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What is the best messaging app?

24 mayo, 2021

There are few debates that cause such a sensation in the tech world that the eternal battle between WhatsApp and Telegram. Both apps are frequently updated with new features, so it’s hard to keep up with what each one offers.

To make it easy for you, here is the in-depth and updated duel of WhatsApp versus Telegram in concepts such as number of users, privacy, available functions and customization. At the end of everything we count the final score and we tell you which is the best today.

WHATSAPP Tips and tricks to HIDE YOURSELF TO THE MAXIMUM and keep your PRIVACY

Number of users

Telegram Telegram celebrated 200 million users in March 2018

Let’s start with the easiest thing: the users. While there are certain tasks that you can do by speaking alone or passively (such as querying information), we are primarily comparing two messaging apps, and as such, the main goal is to send and receive messages. The more people you can potentially connect with, the better.

WhatsApp overcame the barrier of 2,000 million users monthly assets in 2020. For its part, Telegram celebrated the 500 million users January 2021. We do not know exactly how many users have WhatsApp and Telegram exactly today, but it is clear that WhatsApp beats him by a landslide.

With 2,000 million users, the 500 million Telegram are “small change” for WhatsApp

The victory is overwhelming for WhatsApp, whose user base fits four times that of Telegram. Although we do not have the updated figures for 2021 yet, it is clear that the difference is still abysmal.

It is true that it is not a 100% determining factor when choosing a messaging application, since it depends a lot on what app they use in your environment. However, WhatsApp’s higher user base means that you will be less likely to miss someone and be forced to use another app. Minipoint for WhatsApp.

Privacy & Security

Just as the objective of a messaging application is to talk to other people, it is important that the message reaches only these people, privately and without being intercepted. It is the most difficult aspect to compare between the two applications, since both use a different approach to it, and even the experts cannot agree on which is better.

Both WhatsApp and Telegram have end-to-end encryption, although there is a very important difference: in WhatsApp it is activated by default in all chats, while in Telegram only in secret chats. Normal Telegram chats are still encrypted, but not end-to-end.

Encryption Encryption scheme in WhatsApp

While WhatsApp has used the well-known Signal encryption for years, Telegram decided to reinvent the wheel with its own MTProto encryption. Although to date no vulnerabilities have been discovered in MTProto, the community of experts is keep opting more for the known protocol (from end to end) than by the protocol to be known.

Not everything is encrypted: access control is also important

Beyond encryption, other factors come into play when buying the security and privacy of an application. For example, access control, a point where both apps are finally on par after WhatsApp released the app’s biometric protection.

Now comes the complication: while WhatsApp is more secure in normal use thanks to end-to-end encryption, Telegram private chats add a layer of security optional that you can not get in WhatsApp in any way, with keyboard in incognito mode, protection against screenshots and self-destructing messages more configurable than those present in WhatsApp. Here is a summary of the differences in privacy and security between WhatsApp and Telegram.

WhatsApp

Telegram

End-to-end encryption

Yes

Yes, only in secret chats

Chat protection

Yes, with fingerprints

Yes, by password and by PIN (fingerprint compatible)

Two-step verification

Yes

Yes

Protection against screenshots

Not

Yes, optional

Self-destructing messages

Yes, they are destroyed a week

Yes, in secret chats and with many options

Keyboard in incognito mode

Not

Yes, in secret chats

Deleting messages

Yes, up to 1 hour later

Yes, at any time and also the messages received

Account linked to phone number

Yes

Yes, but it is not required

A decisive point regarding the privacy of WhatsApp is that, until now, the user accounts are firmly linked to phone numbers. You can’t chat with anyone on WhatsApp without having their number, and that’s a major privacy issue. It is probably the same for you to share your number with your grandmother, but for more sporadic conversations – or in groups – the phone numbers are loaded by the devil.

In-depth comparison of messaging apps on Android

So who gets the point? While encryption itself would be taken by WhatsApp by activating it in all chats, when other factors come into play, such as the possibility of deleting messages without a time limit, not only those you send, but also those you receive, as well as the ubiquitous phone numbers when chatting they tip the balance in favor of Telegram. Minipoint for Telegram.

Text chat

WhatsApp and Telegram

Both WhatsApp and Telegram allow you to do a lot of things in addition to sending text messages (we will see them below), but that is still its main function. It is therefore important to know which of them does it better.

Both apps have been copied for years, and the chatting experience is almost identical

Traditionally WhatsApp has been a somewhat “bland” messaging application, where the most exciting thing you could do besides forwarding images was to send a giant beating heart, but this has changed a lot lately.

First came the animated GIFs, then the stickers came to give more life and color to the chats and later the inevitable evolution: the animated stickers. Currently, the experience is very similar on WhatsApp and Telegram.

So much so that what one application does, the other he ends up copying it sooner or later. Although Telegram continues to be more agile when it comes to developing new functions, with small changes here and there to facilitate some tasks, in traditional messaging there are still very few differences between the two applications, and therefore we have a tie.

Share with your friends

Besides sending and receiving text messages, what else can you share on WhatsApp and Telegram? Of course, photos and videos, as well as other less conventional elements such as songs, files of any kind or your location, which can be updated in real time on both Telegram and WhatsApp.

Send

The only thing you can send on Telegram and not on WhatsApp are video clips

With the arrival of stickers to WhatsApp, the differences between what you can send on WhatsApp and Telegram are minimal. Normally, the only thing that Telegram can send that is not possible with WhatsApp are the video clips. Or, in groups, surveys.

Now, if we put in the mix content available through bots, the list multiplies on Telegram. With them you have access to infinite additional content in your chats, such as mini-games or information about the news of your favorite website. Here is a summary of what you can send in one and the other app.

WhatsApp

Telegram

Photos and videos from the camera

Yes

Yes

Photos and videos from the gallery

Yes

Yes

Music

Yes

Yes

Files

Yes, any file

Yes, any file

Contacts:

Yes

Yes

Location

Yes, also in real time

Yes, also in real time

Additional content from bots

Not

Yes

Stickers

Yes

Yes

Emojis

Yes

Yes

Animated GIFs

Yes

Yes

Voice clips

Yes

Yes

Video clips

Not

Yes

Although the list is very similar in both cases, the difference is in the nuances. For example, Telegram allows send files up to 2.0 GB, which are stored in the cloud “forever”. Although the difference between what you can share between WhatsApp and Telegram is more equal than ever, Telegram takes this point.

Calls and video calls

Calls

WhatsApp launched its video calls in 2016. So much time has passed that the company has given it a twist by adding group video calls with up to eight participants in total, in addition to relying on the Messenger Rooms for conferences with more attendees.

Group video calls on Telegram are missing

Telegram for its part finally incorporated video calls in 2020 although, for now, only from person to person. …