When WhatsApp was launched it was a revolutionary cross-platform messaging system that was independent of your cellular provider.
No matter which service provider, which phone you had you would be able to send SMS messages, multimedia messages and more all over the internet. WhatsApp proved very successful. As with anything that is successful it isn’t long before someone decides that they want a piece of that pie. Often they are poor imitations of the original. Telegram however is proving very popular and likes to boast about the options that you have with Telegram but don’t have with WhatsApp.
So what is the truth?
Telegram is more secure that WhatsApp.
WhatsApp has had some highly publicised security breaches. Telegram has its own encryption system and has offered a prize of $200,000 to anyone who can breach it. Whilst it is probable that there are many thousands of people beavering away to breach Telegram, the money is safe – for the moment. A flaw was discovered with Telegrams servers which the company paid out $100,000 to the team that discovered it, Telegram then fixed the problem.
There are concerns that the privacy agreement that WhatsApp has with its users will be eroded under the Facebook ownership.
Telegram is tiny compared to WhatsApp.
So why should this matter? As with WhatsApp, with Telegram you can only use it to message people who have Telegram downloaded. WhatsApp has over 450 million users and is still growing all the time. Telegram is only just starting but two elements in two days gave Telegram a big boost. Firstly the announcement that Facebook was buying WhatsApp and secondly a 4 hour black-out of WhatsApp services. Even with the large boost that gave Telegram it still has only about 10% of the users that WhatsApp has.
With Telegram you can chat with secrecy.
“The no. 1 reason for me to support and help launch Telegram was to build a means of communication that can’t be accessed by the Russian security agencies.” says Pavel Durov, the co-founder and financial backer of Telegram says. Telegram allows users to go into secret encrypted chats where the messages have a self-destruct code in them.
Under the anti-terrorism, crime fighting banner there is sure to be the resources of many countries security services attempting to make that claim become redundant.
Telegram is free whereas you pay for WhatsApp.
At the moment that is a bit disingenuous of Telegram. WhatsApp is free for the first year and then it is $0.99 a year after that. Like WhatsApp (at the moment), Telegram does not carry advertising. Telegram does say though that when the money runs out, it will ask for donations or charge for optional extras.
So is Telegram a threat to WhatsApp?
This is something that only time will tell. It all depends on a rather demanding and fickle customer base. There are people who will not use WhatsApp because of its association with Facebook. There are people who will use WhatsApp because of its association with Facebook.
In the end, whichever platform triumphs, it may not be a matter of which is the best system – it may just be a matter of what the users happen to decide on.