Both WhatsApp and Telegram share several features: they are rapidly evolving applications. WhatsApp has the most users worldwide, but its rival Telegram is increasingly popular and many people prefer it, why? What are the differences between WhatsApp and Telegram? We'll fill you in below.
Number of users
Although the number of people using an app is not always the best scale to determine if it is better or worse than its alternatives, the truth is that currently WhatsApp is the king of instant messaging apps, with over 1.5 billion active users across the globe. This is far ahead of the more than 200 million on Telegram. So it's more likely to find your contacts on WhatsApp than Telegram, due to its popularity.
The leaks and commercialization of personal data are increasingly worrying. There is an intense debate about whether the Telegram or WhatsApp security system is better, so it is best that you make your own conclusion. Both apps use end-to-end encryption, but in Telegram, this system is only activated in secret chats, a modality that does not exist in WhatsApp, where encryption is applied to all conversations. Telegram's non-secret chats are also encrypted, but not end-to-end.
On the other hand, WhatsApp encryption is based on the system used by Signal, one of the most respected messaging apps for its level of privacy. For its part, Telegram uses MTProto, a proprietary encryption protocol for which no vulnerabilities have been discovered. In addition, Telegram allows you to put passwords on your chats, prevent screenshots, activate the incognito keyboard, and even send messages that self-destruct, all privacy options that are not available in WhatsApp.
Finally, it should be noted that all WhatsApp users are required to link their account to a real phone number, so it is always possible to see the phone number of the user with whom we chat. In Telegram, linking the account to a telephone number is optional.
With new updates, WhatsApp includes new features - some inspired by Telegram - that enhance the user experience, including sending animated GIFs and stickers. Both applications have practically the same tools to customize messages and chats, although Telegram has always taken the lead.
In terms of aesthetics, Telegram offers more possibilities than WhatsApp. The latter allows you to change the background of the chats, while Telegram, also offers the possibility to edit the themes completely (and even activate a Dark theme).
Considering widgets, WhatsApp already has five different options, while Telegram doesn't have any. WhatsApp also leads Telegram in that many users like the option to post stories, similar to those on Snapchat.
More and more people are taking advantage of groups on Telegram and WhatsApp, but there are substantial differences. For example, WhatsApp allows you to create groups (including broadcast groups) with a maximum of 256 people. That limit is 200 people for normal groups in the case of Telegram, which does allow up to 200,000 users in so-called supergroups. In addition, Telegram groups have no limit on the number of subscribers.
WhatsApp and Telegram allow their users to send all kinds of content, from text documents to images, videos, calendar contacts, or geographic location. However, on Telegram it's possible to send additional content from bots, so many people use this app as a means of communication to be aware of topics that interest them and even mini-games. In addition, Telegram allows you to send files of any type up to 1.5 GB, which remain stored in the cloud. In WhatsApp there are limitations for files larger than 100 MB, and they are not always saved indefinitely in the cloud.
Another noteworthy differentiating feature is that WhatsApp users can synchronize their accounts on Google Drive, while Telegram users can't. Why? The information you send and receive on Telegram is not deleted automatically, it's saved.
With its new update, WhatsApp includes new features - some inspired by Telegram - that enhance the user experience, from sending animated GIFs to stickers. Today, both applications have practically the same tools to customize messages and chats, although who has always taken the lead in this regard has been Telegram.
In terms of aesthetic, Telegram offers more possibilities than WhatsApp. The latter allows you to change the background of the chats, while Telegram also offers the possibility to edit the themes completely (and even activate a theme completely Dark).
Considering widgets, WhatsApp has five different options, while Telegram doesn't have any. WhatsApp also leads Telegram in another aspect that many users enjoy the option to publish stories, similar to those on Snapchat.
Sometimes it is difficult to write long text messages through these applications, but both Telegram and WhatsApp have a web version that makes it easier.
However, WhatsApp does not work as a cloud service, but it synchronizes user data on different platforms, so the messages you start writing from the phone are not recorded on other devices connected. In addition, in WhatsApp it is necessary to have the phone turned on and connected to the network to be able to open the web version of the application. Telegram is based in the cloud , so it allows you to log in to different devices and view all messages, even if the phone is not turned on.
Both WhatsApp and Telegram have versions compatible with the main operating systems (Android, iOS, Windows Phone, etc). However, there are some differences to take into account:
- Firefox OS and Linux: Telegram has a compatible version, but WhatsApp does not. -Blackberry OS, Symbian, S40 and Kaios: Telegram does not have a compatible version, but WhatsApp does (although it is discontinued).
Both WhatsApp and Telegram are free to use. Although, recently Telegram launched Telegram Premium plan that is now only available on iPhone. Highlights of Telegram Premium include doubled channel and group chat limits, 4 GB file transfer, faster downloads, exclusive stickers and reactions, and improved chat management, such as the possibility to convert voice messages to text if you don't want to listen to them. The paid version costs $4.99 per month. Meanwhile, WhatsApp has also announced that he would soon release a paid version as well.
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