We were convinced that WhatsApp had not rivals, but we were wrong. In fact Telegram (a multi-platform messaging app), is spreading rapidly and probably is now the most serious rival of Whatsapp. The numbers, just updated, are incredible: 62 million monthly active users, 12 million of which are new users who joined the app in the last 4 months. In December 2014 there were 145,000 new users per day, now we talk about 220,000.
Whatsapp, with its 800 million monthly users, is obviously still the leader. But it seems that between the two apps there are only small differences. To use WhatsApp you have to pay and with Telegram, for now, you can not make voice calls. Then, of course, there is the privacy issue. But let’s compare together these two important apps.
Cost: to use Whatsapp you have pay. Little, almost nothing, but you must use your credit card. When you download it for the first time, you can use it for free for 12 months, then there is the subscription fee: 0.69p for the Android versions, 0.65p for iPhone. But of course there are also multi-year subscriptions which are more ‘profitable’, you can find all the information on the official website of the app. Telegram is completely free.
Characteristics: graphically there is not much difference, it could be said that Telegram is the blue version of WhatsApp. Only the settings are organized differently, but to login it is always necessary your phone number.
Privacy and safety: encoding is different. Telegram is based on the concept of end-to-end, a typology which makes conversations particularly safe, in terms of privacy and with regard to hackers: messages are saved directly on your smartphone and on a server. Not only that: there is a function (you can find it in the Settings) which allows you to set a timer to delete automtically all data of a conversation when the time expires. With WhatsApp it is a completely different story: all data are saved on an external server of the Californian company, obviously raising the danger of theft and espionage.
Sharing files: all users of WhatsApp and Telegram can share their media files with their contacts. But with WhatsApp there is a limit of size (16MB), where with Telegram there is no limit at all. And that’s because Telegram is an app based on cloud.
Usability: Both WhatsApp and Telegram use your telephone number as an ID. Telegram is also available for desktop (PC and Mac) as well as smartphones and tablets. Whatsapp is only a mobile service, except for the controversial WhatsApp Web. In other words: with Telegram you simply have to download the app, enter your number and then enter the new code wich you will receive on the phone with that number. As a result you will have two platforms syncronized to send and receive messages. You can use this method even if you have a smartphone, by entering a number to which of course you have access. With Whatsapp it is impossible, because it is only applicable on one device at a time.
Voice Calling and messages: You don’t have voice calling with Telegram, but instead you have voice messages. WhatsApp, on the other hand, has recently installed a system that allows voice calls via the VoIP system.