Facebook Messenger and Telegram are the solutions for WhatsApp problems

Social networking, instant messaging collaboration tools are much advanced in consumer internet than enterprise tools. Actually, tools available for consumers were much advanced than the apps available for enterprises. The moment the product gets launched in the tech app store, the adoption rate is significant, creating a new necessity for the urban utopia to download from app store. In fact, these tools, in turn, caused a ripple effect in enterprises, redefining their collaboration strategy.

There are so many out in the market like Google Wave(email invented in web 2.0 era), Facebook, WhatsApp(SMS & VOIP for internet age), Telegram. The popularity of tools depends on solving people’s need at that point in time in an easier way, perhaps addressing the shortcoming of the existing product.

WhatsApp made the communication extremely simple, kept the people’s nervousness high by the live status of typing, blue tick acknowledgments, multi-message to multiple groups forwards at ease of convenience. It made the communication extremely simple & incredible at the same time exploiting the universal weakness of our brains through constant validation of our messages & replies.

The primary concern of the WhatsApp is local storage of media files where storage space gets filled with media junk apart from the inability to retrieve media at later point of time. This is due to the fact that WhatsApp does not store anything on their servers apart from 30 days since the message is posted. This post is meant to address the concerns of WhatsApp & propose alternatives — in terms of the functionality offered, cloud storage and seamless experience with the desktop version.

Though there are so many alternatives, here I am going to propose Facebook Messenger & Telegram along with pros and cons.

Facebook Messenger:

Facebook messenger offers quite comprehensive features almost to that of WhatsApp.

Pros :

  • offers individual chat.
  • group chat.
  • allows media uploads.
  • allows message forwards to multiple groups.
  • integration with facebook.
  • allows group chat even with anonymous.
  • desktop(web app) and mobile app access.
  • audio & video call. audio recording.
  • reactions to a particular message using emojis.
  • media shared are stored in facebook cloud. Can be retrieved at any given point even years later.

Cons:

  • requires facebook id.
  • chat communications are like a mail without a subject in a form of threaded conversations.
  • facebook groups and instant messenger groups are different and confusing.
  • group communications are a mail with multiple facebook recipients and the group name being the names of those recipients.
  • no mobile web access.
  • does not support forwarding of multiple messages though supports forwarding individual messages to multiple groups.
  • does not have search feature in individual chats though search is available for overall contacts and messages.

Figure 1a. Facebook Messenger Mobile app showing individual chats, groups.

facebook messenger android app

Figure 1b. Facebook Messenger web app.

facebook messenger web app © Image source — www.messengerforweb.com

Figure 1c. Facebook Messenger Inbox.

facebook messages web app © Image source — www.emgigroup.com

Telegram:

Telegram not only offers close to the capabilities of WhatsApp but also the usability experience and other form factors are as same as that of WhatsApp along with the cloud storage.

Figure 2a. Telegram mobile app.

Telegram mobile app — chats, groups & messages.

Figure 2b. Telegram desktop app.

Telegram desktop app — chats, groups & messages.

Pros :

  • offers individual chat.
  • group chat.
  • allows media uploads.
  • search individual & all messages.
  • allows multiple messages forwards to multiple groups.
  • seamless interoperability with the desktop version. Apps available for popular mobile platforms like iOS, Android, Windows Phone & desktop platforms like Windows, Mac & Linux. Access desktop version without switching on the mobile version unlike WhatsApp, which demands mobile internet to be enabled on the installed device.
  • media files deleted in mobile and desktop to free up storage space can be retrieved later from the servers as media and messages are stored in cloud i.e. in Telegram servers.
Auto-deletion of media in mobiles and desktop with appropriate settings to free up storage space. In order to do that, change the default settings of Keep Media from forever to 3 days as shown below( Setttings -> Data and Storage -> Storage usage -> Keep Media). Though deleted, these media are stored in cloud, can be retrieved later from Telegram Servers. This prime feature of Telegram addresses the limitation imposed by WhatsApp.

Figure 2c. Telegram Storage Usage auto clearing media files.

Telegram Clearing Storage Space Settings. © Image source — https://i.imgur.com/HRU8Daq.jpg

Figure 2d. Telegram Storage Usage using desktop app(Settings -> Advanced).

Telegram Storage Space Settings. © author

Cons:

  • requires a mobile number to sign in.
  • does not support video call at the moment.
  • does not support Snapchat’s stories feature at the moment(they might roll out in near future).
  • no mobile web access.
  • no separate tab for call history.

If you ask my personal opinion of which tool to use, I would suggest opting Telegram for close-knit circles, that keeps users at fidgety and keep Facebook messenger for extended circles.

Note — The intent of the post is not make you quit WhatsApp and uninstall from the phone. Apart from lamenting on the problem of inability to retrieve media content at a later point in time and polluting the phone memory, have suggested suitable alternatives to overcome the limitation of WhatsApp.