Telegram vs. WhatsApp — Which App to Choose for Business Communications in 2024

Telegram vs. WhatsApp — Which App to Choose for Business Communications in 2024

Portrait of Ivee Yang Lark's Author
Portrait of Ivee Yang Lark's Author

Ivy Yang

February 23, 2024

2/23/24

Feb 23, 2024

2/23/24

11 min read

A graphic showing Telegram and WhatsApp logos
A graphic showing Telegram and WhatsApp logos
A graphic showing Telegram and WhatsApp logos
A graphic showing Telegram and WhatsApp logos

Finding the right messaging app can be challenging. Telegram and WhatsApp, giants in this realm, offer unique strengths but also come with drawbacks.

Telegram offers rich features, while WhatsApp has a colossal user base. While the apps are great for casual conversations, how do they do when it comes to business communications?

In the following sections, we dissect each app's features and capabilities and delve deep into how they perform professionally.

Telegram vs. WhatsApp in a nutshell

While both platforms excel in connecting users worldwide, their subtle differences can significantly impact user experiences. For example, Telegram prioritizes security and versatility, boasting features like secret chats and self-destructing messages. It caters to privacy-conscious users and those requiring extensive file sharing, accommodating file size limits of up to 2 GB. This makes it particularly appealing for individuals and businesses seeking heightened privacy measures and efficient file exchange.

WhatsApp, renowned for its extensive user base and default end-to-end encryption, facilitates widespread communication. Its intuitive interface, with features like Business Catalogs and quick replies, makes it a preferred choice for businesses engaging with a broader audience. WhatsApp's strength lies in its accessibility and convenience, serving as a go-to platform for connecting with a large user base.

Looking to integrate messaging seamlessly into your business workflow? Lark offers a suite of comprehensive productivity tools along with a powerful chat function, all in one package.

Telegram vs. WhatsApp: Which has the best features?

Even though WhatsApp has existed longer, Telegram has quickly gained a strong following. Today, both offer great features and have succeeded with different user groups. Both apps offer versatile messaging options, including self-destructing messages and group chats. As such, the answer to who has the best features depends on what the user wants. Here's a quick run-down of the best of what each app offers.

Telegram's standout features

Telegram heavily emphasizes enhanced security and versatility, including Secret Chats, which features end-to-end encryption and provides (near) complete privacy. As such, users can also set messages to self-destruct after a specific time.

Telegram also boasts an impressive file-sharing capacity, allowing users to transmit files of up to 2 GB — a notable edge over WhatsApp. Its wide platform availability, including Linux, caters to diverse user preferences, emphasizing accessibility.

Telegram also offers chatbots, which can help companies automate tasks like answering queries and processing orders. Businesses can leverage Channel Analytics to track performance and engagement metrics and check member growth. These insights enable informed decisions to enhance overall business strategies.

WhatsApp's standout features

With over two billion active users globally, WhatsApp is the most popular. Unlike Telegram, which requires users to toggle end-to-end encryption, WhatsApp encrypts all communications by default. The disappearing messages feature adds an extra layer of privacy with customizable self-destruct timers. While excelling in security, its larger user base facilitates widespread communication.

WhatsApp also offers Business Catalogs with which companies can create virtual storefronts to showcase products. Additionally, the platform offers a quick reply feature, allowing businesses to create predefined responses for common queries. This streamlines customer interactions, ensuring efficient communication and quicker response times.

How they stack up

WhatsApp's default end-to-end encryption provides a seamless, secure communication experience for its massive user base. On the other hand, Telegram's strength lies in its expansive file-sharing capabilities and unique Secret Chat feature.

Despite their commendable features, Telegram and WhatsApp exhibit limitations for business use cases. While privacy is prioritized, the absence of robust business-oriented features may hinder their suitability for professional communication.

The apps could benefit from enhancing functionalities like collaborative document editing, integrated project management, or advanced team communication tools to cater more comprehensively to business needs. By consolidating these essential business functions into one unified interface, Lark simplifies workflows and reduces the need for switching between multiple applications.

Telegram vs. WhatsApp: Which has the best integrations?


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Instant messaging is fairly straightforward. Telegram and WhatsApp are fast, reliable, and have a great user interface. However, you need the instant messaging app to speak seamlessly with your other productivity tools in business. Effortless, proper integration can thus be critical in deciding which app to consider. Here's how the two stack up against each other.

Integration options offered by Telegram

Telegram's app offers developers two key interfaces. Its Bot API enables the creation of programs using Telegram messages as an interface. The Telegram API with TDLib facilitates the development of tailored Telegram clients.

Notably, both APIs are provided free of charge. Developers can seamlessly integrate Telegram's functionalities into their projects without additional costs. This commitment to accessibility enhances Telegram's appeal as a platform for innovative and customizable solutions.

Integration offered by WhatsApp

The WhatsApp Business API allows businesses to integrate WhatsApp into their existing systems. The API integration enables businesses to send and receive messages, respond to inquiries, and incorporate images and videos. The API operates with predefined message templates for outbound notifications, promoting standardized and non-promotional communication.

Businesses leverage the API for rich communication experiences, using features like interactive buttons and multimedia messaging. Also, a lot of third-party APIs exist to integrate WhatsApp with specific apps.

How do they stack up

While Telegram and WhatsApp exhibit commendable efforts in facilitating integrations, they fail to address certain business-centric needs. Telegram's APIs, while developer-friendly, lack some of the business-specific tools and features offered by WhatsApp's Business Platform. Conversely, despite its business-oriented approach, WhatsApp may not provide the same level of customization and freedom that developers seek.

It’s also not as easy to access WhatsApp’s API as it is with Telegram’s. While Telegram has a well-documented and available API, WhatsApp has historically been more restrictive with its API. Businesses need to apply and be approved to use it, and it’s not generally available to smaller developers or hobbyists.

Telegram vs. WhatsApp: Which is the easiest to use?

Both apps can be easy or difficult to use, depending on what you implement them for. WhatsApp may be the simpler choice for casual chats with its straightforward interface and user-friendly design. The streamlined process of sending messages, photos, and video calls makes it an intuitive option for everyday conversations.

Telegram facilitates large-group interactions through supergroups, accommodating up to 200,000 members. This makes it an effective tool for businesses promoting their products or services to a broad audience.

Moreover, Telegram channels play a crucial role in business promotion, enabling advertising to a considerable user base. The platform further enhances user experience through chatbots. It offers time-saving solutions for notifications, YouTube video downloads, and news updates.

On the desktop front, Telegram stands out with its highly customizable desktop app, making it one of the best in the instant messaging landscape. The extensive customization options set it apart from WhatsApp, providing users with a personalized experience. Telegram allows web usage without needing a mobile installation, employing OTP verification rather than QR codes.

While both Telegram and WhatsApp boast advanced features, it's worth noting that for certain business use cases, such as more advanced marketing tools and integrations, there's room for improvement in both platforms.

Business users may find a gap in messaging features essential to their specific needs, encouraging further developments in the competitive landscape of instant messaging services. Integrated business productivity tools also come as a standard feature in Lark. Users can seamlessly transition between messaging, file sharing, task management, calendar scheduling, and more, all within the same platform.

Telegram vs. WhatsApp: Which is the most secure, private, and compliant?


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Telegram's security profile

Telegram stands out with its 'Secret Chat' feature, which provides end-to-end encryption for one-on-one conversations, bolstering privacy and security. Additionally, Telegram empowers users by allowing them to delete text or voice messages from both sides of a conversation.

Furthermore, its self-destruct feature enables users to set different time ranges for messages to automatically delete. Telegram also offers a screen lock feature, requiring a passcode or fingerprint scan for additional security. However, similar to WhatsApp, it cannot hide phone numbers, which may concern some users.

WhatsApp stands out for its default end-to-end encryption across all chats, ensuring robust security for user communications. However, it offers limited options for text or video message deletion and cannot hide phone numbers, compromising a user's policy.

On the other hand, Telegram provides end-to-end encryption for secret chats only. It offers more control over personal conversations with message deletion from both sides and self-destructing messages. However, Telegram falls short in allowing users to conceal their phone numbers.

WhatsApp's security profile

WhatsApp distinguishes itself with its robust encryption protocols, offering default end-to-end encryption for all chats. This feature secures messages, calls, and status updates, shielding them from unauthorized access.

However, its limited message deletion capabilities may pose a drawback. Users can only delete messages for themselves within a short timeframe, leaving behind a trace that the message was removed. While WhatsApp offers a screen lock feature, it cannot hide phone numbers, which may concern users seeking heightened privacy measures.

How do they stack up

Both messaging platforms prioritize user privacy to an extent. However, given their open architecture and popularity, they will always be open to attacks. For example, Kaspersky recently discovered malware that was harvesting data from both WhatsApp and Telegram.

This is why we believe business messaging apps should be kept separate from those used for personal communications. As all business functions come integrated out of the box, there are no security loopholes in Lark.

Telegram vs. WhatsApp: What are other users saying


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User sentiment about Telegram

Telegram receives praise for its ability to accommodate larger file sizes and offers greater control over conversations, which resonates positively with users. The platform's standout feature lies in its capability to hide phone numbers, enhancing privacy and control over personal information. Overall, users commend Telegram for its versatility and robust features, positioning it as a compelling alternative to other secure messaging apps.

User sentiment about WhatsApp

Users widely appreciate WhatsApp for its extensive features and widespread adoption, making it a preferred choice for connecting with a larger audience. However, some users express frustration with the limited time frame for deleting messages and the residual clues left behind. Despite these drawbacks, WhatsApp remains highly regarded for its user-friendly interface and convenience.

Telegram vs. WhatsApp: Personal vs. enterprise messaging app breakdown

Both apps have business-specific features and integrations. WhatsApp collects basic data, offers end-to-end encryption, and allows the deletion of messages within a limited time frame. In contrast, Telegram lacks default end-to-end encryption but offers self-destructing messages and secret chats for enhanced privacy.

In terms of group capabilities, WhatsApp supports smaller groups of up to 256 members, while Telegram accommodates larger groups of up to 200,000 members. Telegram's file-sharing capabilities surpass WhatsApp, enabling users to share files up to 2 GB. Automation features differ slightly, with WhatsApp offering an API for automated messages and Telegram supporting third-party apps for automation.

Telegram excels in collaboration options, allowing access from multiple devices for seamless team interaction. However, WhatsApp's active user base and security features make it preferable for businesses to prioritize engagement and data protection. While Telegram boasts benefits like group capacity and control, WhatsApp shines with features like stories and group calling, catering to diverse business needs.

Integrating Telegram or WhatsApp Business into existing business workflows often requires additional third-party tools. Most businesses will need additional apps in their inventory for project management, file sharing, and collaboration.

For instance, businesses may need to integrate Telegram with task management apps like Trello or Asana for project tracking or WhatsApp Business with CRM systems for customer relationship management. These integrations can be time-consuming to set up and may require additional costs.

In contrast, Lark offers a comprehensive suite of business productivity tools, including messaging, file sharing, calendar, and task management, all in one platform. With Lark, businesses can streamline their operations without requiring extensive integrations or the hassle of managing multiple apps. For example, teams can create tasks directly from chat conversations, share files seamlessly, and schedule meetings effortlessly within the same platform, enhancing productivity and collaboration across the organization.

Telegram vs. WhatsApp: Which is right for you?


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Telegram appeals to power users with advanced features and customization options, making it ideal for those seeking more control over their messaging experience. On the other hand, WhatsApp stands out for its vast user base, offering unparalleled connectivity and the ability to easily reach a broader audience.

Power users may gravitate toward Telegram's rich feature set, including secret chats and extensive file-sharing capabilities, while WhatsApp's simplicity and widespread adoption make it appealing to those prioritizing widespread connectivity and ease of use.

For streamlined business communication, Lark presents an all-in-one solution that integrates various business apps, reducing the need for additional technical configurations. By offering pre-integrated tools for messaging, file sharing, and collaboration, Lark simplifies workflows and enhances productivity for businesses of all sizes.

Conclusion

Overall, Telegram and WhatsApp Business can work as valuable communication tools. However, businesses looking for a more integrated solution combining messaging with essential productivity features may find Lark a better fit.

By providing all necessary tools in one platform, Lark simplifies workflows, improves efficiency, and enhances collaboration, making it the preferred choice for modern businesses seeking a comprehensive productivity solution.

While Telegram and WhatsApp offer great features for personal use, Lark's business-focused design provides a more efficient and tailored solution for professional communication and collaboration.

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