Telegram vs WhatsApp: The Basics

Exploring disruptive business apps

Telegram vs WhatsApp: The Basics

Instant messaging is everywhere in the current communication landscape.

Whether you’re connecting with friends or reaching out to coworkers, real-time messaging is one of the easiest ways to have your “voice” heard. The question is, which messaging app should you be using? After all, there’s a lot more than just one option to choose from.

In terms of popularity alone, WhatsApp is the undisputed champion of the messaging world. 1.5 billion people have a WhatsApp account, and users spend 2 billion minutes on the program every day. However, in a world of ever-evolving technology, there’s always space for something new to swoop in and capture audience attention.

Enter Telegram.

Telegram is a simple, straightforward messaging solution that bypasses some of the fun but often distracting features that WhatsApp has soaked up since the Facebook acquisition. If you’re looking for meaningful and focused conversations, Telegram has you covered, with cross-platform connections, programmable bots, and high levels of customisation.

Both tools have the potential to transform the business messaging world. Let’s take a look at how they stack up against each other.

WhatsApp vs. Telegram: Where The Two Are Similar

Before we explore the unique benefits of WhatsApp and Telegram individually, let’s take a look at how they’re similar. First of all, it’s worth noting that both apps have an identical focus – they want to make communication quick and easy. Each app comes with a mobile and web version so that you can manage your conversation across multiple devices. That’s pretty crucial in today’s highly versatile environment, where people are constantly switching between phones and desktop screens.

Both services display read receipts and delivery confirmation messages, although you can turn these off with WhatsApp, and you can’t with Telegram. Additionally, each app comes with access to group messaging, although you can invite more people to a group with Telegram (up to 200,000 compared to 256 on WhatsApp). Other shared features between both tools include:

  • File sharing (limit of 1.5GB on Telegram compared to 16 MB on WhatsApp)
  • Voice calling (high-quality)
  • Chatbot support (on the way for WhatsApp at the moment, but announced)

Where WhatsApp Stands Out

So, why would you pick WhatsApp as your go-to messaging app?

Well, of the 1.5 billion users that have WhatsApp, more than 450 million are active daily users – highlighting the value of the app. One of WhatsApp biggest strengths is how popular it already is. As a component of the Facebook portfolio, WhatsApp has access to endless potential customers for businesses and connections for team members.

It’s also worth noting that WhatsApp has more options for communication than Telegram. You can transform your voice call into a video call with a tap of a button. As video becomes an increasingly common solution for modern generations in the communication industry, this feature could well be a tie-breaker. Video, after all, gives teams access to the unique nuances of facial expression and body language when speaking to their peers at a distance.

WhatsApp also gives users the option to back up all of their information on a regular basis. You can automate your backups according to your needs and view your data on the cloud. This makes it easier to record chats and get rid of data for GDPR purposes when necessary.

Where WhatsApp Wins Big:

  • A huge user base
  • Voice and video calls
  • Delivery and read notifications (that you can turn off)
  • End-to-end encryption available for security
  • Low-data usage mode for calls
  • Records information to the cloud

Where Telegram Stands Out

One of Telegram’s biggest disadvantages right now is that it’s not as well-known as WhatsApp. However, that problem won’t last for long. Telegram is quickly gaining speed in the instant messaging world, particularly thanks to its offer to provide users with end-to-end encryption. For businesses serious about embedding privacy and security into their messaging strategy, Telegram has a lot to offer. For instance, you can remove the option to screenshot conversations, and choose to send secret messages that disappear after a certain time.

Telegram also offers an advantage over WhatsApp with a few fun additional features too. For instance, you can use stickers to add context to a conversation. In comparison, WhatsApp does have gifs and emojis. However, it’s worth noting that stickers might appeal to people who are keen to add some humanity to their conversations when they’re interacting with remote workers at a distance.

Telegram also has the unique feature of “channels” – something similar to the experience that you get on apps like Slack or Microsoft Teams. In the business space, where these collaboration tools are becoming more popular, channels are a familiar way for groups to stay up-to-date with what’s happening in a specific environment. Additionally, any files that are sent in those channels or instant messages are also saved to the cloud, so you can transfer files from one contact to another with ease – not having to re-upload between conversations.

Telegram is even starting to offer a few customisation options that WhatsApp doesn’t have yet, like the option to switch phone numbers when necessary and provide that new number to customers and coworkers instantly. You’ll also be able to choose a range of languages for your app that are different to the main language of your phone.

Where Telegram Takes the Lead:

  • Cloud storage for your file sharing
  • Media compression to save space
  • Group member numbers are larger
  • Change your number quickly and easily
  • Channels to connect with groups
  • Multi-platform support
  • Secret chat for privacy
  • Bots already built-in

Which Tool Should You Choose?

In today’s age of ever-changing communication, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution to the technology stack that’s right for you. WhatsApp has the benefit of being more popular than Telegram (for now), and it comes with things like video conferencing to upgrade your conversations. On the other hand, Telegram has a broader range of privacy features, customisation options, and the availability of channels.

The best thing you can do right now is try both tools and see which one works best for your team. Start with a beta testing group and go from there. Don’t forget to keep up with the latest news on each app too, here at UC Today.

Have you used WhatsApp or Telegram for your business? Tell us about your experience in the comment section below.



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