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  • Post published:January 14, 2021
  • Post category:Apps / Tech
  • Reading time:4 mins read
Signal vs Telegram: Which is the Best WhatsApp Alternative?

WhatsApp is one of the most popular messaging apps out there, with over five billion downloads on the Google Play Store alone. However, the messenger is losing massive users due to the privacy intrusion it creates by updating its privacy policy.

Signal and Telegram, two messenger apps that are known to follow good privacy practices, have consequently witnessed a sudden spike in installs.

Why should you stop using WhatsApp?

Under WhatsApp’s new privacy policy, the messaging app will mandatorily share users’ data with Facebook starting February 8th. Users have no choice but to accept changes unless they want to stop using the app.

The information shared will include “account registration information (such as your phone number), transaction data, service-related information, information on how you interact with others,” and much more.

Signal vs Telegram: Best WhatsApp alternative?

Signal and Telegram are feature-rich, reliable, and easy-to-use chat applications. That said, one sits at the top over the other in certain aspects. Here are the big differences between the two WhatsApp alternatives.

Privacy

Given the context, it’s normal that privacy is one of our biggest concerns. Now, the big question — which of the two is the most private messaging app?

We’ll answer that by looking at Apple’s new app privacy labels, which tell users what data the app collects — that acted as one of the biggest catalysts in bringing changes to WhatsApp’s privacy policy.

iOS privacy labels are divided into three categories — Data used to track you, Data linked to you, and data not linked to you.

Here are the striking differences between the data requested by Signal, Telegram, and WhatsApp:

SignalTelegramWhatsApp
1. Phone Number1. Name
2. Phone Number
3. Contacts
4. User ID
1. Device ID
2. User ID
3. Advertising Data
4. Purchase History
5. Coarse Location
6. Phone Number
7. Email Address
8. Contacts
9. Product Interaction
10. Crash Data
11. Performance Data
12. Other Diagnostic Data
13. Payment Info
14. Customer Support
15. Product Interaction
16. Other User Content

We hope that all your doubts about whether or not you should uninstall WhatsApp after seeing its data collection practices.

As for Signal vs Telegram, it’s safe to say that Signal is the most private messaging app here. The signal does not attempt to identify you or your account whereas Telegram can with the help of User ID. Having said that, Telegram is also quite focused on privacy if you compare it to many other messenger apps.

Messaging features

If you are looking for the best WhatsApp alternative, rest assured that Signal and Telegram both have tons of features. However, you will notice some differences between the two:

Signal Private messenger feature that not available on Telegram

  • Disable read indicators and typing indications. Toggling them off would mean the recipient won’t know if you have read the message and whether you’re have typed something or not.
  • Quickly reply to messages with emoji reactions.

Telegram messenger feature that not available on Signal

  • View online status or last seen of the recipient
  • Start a chat with a person without knowing their phone number
  • Telegram groups can have up to 200,000 members
  • You can send animated stickers and GIFs (Signal supports sending GIFs via gif supported keyboards, but does not offer in-app GIF integration)
  • You can edit the messages after you’ve sent them.
  • Delete messages from the group if you are the admin
  • Chats can be sorted into folders

Note: We will be adding more features to the list in the next few days.

Comparing the two, Telegram has an advantage in features. However, Signal continues to improve and add new things.

Note that we’ve only mentioned features that are unique to both messengers. If you switch from WhatsApp, you shouldn’t have a problem using either one.

Platform availability

Signal and Telegram are both available on Android, iOS, iPadOS, Windows, macOS, and Linux.

Telegram, however, also has a web version and a Chrome web extension.

Signal vs Telegram: Closing

Overall, Signal and Telegram are great WhatsApp alternatives. However, if we look into a certain area, Signal can’t be beaten in privacy whereas Telegram is the winner in terms of features.

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