Signal Vs Telegram: Best Alternatives of WhatsApp, Why?

WhatsApp has recently announced its new privacy policy – a post which over 5 billion-plus users of the world‘s most popular messaging app WhatsApp – are baffled with the newest version of the privacy policy and raised quite a furor. Now, the question is why so much furor – the answer to this is that it is mandatory to accept new WhatsApp policies if you wish to continue using the app and you bet, it is non-negotiable.

Signal Vs Telegram

Signal Vs Telegram: Best Alternatives of WhatsApp, Why?

SNAPSHOT: WHOPPING STATS

  • WhatsApp has rolled out its new privacy policy for users to comply.
  • Telegram and the “new kid in the block” – Signal are the two best options at the user’s disposal to continue messaging.
  • Signal witnessed about 7.5 million installations globally via the Google Play Store Apple app store since the announcement of the new privacy policy. These whopping 7.5 million installations took place between January 6th and January 10th to be precise – according to app-analytics firm Sensor Tower. A whopping 4,200% increase the vis-à-vis the previous week.
  • Telegram witnessed its meteoric rise in terms of the app download which was 5.6 million globally between January 6th and January 10th and added 9 million new users sign up in the same period – according to Apptopia.
  • Signal accounted for approximately 1 million of Signal’s installs in the US alone – the second biggest market for Signal.

WHY YOU SHOULD BANISH WHATSAPP OR NOT?

WhatsApp‘s new privacy policy has received a lot of flak and ignited a storm of protest – in the aftermath of this announcement, most of the users have opined that they are looking for other avenues by migrating to the different messaging platforms. To decode the salient points of the privacy policy, WhatsApp users need to agree and accept to allow Facebook and its subsidiaries to access their user data – the action of acceptance needs to be completed on or before February 8th failing which the user will not be able to use WhatsApp.

So, what kind of data will WhatsApp share?

According to WhatsApp, the data that will be shared include account registration information (such as your phone number), transaction data, service-related information, information on how you interact with others, mobile device information, and a lot more.

The best WhatsApp alternative – Signal vs Telegram?

Here is an insightful story with regards to the differences between the two contenders for being a worthy WhatsApp alternative.

End to End encryption

In the context of end-to-end encryption, Telegram is empowered with end-to-end encryption – though it is not enabled by default. One has to use its secret chats feature to have the conversation flowing in an end-to-end encryption environment.

Signal scores over Telegram as all communication and conversation are protected by end-to-end encryption by default

Data collection practices

Telegram usage requires name, phone number, contacts, and User ID – these are data points collected by Telegram. A Telegram user or account can be identified with the tip-off provided by User ID.

Signal is all about user privacy and is by far the most private messaging app as it collects no user data. Signal only requires your contact information for registration purposes but there is no breach of trust as it doesn’t link directly to your identity.

Sharing Files

Telegram users can share a whopping 2 GB file – yes that’s the file size limit for Telegram. You can easily share large file sizes via Telegram.

Edit messages that you have sent

Editing and rectifying a message that you have already sent in Telegram is such a breeze. However, the same is not available in Signal yet.

Adding to Home Screen

If you are using Signal, you don’t have an option to add a chat to the home screen of your device. However, the same can be done in Telegram.

Create Polls

You can create Polls in Telegram using a Group chat – an awesome in-built feature that helps you to seek opinions of people and get their perspectives. For Signal users, this Polls feature is not present as of now.

Last Seen Time & Online Status

Telegram users can leverage from the last seen time and notify their online presence. On the other hand. Signal doesn’t have either of these features, as of now.

Sharing your contact details

One can chat with anyone without revealing the contact or phone number – such a good option. However, Signal doesn’t have this option.

Read Notifications & typing indicator

With Signal, you have the privilege of turning on or off the read receipts and not letting anyone know that you are typing out a message – you can completely be on a stealth setting. Both of these features can be customized in Signal. Telegram doesn’t have any of these two!

Pin Chats

Both Signal and Telegram support pinning chats to make a chat pinned at the top of the stack of chats.

iPad App

There is no support for the WhatsApp app for iPad users. That being said, Apple fans can rejoice as both Signal and Telegram can be used in iPads.

Groups

A Telegram user can build a group with up to 200,000 members whereas with Signal you can do so not more than 1000 people. With Telegram, you can mute a group – however, when you are mentioned you need to manage and tweak notifications settings. You can mute notifications rendered by groups to unalert you for any messages – this can be done by tweaking the settling group by group – there is no “one size fits all” solution meaning you cannot mute all groups at one go.

Username

Signal doesn’t support the user name option – you don’t have the ability to create a link which you can share with people whom you wish to chat with. Telegram allows you to create user name – this doesn’t mean that you have to tag along your phone number every time you share a link with username to start a conversation.

Note to Self

Signal, on the other hand, has this innate feature which is “Note to Self” – an amazing feature that facilitates sending messages to yourself. Leverage from this feature to make notes for yourself or use it as your “to do” list or help you serve as a reminder.

Secret Chats & Self-Destructing Messages

A salient feature that Telegram boasts is what they call is “self-destructing” messages in a “secret chat” environment which can be sent to someone – the message will self-destroy itself in the phone to whom you have sent after a certain duration (you can set the self-destruct timer) and the same cannot be forwarded.

Signal has a similar feature wherein you can send a message that will disappear after the expiry of the time duration that you have fixed. In the case of Signal, one can forward the disappearing message.

Animated Stickers

Animated Stickers are not available in Signal whereas Telegram empowers a user with loads of animated stickers. Signal users can send their own stickers and regular emojis.

Closing Words:

Both privacy-focused messaging apps Signal and Telegram are top and the best contenders to replace WhatsApp. However, that being said if you deep dive and draw an analogy between the two – Signal is unbeatable when it comes to privacy with its “state of the art end to end encryption” as part of its service offering and Telegram is head and shoulders above the rest because it is brimming with features.

Hence, it depends on the end-user as to what matters the most – security or messaging features and make the transition.

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