal preferences, and the platform on which your friends/customers are most active.
Disclaimer: We are a transparent and informational website. We are not paid by anyone to write this, so all verdicts on this webpage are solely based on merit.
The author does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any entity that would benefit from this article, and has not disclosed any relevant affiliations.