Here’s why Telegram will probably never beat WhatsApp

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Like other Facebook services, WhatsApp There is a lot of investigation going on this year. The service thwarted the rollout of a new privacy policy, and competitors boomed, offering new ways for WhatsApp users to switch their messages. It worked! These apps, mostly Signal And Wire, recorded user growth during that turbulent period. This week, an extended WhatsApp (and Facebook in general) outage left WhatsApp out for hours on end, with rival platform Telegram gaining 70 million users.

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“Telegram’s daily growth rate exceeded the norm by an order of magnitude, and we welcomed over 70 million refugees from other platforms in one day. I am proud of how our team handled the unprecedented growth as Telegram Has been working flawlessly for most of our users.” CEO Pavel Durov said.

Durov requested that the new members stick along and see what Telegram has to offer. This may be a more telling statement than intended.

The difference in scale is almost too big


Telegram has logged an additional 70 million users and recorded 500 million active users, but WhatsApp has 2 billion active users and is the most used mobile messaging service. on a global scale. How many of them overlap with WhatsApp? Quite a number, if I had to guess based on my own experience. This points to the fact that while people may be jumping on Telegram, it isn’t even their primary messaging app.

“WhatsApp has a record 2 billion active users and is the most used mobile messaging service globally.”

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While these small spikes in Telegram and Signal can happen so frequently, users don’t stick to, or increase them for long. spikes stay consistent. While a person can have Telegram and open it once a week, most people in countries with high WhatsApp usage use it continuously.

It’s Beyond Network Effect

WhatsApp Chat Transfer with Lightning to USB-C Cable.

Even if one is willing to bear the pain of moving away from their friends and using Telegram for trusted friends, you will still need WhatsApp in select cases. For a lot of countries, WhatsApp is more than a messaging platform. You can pay on WhatsApp, you can shop there, your plumber is there, the government, even the mail company, etc. During the pandemic, it wasn’t Telegram that governments turned to to spread the message to their citizens, but WhatsApp (and Facebook Messenger) to a lesser extent.

“For many countries, WhatsApp is more than a messaging platform.”

During the Facebook shutdown, the economic impact of WhatsApp was deeply felt in India, as slate reported. “People across India are in panic,” said Anil Tiwari, an internet expert from Lucknow. It was also difficult to figure out what was going on; He reported that “only 2.7% [of the] India’s population is on Twitter.” People in smaller cities were able to turn to SMS messages instead, minimizing the loss to small businesses, “but in metro cities where businesses primarily run on apps, It made an impact.”

Excellent gizmodo The report further pointed out that WhatsApp was well established in the economic systems of many countries at a far more than commercial level, with bundled and telecommuting plans built around WhatsApp’s continued existence.

Telegram is a lot like WhatsApp

Telegram App.
Michael Archambault/Nerdshala

Switching to Telegram for WhatsApp is quite easy when both the apps are quite similar in concept and execution. You can also think of Telegram as a WhatsApp+, with nifty customization features that WhatsApp doesn’t have and a more built-in set of group features. It’s an app that works for pretty much anything you’d need a messaging app for, but it doesn’t do much that most people can’t accomplish in WhatsApp.

For people to switch collectively, you need to be able to answer “why would I switch to Telegram” in a convincing, convincing way that justifies the pain of swimming against the network effect. It’s a lot like the iMessage problem writ big.

Still, WhatsApp won’t be here forever

WhatsApp and Telegram app icon.
Raphael Heinrich / SOPA Images / LightRocket via Getty Images

There was a time when people could message each other without using client apps. Hell, Microsoft and Blackberry both built experiences around Facebook Messenger. That time is long gone. And so there is any chance to shake WhatsApp from its position, at least in the near term.

If WhatsApp is to be a grab (barring serious strategic blunders), it won’t come from any other app that’s like it. Instead, it will be much like what WhatsApp took over from BlackBerry Messenger and SMS, an app that provides the core of WhatsApp’s appeal while bringing something completely different to the table. I can’t say what such an app would look like, but it will be clear when it arrives.

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