The era of instant messaging came to life about 40 years ago. With so many competitors in the red ocean, WhatsApp came with its blue ocean strategy and currently leads the market in Nigeria with Facebook messenger and Telegram following behind. Other competitors like 2go, WeChat, etc, have been pushed far down the ladder. WhatsApp and Telegram Applications are very similar yet unique in their business model; they are both fast, free and secured with end-to-end encryption yet different in their own way. They took time to study what the consumers want and then break away from the norm. Although these two Apps are seemingly great, there are various things we secretly wish they could do.
Over the years, WhatsApp has made various improvements and added new features to improve its customer experience, well, we believe more can be done. For instance, a limit of 256 is way too small to cater for a social group. That was a terrible mistake and the reason consumers had to consider Telegram. Group admins could add anyone they feel like to group chats without consent, which creates a breach of privacy. Our market survey of 100 Baby Boomers, 100 GenX, 100 Millennials and 100 GenZ in Nigeria, reveals that 80% of each of the group are irritated by this, only the GenZ has 30%. The remaining are generally not bothered as they will simply remove themselves. We recommend that invites alone should be sent, leaving the recipient to accept or reject.
Why would WhatsApp allow sent messages to be deleted only to turn around and snitch on us? Not only is that not cool, but it also defeats the purpose of secured delete. At least we should be given the opportunity to edit and resend. Also, why do we need to download another enabling app to be able to save or download the status of our friends that is shared for our consumption? Lastly, it’s high time WhatsApp begin to work on their cloud storage. We keep losing important messages even when chats have been backed up. The last time I switched phones, there was an error retrieving my chats. Very disappointing.
However, WhatsApp in itself is a very cool app that has a social aura with status and video call options which encourages bonding among friends. And despite its limitations, it ranks higher in customers usage than Telegram.
Though a distant follower, Telegram is waxing very strong and coming up very fast. With its unique features such as bot compatibility which makes the App geek-friendly, provision of channels which is used to build large communities, the availability of secret chat option which gives people a sense of privacy, the high group chat limit and etc, Telegram has carved out a niche for itself. Although people can’t stop gushing about the App, many complain that it is too formal and business-oriented. But it appears that is what it is meant for. In fact, businesses take Telegram business platform more seriously than a WhatsApp business platform. It feels like a place to get information and breeze out. The feeling of friendship and bonding is very minimal, unlike its industry leader. Its greatest flaw is its look-design. Nevertheless, the App is preferred by groups and business users and it is an excellent platform if one values privacy.
These two Apps, though strong and distinguished could learn a thing or two from each other, otherwise, a fast competitor with enough resources may beat them to the game. In the end, if you want to keep it business-like or enjoy large user group and privacy, Telegram is the one for you. WhatsApp, on the other hand, has the advantage of being more widely known with more users, yet its group number is limited. It is ironic because social groups need an unlimited number of users. With WhatsApp group limit, Telegram becomes the way out for large social groups. WhatsApp has taken too long to resolve this, and we can only hope that its partnership with Facebook will save the day fast.
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