Telegram vs WhatsApp Messenger: Features Comparison, Pros and Cons

Despite being a relatively new app in the messaging industry, Telegram Messenger has fast risen to become WhatsApp’s direct competitor. When I was first introduced to the app, I thought it was just a WhatsApp clone, especially given the look and feel is almost similar. However, there are a couple of features in Telegram Messenger, which are not available in WhatsApp. Here is a detailed comparison between the two leading messaging applications.

  1. Security

Russian programmers, Durov brothers, built Telegram as a means of communication that cannot be accessed by the Russian Security Agencies. Telegram Messenger is part of their open-sourced MTProto protocol, which has advanced security features to the extent that they offered up to $200,000 to anyone who can crack it. WhatsApp, meanwhile, was founded primarily as messaging app intended to reduce the cost of messaging across borders. It has recently faced criticism for NSA data collection policies and its cryptographic weaknesses.

Telegram has a secret messaging service that allows you to send encrypted messages or “secret chats” that have an end-to-end encryption and leave no trace whatsoever on their servers. There is also an auto-destruction feature, like in SnapChat, that destroys your confidential messages after a specified period. The latest version has an auto-lock feature that you can enable to lock the app after a period of inactivity. This is ideal if you share your device with friends and family. Unlike WhatsApp, you can also customize the ‘last seen’ feature to hide your online presence from specific contacts.

  1. Cost

If you were not aware, WhatsApp is not free. You are expected to part with USD$0.99 per year. On the other hand, Telegram is free and features no ads. As the owner puts it; if the company was to run out of money to operate the app, they would rather seek for donations that incorporate adverts.

  1. Voice Calls

Unlike Telegram, WhatsApp messaging app offers a calls feature that allows you to make calls via the internet. Although it is not as clear and advanced as Skype, it is an advantage. Telegram, on the other hand, only allows you to send voice messages and not real-time calls.

  1. User-Interface

The two applications have nice UI’s, but the simplicity of Telegram for Android and IOs stands out. Both have cool search functionalities and are light.

  1. Third-Party Development

While Telegram allows room for third-party developers, WhatsApp Messenger locks them out. Although it is hard to blame the latter due to security issues, Telegram’s improved security features make it possible for them to monitor any infringement. Recently, Telegram has introduced a feature known as bots, that allows for creation of mini-applications to run inside the messenger.

  1. Cross-Platform Functionality

Both Apps are available across different platforms including Android, Blackberry and iOS and they are fast. However, when it comes to chatting via web, Telegram messenger carries the day, as it is mostly cloud-based.  Telegram web client (accessible at Telegram For PC) is more like the mobile app platform and allows you to see all the history.

WhatsApp also has a web client that you can find here Download WhatsApp for PC. However, to use WhatsApp on PC, you need to have logged in on your device too. That makes WhatsApp for PC more of an extension than a helpful app.

  1. Image/Video Editing

While WhatsApp will only allow you to add captions to images, Telegram accommodates a wide range of effects. Personally, I like the auto-enhance feature that makes photos clearer. Soon, your dull photo might look like a contestant for the front page of a top magazine.

  1. Bulk Sending & Receiving Files

You can send up to 1.5GB with the Telegram messenger while WhatsApp messenger limits the sending capacity to 16MB for all files whether audio or video. The former is, therefore, ideal in situations where you need to share huge videos or learning material.

Conclusion

Personally, I find Telegram messenger interesting to use, especially due to its advanced security features. However, WhatsApp has its fair share of interesting features too. You need to try them out before you make a decision.

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