Difference between Telegram and WhatsApp | Telegram app vs WhatsApp

This page compares Telegram app vs WhatsApp and mentions difference between Telegram and WhatsApp with respect to their features, advantages and disadvantages.

Introduction: WhatsApp and Telegram are messaging platforms which are used to send and receive media files and text messages across internet connection. Both the apps can be downloaded from the "play store". Mobile and Web versions of these apps are available for different operationg systems/platforms.

WhatsApp and Telegram support features such as self destructing messages, cloud synchronization, end to end encryption, two verification option, creation of groups, Video/audio calls, memory manager, image compression etc. In the year 2021, WhatsApp decided to update its terms and privacy policy. This has made users to search for alternative option to WhatsApp. Telegram is the most popular option for users which offers better safety and security compare to WhatsApp.

What is WhatsApp ?

The WhatsApp messanger or app is a messaging service. It was founded by Brian Acton and Jan Koum who were employees of Yahoo. It is used across platforms and it is presently owned by Meta Platforms, Inc. (Previously known as Facebook Inc.). It is used to make voice/video calls, to send text messages, documents, image files, locations and other media files. Figure-1 depicts one such version of WhatsApp application running in a mobile phone. It has been developed for android and iOS operating systems used on mobile phones. WhatsApp running on mobile phone can also be accessed from desktop PC as long as mobile is connected with internet.

Whatsapp application

➨Advantages : It is very easy and simple to use by people of almost all ages. Can be used for text message transmission, making audio/video calls etc.
➨Disadvantages : It can not transmit documents with size greater than 100 MB and video files with size greater than 16 MB. There is no option to search people by their 'username'. Hence phone number is essential in order to connect with any person.
➨Refer advantages and disadvantages of WhatsApp >>.

What is Telegram ?

It is a cloud based messaging app. It allows to send messages, to make voice/video calls, to send files of any type, to exchange images, stickers etc. It was launched by Pavel Durov and Nikolai Durov in 2013. Telegram is a freeware and supports multiple platforms such as Android, iOS, Windows, Linux, macOS etc.

Telegram supports end to end encrypted voice/video calls and "secret chats". The groups are encrypted between client app and cloud server.

Telegram for mobile

➨Advantages : It allows to share file sizes up to 2 GB. Files of any type can be shared. It supports self destructing timers for chats. Group with more members can be created.
➨Disadvantages : Backend software is not open source and hence total privacy can not be achieved. Phone number is mandatory to create the telegram account.
➨Refer advantages and disadvantages of Telegram >>.

Difference between Telegram and WhatsApp

Following table mentions similarity and difference between telegram and WhatsApp with respect to various parameters.

Features Telegram WhatsApp
Initial release 2013 2009
Source Free and open source app Paid and proprietary app, acquired by Facebook Inc.
File type Can send any type of files Can send only video and image files
Number of members in a group 2,00000 256
Privacy Protects and respects privacy Does not respect privacy
Applications It is developed for smartphone, desktop PC, tablet and MAC devices running different operating systems. It is mainly developed for smartphones though desktop PC version is also available.
End to End Encryption (E2E) Supported for 'secret chats' Supported
Group chat security Not supported Supported, E2E
Access to multiple devices simultaneously Supported and it is very easy Not supported
Chat backups Supported, stored on cloud Supported by using third party Google cloud /iCloud
Storage for file sharing Higher limit, ~ 2 GB Lower limit, ~ 100 MB
Channel creation Supported Not supported
SIM card requirement to login No, not required Yes, required
Number of languages Less More
Built-in browser Supported, user can open websites and links while inside app Not supported
Requirements to initiate chat Phone number or User name Only Phone number
Disappearing messages For 'secret chats', options range from 1 seconds to 7 days Messages disappear after 7 days
Screenshots posibility Not possible to take screenshots in 'secret chat' Possible to take screenshots without sender's knowledge
Screen security Only for secret chats Not supported


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