In the ever-growing world of technology, debates are not hard to ignite. Xbox Vs. Playstation, Facebook Vs. Twitter, Apple Vs. Samsung – just like the vast sea of technological advancement, the list is eternal. However, when it comes to WhatsApp Messenger, very few compare. That is, until now.
Since its creation in 2010, WhatsApp has been one of the world’s most commonly used messaging platforms. It is used day after day by people looking to communicate with friends, family and acquaintances. It is easy to download and equally easy to use. But now, its greatness has been jeopardized as Telegram begins to grow in popularity. Telegram has been dubbed the ultimate WhatsApp alternative. It was created in 2013 and it too – just like its opponent – is a messaging platform on which people can easily communicate with one another. Its number of monthly active users is a massive 100 million and that number continues to grow rapidly. But, as with many other technological debates, the question remains: which is better? Well, without further ado, let’s find out!
At the core of each platform, the basic functions are very similar. Both of the services allow you to send text, media and an array of other files, with ease. They let you communicate with friends, family members and any other users that you wish to communicate with. But, despite the similarities, there are also a lot of features that differentiate these platforms, things which one has that the other doesn’t, things which set them apart and make them individual. Things that matter in this heavily technological age. Things, which bring uniqueness. Uniqueness abound. And what are these features? Let’s find out.
I’ve already mentioned Telegram’s active monthly users – 100 million is an all-time high for them. But that figure is swiftly dwarfed when you compare it to WhatsApp’s active monthly user count of over 1 billion. And it is this exact figure, which could end up meaning a decrease in growth for Telegram’s user base. More people are on WhatsApp, meaning that, more than likely, when stuck between the choice of WhatsApp or Telegram, most people will opt for WhatsApp simply because more people use it – people like to follow crowds nowadays, especially if they think it’ll make them seem popular. Another reason they’d choose WhatsApp for the more sizeable user base, is because most of their friends and family are on that specific platform, so if they were to download telegram, they wouldn’t be able to communicate with them.
This particular comparison is extremely important to me and it is very dear to my heart. Being an iPhone user (AKA someone who can download two whole songs and take a few pictures and then have a message pop up on the screen saying ‘you’re almost out of storage’ – I’m sure there are people out there who know what I’m talking about) how much memory an app will take up can often mean the difference between downloading it and not bothering to download it. When looking at the file sizes of both WhatsApp and Telegram, I found that one is considerably bigger. The file size of Telegram is 35.5MB and that of WhatsApp is more than twice that size, measuring in at 75.8MB. And yes I know, we’re talking Megabytes here, its barely even relevant. But it all adds up. Trust me, it all adds up!
Performance and Usability
In terms of usability, the winner is more difficult to differentiate between than an alligator and a crocodile. Both platforms are simple to use and easy to understand. Navigation between different conversations and message threads and searching through friends, is easily accomplished on both. Typing is easy, file attaching is a breeze and starting group chats and super chats is a walk in the park. They size up as unquestionable equals in that respect. In regards to performance, both Apps run smoothly and for the most part, glitch-free. Although, sometimes messages can be a bit slower to send on WhatsApp than on Telegram. Now that could be because of Telegram’s cloud-based storage, then again, it could be due to the masses of people who are using WhatsApp and its servers could be struggling to keep up with the traffic. Either way, Telegram slightly edges its cousin in performance, irrespective of the cause of WhatsApp’s sometimes delayed messages.
Analysis of Features:
- Can Make Phone Calls – unlike on Telegram, WhatsApp allows users to make uncharged phone calls to other users. This means that you can even call people who are in a different country to you without incurring a hefty charge. Phone calls on WhatsApp are easy to make and hold a good connection – making it just as good as a regular phone call, just without having to pay.
- It is Cross-Platform – WhatsApp is available across 6 different platforms, including: Apple, Android, Nokia Symbian S60 & S40, Blackberry and Windows Phone. The multiple platforms make WhatsApp highly versatile and pretty much available to anyone. Especially seeing as nowadays, most people who have a mobile device, have one of those from the aforementioned list.
- Quick Multimedia – On WhatsApp, you cannot only messages and make calls, but you can also send videos and audio and share locations with your friends and contacts. This is advantageous in the sense that regular messages can often become rather dull and boring, but WhatsApp’s multimedia functioning helps to alleviate this problem by providing you with alternatives.
- Group-Chatting – Group chats are infamously brilliant, especially for the younger generation. WhatsApp provides users with the option of group chat rooms, in which users can invite other users and engage in multi-way conversations. Group-chatting is not only a lot more entertaining, but it also makes organizing events or making plans with your friends a whole lot easier.
- Real–Time Texting – WhatsApp delivers push notifications so that users never miss a message. It also includes delivery and read receipts so that you know when your message has been sent and whether or not it has been read (which is always handy when trying to decide if that girl you’re crushing on is into you or not – or if she just point blank thinks you are a vile, disgusting creature… It’s usually the latter) and let’s not forget typing notifications, which notify you when the person on the other side of the conversation is typing their message, this way, you’ll never miss it.
- Not as Feature-Rich as Telegram – When it comes to features, Telegram comes out on top. It has an array of features, including: sending messages, sending documents of any type, self-destruct messages, notifying the user when recipient takes a screenshot, cloud storage, super groups (which I’ll get to), building your own tools, synchronizing your chats across all devices and much more. As you can see, Telegram boasts quite the number of unique features, whereas WhatsApp is more centered around communication.
- Sporadic Slow Delivery of Messages – As I’ve already said, sometimes WhatsApp can have a tendency of taking a while to deliver messages. This can become extremely annoying – especially for the people of today, who are used to having things happen at the click of their fingers or rather, the click of a button.
- Limited File Sharing – Unlike Telegram, WhatsApp users are limited on the types of files that they can share with other users. Whereas, on Telegram, any type of file can be sent.
- Extremely Secure and Private – With its encrypted chatrooms and data-sharing, the messages and files that users share with one another are very safe and are near-enough impossible to be accessed by an outside party. On top of this, Telegrams option for users to have their messages self-destruct and alerting users when the recipient has taken a screenshot, are both features, which ensure privacy for users. It means their messages can’t be shared around and kept for a while so that people can look at them. Whereas, in comparison, WhatsApp has always been slated on its security and it has always been an app of caution, especially for the younger generation.
- Wide Variety of File Sharing – Telegram lets its users share files of any type, but with WhatsApp, users are limited on the types of files that they can share. Telegram’s versatility makes it much more effective for business users and other people who need to share a lot of files.
- Platform Compatibility – Telegram has modeled its apps so that different platforms can run it hassle-free. Telegram can be ran on mobile devices, desktops and laptops and also on tablets, each one has its own individual software so that it runs on its own. But in WhatsApp’s case, the mobile app must be constantly running in order to achieve cross-compatibility and this can become irritating for users.
- Ad Free – Telegraph is an ad-free app. No your ears aren’t deceiving you. Telegraph has no advertisements on it whatsoever. There is nothing worse than trying to do something on your phone or laptop and being interrupted by an irritating pop-up add as it takes over your screen. Well, the creators of Telegram evidently agree. They created their app to be ad-free and on top of that, they don’t even charge to make it that way – unlike their opponents over at WhatsApp. They used to charge users 69p to keep their app ad-free. But Telegraph is ad-free and free to download and use. And according to its description on the app store, it intends to stay that way forever.
- Telegram Bots – The Telegram app runs bots, which are put, in place to do certain tasks and there are separate bots for different tasks. For example, the @pollbot can be used to create a poll in a group; @Storebot comes in useful if you want to look for other unique bots. There are a wide variety of different bots for all sorts of uses and purposes.
- Super Groups – The Telegram super group is a group chat-room to which up to 5,000 members can be added. This type of feature is extremely hard to contend with. With 5,000 people in what chat, the possibilities are endless! It would be hectic, it would be chaos, but most importantly, it would be fun – and that’s what makes this feature a golden one for Telegram.
- Cannot Make Calls – The one (and I’d say probably ONLY) feature, which makes WhatsApp slightly more convenient than Telegram, is its ability to make phone calls. On the Telegram app, users cannot call one another and have vocal conversations. They’re stuck to the restraints of written messaging, but on WhatsApp, users can easily call one another and converse over the pone – vocally.
- It Lacks That Massive User Base – As I’ve already said, Telegrams user base is miniscule compared to that of WhatsApp and that could be one of the reasons for its demise in the future – if it were to ever meet one, that is.
WhatsApp may have the bigger user base – making it the far more popular app. But the moral of this story – no matter what your wife tells you – is that size doesn’t always matter. It outdoes Telegraph astronomically in terms of active monthly users, but this fact doesn’t stop the far less popular platform from raising its gloves and putting up a solid fight.
In this head to head clash, Telegram is by far the smaller messaging app, but it packs the biggest punch. Its features and uses are more creative, unique and more abundant than that of its opponent. It provides users with, not only a great platform of communication, but also a place to hold business conferences; share work or funny pictures, host massive group chat-rooms and remain safe and secure whilst doing so. I have a feeling that WhatsApp could most certainly have met its match, in the form of the swiftly growing Telegraph.