mobile app development

WhatsApp vs Signal vs Telegram - A War Between Top Messaging Apps

This WhatsApp vs Signal vs Telegram comparison review discusses these communication apps from the user privacy and data security perspective!

WhatsApp vs Signal vs Telegram

Communication, thanks to the evolving technology, has changed and become much easier within a decade compared to before. From texts to emojis making conversations funnier, communication apps have also become an important companion of our daily lives. These apps are keeping us in touch with our friends, families, colleagues, and more. On top of that, these apps care about our privacy as well by offering securities like end-to-end encryption. 

Whatsapp vs Signal

Source- https://www.statista.com/statistics/258749/most-popular-global-mobile-messenger-apps/

Now, among all the leading names in the industry of communication apps, WhatsApp, Signal, and Telegram are heard very frequently. All of these three communication apps have a huge user base. Thus, we are going to compare them and pick one name that leads the race between WhatsApp vs Telegram vs Signal.

WhatsApp vs Signal vs Telegram - Number of Users

Before we proceed further and talk in detail about these three apps, let’s have a look at some crucial statistics. If we compare the number of users between Signal vs WhatsApp, there’s a huge difference. According to a Statista report, WhatsApp is leading the messenger apps industry with a whopping number of users touching 2 billion by July 2021. However, the alternative to WhatsApp, Telegram, had 550 million users until the same period. 

In the comparison of WhatsApp vs Telegram vs Signal, the Signal app remained behind with a user network of 40 million people from all over the world. But the credit can be given to its release which was much later than WhatsApp or Telegram apps. The Signal app saw a crucial boost in its user network when Elon Musk suggested people use Signal instead of WhatsApp for security and privacy reasons. Since then, millions of people have on boarded the Signal app.

Is Signal better than WhatsApp or Telegram in data collection?

Well, to answer this question, let’s look at the data collected by WhatsApp vs Signal vs Telegram.

  • WhatsApp- Device ID, User ID, Advertising Data, Purchase History, Coarse Location, Phone Number, Email Address, Contacts, Product Interaction, Crash Data, Performance Data, Other Diagnostic Data, Payment Info, Customer Support, Product Interaction, and Other User Content

  • Telegram- Contact Information, Contacts, and User ID

  • Signal- Contacts

As you can see that the Signal app collects the least amount of user data among WhatsApp vs Telegram vs Signal, your identity is more secure while using the Signal app. Hopefully, it clears why Signal is better than WhatsApp or Telegram in terms of personal user data collection. 

Signal vs WhatsApp vs Telegram - Features

Furthermore, we are discussing the features of these three secret texting apps individually. 

Features of WhatsApp

Features of WhatsApp

Source- https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.whatsapp&hl=en_IN&gl=US 

The WhatsApp app was initially released in January 2009. The freeware communication app is now owned by Facebook, Inc. From end-to-end encrypted conversations to themed stickers, the WhatsApp app has interesting features to offer. Let’s have a look at them!

1. Can add up to 256 people in a group

The WhatsApp app allows users to add up to 256 WhatsApp users in a group to share conversations, photos, videos, documents, and audio with them. The social media app also allows you to modify group names, pictures, and members whenever you want. 

2. Cross-platform access

The WhatsApp app allows you to use multiple devices with a single account. You do not need to install any app on your PC or laptop to use WhatsApp. A simple QR scan from your smartphone’s WhatsApp app can give you access to your WhatsApp account.

3. Voice and video calling

Apart from secured texting, WhatsApp allows you to call individuals or in groups to other WhatsApp users. These calls are made via the internet, thus, there is no additional cost of calling people even if they are overseas. 

4. Vanishing mode

Whatsapp’s Vanishing Mode allows users to have private conversations that disappear once the receiver reads them. This feature was already existing in Snapchat where messages are either deleted after 24 hours or once they are seen. But now, even WhatsApp has launched the feature as well. It also depends on the receiver, if they have saved the messages by tapping on them.

Features of Telegram

Features of Telegram

Source- https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.telegram.messenger&hl=en_IN&gl=US

The Telegram app was initially released on August 14, 2013. The app is known for its end-to-end encryption in chats and video calling. By January 2021, the Telegram app had 500 million monthly active users on the app. And since then, the app is continuously growing. Let’s have a look at its features to figure out is Telegram safer than WhatsApp or Signal?

1. Secret chat

This alternative to WhatsApp also comes with a secret chat feature secured by the MTProto protocol. Messages sent in the Secret Chat mode are not saved on the cloud storage of the user. To access secret messages, the sender and the same receiver devices are required where these chats initially happened. 

2. Self-destructing messages

The privacy of users has always been safer with the Telegram app among Telegram vs WhatsApp encryption. Telegram app has been offering Self-destructive Messages since long back compared to its alternatives like WhatsApp or Signal. 

3. Effective reporting system

The Telegram app takes reports submitted by users seriously. You can report content like bullying, pornography, harassment, and more to the Telegram team. Contents violating Telegram policies are removed from the app as soon as the team gets done with the review procedure.

4. Adding people without contact numbers

To add people to the Telegram app, you do not need to share your contact number. You can ask them to add you via your link, or you can share your QR code with them which they can scan. Among Telegram privacy vs WhatsApp privacy vs Signal privacy, Telegram makes the virtual environment safer for users.

Features of Signal

Features of Signal

Source- https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.thoughtcrime.securesms&hl=en_IN&gl=US

This cross-platform messaging app was released on July 29, 2014, by Signal Technology Foundation and Signal Messenger LLC. Recommended by Elon Musk, the Signal app is popular due to its user privacy standards. From collecting the least amount of information to get users on board to securing chats with end-to-end encryption, the Signal app is a perfect tool for private communications. 

1. View once media

This feature of the Signal app leads the market in terms of media sharing privacy among WhatsApp privacy vs Signal privacy policies. The feature allows recipients to view the content only once. 

2. Screen security

If enabled, this feature allows users to restrict the receiver from taking any screenshots. Thus, it reduces the chances of a chat getting leaked unless a different device is used to capture the chats.

3. Incognito keyboard

This feature makes sure that whatever you type on chats does not get saved on the keyboard. Thus, no words that you have used will be visible in suggestions if you use the Incognito keyboard feature while typing.

4. Up to 1000 group participants

The best thing about this Signal app is that you can make and manage a group of 1000 people on the Signal app. It is way more than its alternatives like WhatsApp or Telegram.

To conclude - Is Telegram safer than WhatsApp or Signal?

Well, it is conditional. For instance, features like Telegram stickers make the app fun to use. However, Signal, developed by one of the top app development companies, is the best option for user privacy. It uses the least data access and can even run on slow networks. So, if your priority is privacy, then Signal, hands-down is the best option.

Arpit <span> Business Development Head </span>
Written By
Arpit Business Development Head

He is responsible for marketing programs, brand management, and corporate sponsorships. He thrives on challenges, particularly those that expand the company’s reach. Next to work, Shadow, his dog, immensely contributes to his happiness.

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