This war has been going on for quite some time now.
I have been wondering, when will it end? How will it end? And with the recent service outage, this fight has once again been brought to the foreground.
What fight? Telegram vs WhatsApp, duh!
To be honest, I have been using both apps in relative peace and harmony.
That was until WhatsApp (alongside Facebook and Instagram) experienced worldwide outages.
At about 10 pm that fateful night, I noticed that I couldn’t download any media that was being sent via WhatsApp, while my Telegram chats were alive with gifs and various media.
To quote one of my friends, “It’s not us. It’s WhatsApp.”
I guess now, I can now firmly say that I am #TeamTelegram.
And I will tell you why.
This is probably the most obvious difference between WhatsApp and Telegram, and definitely one of the most useful functions of the latter.
On Telegram, there are numerous channels surrounding different topics that provide you with timely information ranging from MRT updates to good lobangs.
Here are some of my favourites:
- SG MRT (timely updates on train faults and maintenance)
- SG Kiasu Foodies (food-related deals and discounts)
- DateIdeas Singapore (interesting events and ideas for outings)
- Goody Feed (My boss forced me to write this one but, hey, if you want entertaining and interesting articles like this, we’re the channel to go for.)
Another thing that Telegram has is the existence of chatbots.
These are bots that you add into existing group chats for various functions, or have conversations and make inquiries with.
Some are gaming bots, where the bot helps to set up games like Werewolf, Cards Against Humanity and Quizarium. There are also bots that help create polls and other interesting functions.
My favourite bot has got to be Bus Uncle. Yes, that same sassy Bus Uncle on Facebook!
Feel free to ask him for your bus arrivals, and if the wait is too long, you can even ask Uncle to tell you a joke!
3. Does not have media compression
Ok, as someone who is a little anal about photo quality, I’m always a little bummed by WhatsApp’s photo compression.
I mean, what’s the point of having phones with amazing cameras when WhatsApp doesn’t retain the quality?
This is where Telegram comes through.
You can send files without compromising on its quality. In fact, Telegram allows you to send files as large as 1.5GB, so you can send your media files uncompressed in its original quality.
The maximum file size that WhatsApp allows is only 16MB.
4. Group member limit on telegram is higher
If you have the need to reach out to a large number of people (e.g. interest groups, info sharing), or simply have an insane number of friends, this function is for you.
Here’s the thing. The group member limit blows my mind. What is it?
200,000 members. That’s insane.
5. Group chat functions
But what’s so great about groups in telegram? Maybe you don’t have 200,000 friends so the group limit situation is useless to you.
In my opinion, Telegram made groups great again.
Some of my favourite features:
Ever had a message get lost in a very passionate group discussion, and no one knows where and when dinner will be? Pin the message to the top of the message box and no one will miss the information again.
In Group Hashtags
Some chats get really crazy and there might be multiple topics going on at the same time. Just use a #hashtag in your message and that word becomes searchable, allowing you to find all relevant messages by clicking on it.
6. Security and Secret Chats
Another thing Telegram is known for, is its security features. On top of its usual chat settings, users can also create secret chats.
Secret chats use end-to-end encryption and leave no trace on servers.
You can also create self-destructing messages and don’t allow forwarding.
Additionally, secret chats are not part of the Telegram cloud and can only be accessed on their devices of origin.
Meaning, if the chat is created on your phone, you can only access it on your phone and nowhere else!
7. Saved Messages
Another one of my favourite features, Telegram allows you to forward messages to yourself.
And by messages, I mean anything from files and links to photos and documents.
On top of that, everything is stored in the Telegram cloud, which means anytime you wish to access these items, you can do so!
No need to download beforehand and no compression at all!
It is also super easy to access your saved messages. Just go into the sidebar and click “Saved Messages”! No fuss, so easy.
8. Web App is independent of mobile app
If I don’t reply, my phone died.
Familiar? One of the biggest hassles of using WhatsApp Web is that when your phone dies or loses internet connection, the connecting web service goes offline as well.
It’s not possible to use both independently of each other. Incredibly frustrating.
Telegram doesn’t have the same issue.
It is perfectly okay to use either the web version, phone version, or both at any one time!
This is because instead of depending on just a phone connection, Telegram uses user login data as well.
No more worries if your phone dies in the middle of a work/school day.
9. Connect via username and not phone number
I am not great with numbers, and if you are anything like me, you probably find phone numbers confusing.
Instead of trading phone numbers, Telegram allows users to connect via username!
Think of it like Instagram. You just have to search for a username and voila, you can chat away.
This feature is also great for people looking for some extra privacy. If you connect with someone via usernames, you will not be able to access the other party’s phone number.
This is great especially when big chat groups are now a thing.
10. Editing and deleting messages
People with fat fingers, raise your hand. Typos range from amusing to just downright embarrassing. As an English major, having bad spelling is bad. So I claim “typo!” as a way to save my reputation.
But with Telegram’s edit message function, I can very simply edit my messages!
Or you know what, if it’s something totally embarrassing like my inability to flirt over text messages, just delete the message and save yourself from impending doom. (No “message deleted” textbox like WhatsApp too!)
No more typos! No more… awkward… pick-up lines…
That is also provided that the other party doesn’t see the message before you do so.
So, yes, these are 10 reasons why Telegram is better than WhatsApp.
Not convinced? Well, to be honest, I truly believe that once you try Telegram, you’ll understand why I advocate for Telegram.
So hopefully, with these 10 reasons, I have convinced you to at least try Telegram. I know for sure though, once you give it a go, you’ll become an addict like me.