WhatsApp vs Telegram in 2021: 7 key differences between apps

WhatsApp and Telegram are the two main messaging platforms today, which always leads to comparing the two to see which is the best. And that is what we will do in this article, analyze in-depth the WhatsApp and Telegram Android apps to tell you the key differences between the two in the middle of 2021.

Before delving fully into the main differences that we have found, we must mention that both services also have similarities, such as the availability of dark mode, which you can now activate on both Telegram and WhatsApp. In addition, we recommend downloading the latest versions of both apps to have their latest news and thus check the key differences between WhatsApp and Telegram.

WhatsApp vs. Telegram: the main differences

WhatsApp vs. Telegram the main differencesAlthough it seems that WhatsApp and Telegram are similar platforms that offer the same functionalities to their users to chat, the reality is far from this. After analyzing the Android apps of both services, we have found some key differences that tip the balance towards one option or the other. Let’s see them.

Chat features

WhatsApp has always been characterized by going behind Telegram in terms of functionalities. What’s more, it is known to all that it is often “inspired” by the rival platform to integrate some of its new tools, such as its new animated stickers.

Despite that inspiration, WhatsApp still lacks useful chat features that we do find in Telegram, such as the possibility of continuing to listen to audio even if you return to the chats tab and enter a different conversation. While in Telegram, you can navigate and communicate through other chats while listening to the voice note, in WhatsApp, you are obliged to remain in the conversation if you want to listen to it in full.

When using chat, we find another main difference if you intend to send files. While Telegram’s weight limit is 1.5 GB – a not inconsiderable figure – in WhatsApp, you can only send files that do not exceed 100 MB. Although the platform acquired by Facebook has improved this detail recently, it is still far from matching Telegram.

We cannot forget another of the most important differences: the editing of messages, present in Telegram since 2016. While Pavel Durov’s platform allows modifying messages to correct errors, in WhatsApp, it is not possible to change the sent message and, worst of all, It seems that it is not a function in which those responsible are working.

WhatsApp statuses

Although it is not to everyone’s taste, WhatsApp Status is an interesting tool to share multimedia content with all those contacts that you have added. Facebook decided to add this adaptation of Instagram Stories to WhatsApp, and there are already many users who use it to publish photos and videos that disappear after 24 hours.

Do not try to search for a similar section in Telegram because it is not there nor expected. In this way, the States continue to be a key difference between WhatsApp and Telegram in the middle of 2021.

Privacy & Security

Security and privacy have always been some of the most relevant aspects for Telegram, which had end-to-end encryption long before WhatsApp. Its CEO, Pavel Durov, has warned numerous times about the danger of using WhatsApp.

Although the Facebook platform has improved significantly in this regard, it is still one step behind Telegram. For example, the Russian service offers the option of communicating through secret chats in which messages can self-destruct after being read by the recipient.

While a normal conversation is stored in the cloud, these secret chats can only be read by you and the other contact. Furthermore, messages cannot be forwarded, screenshots cannot be taken, and the chat is only accessible from the device on which it was created. Undoubtedly, options like this make Telegram stand out from WhatsApp in terms of security and privacy.

Another aspect related to privacy that tips the balance towards Telegram is the possibility of adding to contacts without having to give the personal phone number. While in WhatsApp, the other user must know your phone, in Telegram, you can do it through the username.


Being able to modify the appearance of the interface of the apps you use is always a plus. WhatsApp and Telegram also differ in this detail, as you may have already seen if you use both platforms. On the one hand, in WhatsApp, you can only change the background of the conversations through Settings> Chats> Background.

The possibilities are broader in Telegram, where you can create and install themes with total freedom when choosing the colors for the different elements of the interface. Of course, you can also choose between the different themes offered by the platform and change the background of the chat.

Cloud storage

Besides serving as a messaging platform, Telegram is also a great cloud storage service. Even if you delete files shared in a conversation, you always have the option to redownload and open them. It is very different, which does not allow you to re-download a file if you have already downloaded and deleted it.

By having the sending limit of 1.5 GB, Telegram is a great platform to store files in the cloud, knowing that you will always be able to access them, regardless of the device from which you access them. Also, being stored in the cloud, you can view the files without taking up memory on your phone. Again, this point is for Telegram.

Bots and channels

We could not ignore another of the key differences between WhatsApp and Telegram in 2021: bots and channels, which give you access to additional content on the celestial platform. For example, you can count on the help of bots to remind you of certain tasks, to recommend wallpapers, or to offer you the best GIFs. On the other hand, channels are communication tools that disseminate information to all users who subscribe.

These Telegram functionalities, where you can easily add bots or create your channels, make it one step ahead of WhatsApp, where we do not find anything similar to bots and channels. If you want to spread information to many contacts simultaneously on the green bubble platform, it is best to broadcast.

Bots and channelsCalls and video calls

We finish with the audio and video calls, the last relevant difference between the two apps. Although Telegram is already testing video calls in its beta version, the reality is that both calls have been available on WhatsApp long before; it has even expanded the limit of people to 8 for video calls.

While we wait for Telegram to add video calls for all users, WhatsApp wins this individual battle.

Conclusion: WhatsApp vs. Telegram

The previous comparison has made it clear that Telegram is one step ahead in terms of functionalities. To mention some advantages, in the platform of Russian origin, you can edit messages, send files of up to 1.5 GB, customize the interface and access the extra content of bots and channels.

On the other side, we have WhatsApp, which has allowed you to make free video calls for years and share temporary content through its States. In addition, in favor of WhatsApp is its user base, made up of 2,000 million people as of 2021. While in Telegram, it isn’t easy to find all your family and friends, with WhatsApp, you know that you can almost always communicate with whoever you want. As always, the final decision to prefer to use one or the other is up to you. Like me, you can use both platforms without problems and take advantage of both.