Switch from WhatsApp to Telegram
If you’re new to Telegram or haven’t tried the app before, here’s everything you need to know about using the messaging service. This should give an idea of how Telegram is better than WhatsApp and what you get if you move. That said, let’s get started.
Why should I quit WhatsApp?
According to WhatsApp, the Company shares the following information with Facebook and other Facebook-owned companies:
- phone number
- transaction data
- service information,
- information about how you interact with others when using Facebook Services
- mobile device information
- your IP address
Additionally, according to WhatsApp’s App Store listing, the company links the following data to your identity:
- financial informations
- Contact information
- User content
- Usage data
Create an account on Telegram
Telegram is available on all major platforms including Android, iOS, Windows, macOS, Linux, and Web. You can create a Telegram account after install app on the platform of your choice. Registering an account on Telegram requires an active phone number and you will need to verify your phone number during the account creation process. Once you’ve verified the number, you can add your name and get started.
Move Personal Chats to Telegram
Although it was not possible to import WhatsApp chats to Telegram before, Telegram has recently introduced a chat import tool to help you import WhatsApp chats to Telegram seamlessly.
To use the tool, open a chat, tap More -> Export Chat. You can also choose to move the media by tapping “Include media”. If you just want the messages without media files, you can tap the “No Media” button.
In the share sheet that now appears, choose Telegram and tap on the recipient’s chat from the recent messages list or search for it using the search box. After finding the right contact, tap on “Import”.
Supported formats and limits
With Telegram you can send messages, emojis, GIFs, stickers, animated stickers and files. Unlike WhatsApp which limits videos to 16MB and documents to 100MB, you can send files up to 2 GB in size on Telegram. If you are new to Telegram, this will make a tangible difference in how you share files with your friends. It’s also worth mentioning that you can create your own sticker pack to make crazy sticker packs. Oh, and did I tell you that you can set animated videos as your profile avatar?
One aspect that you should keep in mind when using Telegram is that the the application does not have end-to-end encryption by default, unlike WhatsApp. Don’t get me wrong, chats are always encrypted using Telegram’s MTProto server-client encryption protocol. You can read more about how Telegram approaches encryption on the company’s explainer here. If you want that extra layer of security, you should look at Telegram secret chats this offer end-to-end encryption.
To enable Secret Chats, open the chat window and tap on the contact’s name. You will now be redirected to the detailed conversation details page where you can view the files you have shared in the past. Here, tap the three-dot vertical menu and choose “Start Secret Chat.” Telegram will now create a separate chat session with the same contact. On secret chats you can set a self-destruct timer ranging from 1 second to a week.
You should also note that the ability to forward messages is disabled on secret chats. While you can pick up where you left off on Telegram apps on all platforms, secret chats are limited to the device you’re initiating the session on. In other words, you cannot continue a secret chat on another Telegram app from the same account.
If you’re not a big fan of WhatsApp’s dark mode and hate the fact that you can’t customize the theme, Telegram is here to welcome you with open arms. Telegram not only lets you customize every aspect using a powerful theme engine, but also offers a way to export themes to share with friends and family. You can change your chat topic from Settings -> Chat Settings -> Color Themes.
Move group chats to Telegram
Just like personal chats, WhatsApp offers an Export button to extract a copy of messages from groups. Open the group you want to export messages from and tap More->Export Chat. You can now specify if you want to include media using the “Include media” option.
Choose Telegram from the share sheet that now appears and tap on the new Telegram group. If you don’t have a new group, you can create a new group to import messages using the “Create a new group to import” option. Read on to find out how you can create a new group on Telegram the traditional way.
Creation of a new group
To create a new group, tap the FAB pencil on the home page and tap New Group.
Telegram will now prompt you to add participants and set a name and picture for the group. Once you have done both, your new group will be created.
Group privacy and link sharing
After creating the group, you have the option to set the privacy of the group to public or private. To change this setting, tap the pencil icon on the group description page and choose Group Type. While the private group requires an invite link, any Telegram user can join your group through the search feature if you set it as public. Public groups have the option of getting a permanent link. Unless it’s an open source project or a discussion group on a topic of common interest, I recommend keeping your group type private.
To share your group’s link with friends and family, tap the “Copy Link” button on the same page and paste it into your friend’s chat. Alternatively, you can tap Share link and send invite link on your old whatsapp group chat. Your friends can then join the group by tapping the link.
Telegram offers granular controls to define the capabilities and limits of other administrators. If you grant admin rights to another group member, you can choose whether they have the ability to edit group information, delete messages, ban users, invite users, pin messages, manage voice chats, add new administrators or send anonymous messages. You also have the option to set a custom title for certain administrators.
Switch to Telegram and enjoy advanced messaging features
Telegram clearly has an edge when it comes to the number of features it offers. Combined with the power of cloud chats, Telegram allows you to seamlessly continue your conversations across devices without breaking a sweat. If you’re wondering how Telegram compares to WhatsApp and Signal, be sure to check out our detailed WhatsApp vs Telegram vs Signal comparison which dives deep into features and privacy. You should also check out our compilation of Telegram tips and tricks to use the app like a pro.