Messenger derby; WhatsApp vs Telegram


WhatsApp is a son in the house of Facebook. Telegram is the invention of Russian entrepreneur Pavel Durov.

On the face, WhatsApp is more watertight secure; all communication on it is protected by what those learned in tech matters call ‘end-to-end encryption’.

Forgive the brag; just grandiose way to say nobody can see and interfere with your conversations.


Understand WhatsApp’s security prowess insidiously. Facebook’s infamous data leakages to Russian operatives during Donald Trump campaign provide an oxymoron. ‘Selling’ data being Facebook’s core business model, makes it even more suspect.

Now that I mentioned Russia, is Messenger as white as snow? Durov may be a descendant of Gorbachev and Putin but bears no ties to Kremlin.

He fled to Dubai in 2015 after Russian authorities were displeased with his VKonatkte social media network (Androidauthority)


Telegram applies end-to-end encryption (now that you know it, indulge yourself in the swagger) only on calls and secret chats. The philosophy is that you probably would not mind the government trying to encroach into a mere good-morning chat with a friend.

While on Telegram and feeling apprehensive, you invoke “secret” chat feature. The system self-destructs messages even after a second. It’s a blank cheque; you can make messages disappear on the other person’s device. Machiavellian but useful on a chitchat with one riddled with malignant paranoia.

While you need telephone number for a WhatsApp account, you do not necessarily need one for Telegram. A username does it. My grandchildren will never need numbers for telephony.

Telegram does not clutter your device’s internal storage with your downloaded pictures, videos and documents. All those stored on own system’s cloud. And that makes Telegram multiplatform.

If you are like me, a descendant of Bill Gates Windows, you simply open the web portal and, behold, Telegram will show up with all your data in it. Magical.

WhatsApp allows you to send/share files up to 16MB. Telegram is lavish, up to 2GB. You can also have multiple accounts on one device.

Telegram allows ‘circumcised’ users to tweak things to their advantage. Companies like NBM or FDH can actually use Telegram to deliver utility tokens without paying a dime.

Popularity begets popularity; in Q2, 2021, WhatsApp had 2.89 billion monthly active users (Stastica) while spglobal records that of Telegram at stingy 500 million. This means it is most likely that the Janes and Johns you know are on WhatsApp.

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