Telegram vs WhatsApp: Similarities and Differences

Telegram and WhatsApp are some of the major messaging apps currently in the market. For people who have used both apps, it can be hard to tell which one of these apps is better than the other. Here is a detailed comparison of Telegram Messenger and WhatsApp Messenger, which is currently the leading messaging app with regard to number of users.

Telegram vs WhatsApp


  1. Both apps have cross-platform compatibility. Telegram and WhatsApp can be used on iOS, Android, Windows, and a host of other less popular messaging app platforms such as BlackBerry, Linux, and so forth.
  1. Both apps can be used on a regular computer. However, Telegram is better suited to desktop use than WhatsApp, which is only accessible through a regular computer through a browser.
  1. Both messaging platforms do not have ads displayed to their users. For WhatsApp, this is the reason the app requires the payment of subscription fees, while Telegram simply seeks to offer a great use experience.
  1. Both apps allow users to create or join group chats in order to interact with several users at a go. The apps also allow their users to use broadcast messages whereby it is possible to initiate chats with various users at once.
  1. Both apps follow practically the same set up process. To sign up with either of the messaging apps, the user needs to provide a phone number and a user name that will be displayed to other users. In addition, with both apps, it is possible to set a profile picture, block users, change chat background, deactivate accounts and even delete conversations.


  1. WhatsApp has substantially more users than Telegram does. While WhatsApp boasts of over half a billion users, Telegram has only about 10 million users.
  1. WhatsApp, despite being launched 2009, is much older than Telegram, which was launched in 2013 and is less than two years old at the moment.
  1. Telegram is absolutely free, while WhatsApp is not. WhatsApp users are required to pay $0.99 a year after using it for free for a year, although Facebook has been reluctant to enforce this policy as of yet, preferring to extend the trial period again and again until it meets its growth projections, in future, all subscribers might have to pay to use the app.
  1. Telegram is much better with regard to privacy than WhatsApp is. For instance, Telegram has a secret messaging feature that allows users to send end-to-end encrypted messages that are not stored on servers and can even be destroyed after a period of time as an extra privacy measure. WhatsApp does not offer alternate features with such a formidable level of privacy.
  1. Using Telegram, it is possible to send messages in form of documents like zip files and so on. WhatsApp does not have this feature.
  1. WhatsApp allows users to change their phone numbers on their accounts. With Telegram, users are required to deactivate their previous account and open new accounts if they want to change their numbers.


To some extent, Telegram is very similar to WhatsApp messenger. For instance, both apps are available across a number of platforms, allow access through a desktop computer, support group chats and broadcast lists, and incorporate several customization options.

However, there are various differences between the two apps as well. For one, WhatsApp is much older, has substantially more users, and requires the payment of a subscription fee after the first year of use. Telegram, on the other hand, offers better privacy options and lets users send documents, unlike WhatsApp.

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