The conversation between Telegram vs WhatsApp is one that has been long going. Telegram users feel that their preferred platform is much more superior compared to WhatsApp while the later users really don’t care about Telegram.
As much as feature-to-feature Telegram is more superior, WhatsApp has dominated the peer-to-peer messaging segment because it simply just works. Like the iPhone (I couldn’t think of a better comparison), lack of seemingly cool features does not mean that WhatsApp is not attractive to many people.
Throwing shade aside, WhatsApp has been playing catchup to Telegram’s endless list of features. Back in 2014, Telegram’s founder, Pavel Durov, penned down a short article on Medium accusing WhatsApp of stealing features from his platform.
He even went ahead to “predict” a few more features that were already on Telegram back then that WhatsApp users would soon be getting and interestingly, his list of prediction was pretty much spot on.
In this piece, we’re going to list all the features that appeared first on Telegram before they showed up on WhatsApp:
End-to-end Encryption – a few years ago, WhatsApp messages were saved in plain text in their servers. Which meant that anyone who gained access to these servers, would easily be able to read the messages, The concept of adding an extra layer of encryption was later introduced but this was after Telegram had had it for years.
Ability to Share Documents – Sharing of files has been present on both platforms but Telegram not only supports larger files but it also supports sharing of multiple file formats, something that WhatsApp only recently acquired (not large files though).
Web Version – You know WhatsApp web? Well, before WhatsApp web, there was Telegram Web.
Pinned Chats – Simple features like pinning a specific chat to the top of your messages list was not available on WhatsApp until recently.
Group Joining Link – We all hate being added to groups without our consent, but this keeps happening. Before we tackle the vice, there’s this feature that has recently shown up on WhatsApp that allows group admins to share links for people to join their group voluntarily, well, you guessed it, the feature first appeared on Telegram.
Mentions – Tagging a specific on WhatsApp was not previously possible, but now you can do so.
Replying to Specific Messages – You know how you can now reply to a specific message in groups and individual chats, well, that first happened on Telegram.
Revoking Messages – We have all used this feature and we’ve probably complained that we hate how WhatApp alerts the person on the receiving end that a message was deleted. Well, Telegram has had the same feature only that it does not do the snitching. Once a message is gone, it’s gone.
Self-destructing Messages – This one is yet to hit the masses but rumours recently surfaced that WhatsApp was working on adding a feature that would allow users to start messages that would self-destruct after a set period. While this may sound exciting for WhatsApp users, Telegram users will have you know that they have enjoyed the feature for a very long time.
While we celebrate the far that WhatsApp as a messaging platform has come, whether through borrowed features or innovation (really struggling to pinpoint this), there’s still a long way to go.
Here are a few features we wish WhatsApp would borrow from Telegram:
- Editing already sent messages
- Using two accounts on the same device within the same app
- Hiding our contact details from people we wish to, especially hiding them in groups
Which platform do you use more, WhatsApp or Telegram?