Telegram is one of the most popular cross-platform messaging apps, which is pretty much loaded with a ton of features. Though a tough competitor to WhatsApp, Telegram is third according to download count, if the most popular cross-platform messaging applications are brought to the picture. No doubt WhatsApp is at number one, IMO is at 2nd, and Telegram is 3rd. With 100 million downloads, the user-base of Telegram is really gigantic, and you can start using this secure messaging app platform as secondary messaging application if you are not confident about using it as the primary one.
I don’t know whether Telegram will overtake WhatsApp in terms of download count anytime soon, but it has really overtaken WhatsApp if it comes to features. Yes, this messaging app has a huge set of features, which WhatsApp is far from, as of now. Telegram is a kind of open-source project, and its API is already available for further developments, which always give this secure messaging app a lead if compared to WhatsApp, where the availability of a long-awaited feature become the headlines of newspapers. The biggest advantage of using Telegram is the user interface. The user interface of Telegram is almost similar to WhatsApp, and thus, you shouldn’t take long to learn using it.
So let’s get started with the features, which are unique in Telegram, and is not yet available on WhatsApp.
In today’s world of technology, privacy is a big question mark. But when companies are apologizing for leaking our data, you always control the messages while you are sending it to your Telegram recipients. Yes, with the self-destructive messages feature on this app, you can make the messages automatically disappear after a few seconds or minutes of reading it, or instantly after that. Yes, pretty helpful for those gossips about that friend, who always peep into the private space.
You can’t even take screenshots of self-destructive messages for improved security.
How to use Telegram New Secret Chat?
Tap on the Pen icon, and choose ‘New Secret Chat’. Now choose the contact with whom you want to initiate the private chat.
Now tap on the triple dot menu, and tap on ‘Set self-destruct timer’. Choose any value between 1 second to 1 week.
Secure your messages with a passcode
One of the features, which WhatsApp, the most popular messaging app still lacks, is a native message locker feature. You either have to depend on the third-party apps or should be among those users using MIUI or other custom user interfaces. But this messaging app offers you the option to secure your messages with a passcode effortlessly within the app. It is really handy if you want to keep your messages completely away from those prying eyes.
You can even change the Auto-lock duration to prevent Telegram from asking for the passcode for long chat sessions when you lock and unlock the screen back-to-back.
By default it will prevent you from taking screenshots when your messages are secured with a passcode, for improved security.
How to use Telegram Passcode Lock to secure messages?
- Tap on the hamburger menu (the menu with three lines)
- Tap on Telegram ‘Settings’
- Scroll down to find ‘Privacy and Security’
- Tap on ‘Passcode Lock’
- Now in the page, enable ‘Passcode Lock’ with the small switch at the top.
- Enter a passcode, followed by the tick mark at the top.
- Now all your Telegram messages are secure.
- Tap on Auto-lock, and choose your auto-lock duration in the Passcode Lock screen.
- You can even allow taking screenshots from within the same page, as well.
Edit already sent messages
There isn’t anybody who don’t make mistakes while typing on that small virtual keyboard. That’s when the following feature of the secure messaging app comes in handy. You can easily edit the sent messages to keep away any possible awkwardness. Yes, I know how great the feature is. Though the recipient will be able to see an ‘edited’ tag on the message, that’s not a big deal. No longer sending a new message with all the corrections.
How to edit already sent message on Telegram?
- Go to the Telegram chat.
- Just tap on an already sent message.
- Message options menu will open.
- Now, tap on ‘Edit’ in the menu which appears in the menu
- Edit the message.
- Tap on the tick mark to send it instantly.
Show the ‘Last Seen’ time to limited users
WhatsApp offers the option to hide the ‘Last Seen’ time to persons, not in the contact list, to nobody, or display it to all. But this messaging app is different. It offers additional ways to display the last seen time. You can set the ‘Last Seen’ time to the basic options, but you can even hide last seen time from certain contacts, and show the same to rest, as well. This feature is helpful for certain users for obvious reasons.
How to Hide Last Seen on Telegram?
- Tap on the hamburger menu
- Open ‘Settings’
- Go to ‘Privacy and Security’
- Tap on ‘Last Seen’ under the ‘Privacy’ tab.
- Now tap on ‘Nobody’ and add exceptions, whom you want to show.
- You can even choose ‘Everybody’, and add exceptions to hide your last seen from certain users.
Open web links within the app
No need to depend on other browsers while opening links sent by other Telegram users. Yes, I know how handy it is.
How to open external links within Telegram?
The feature should be activated by default. In case not follow the below steps:
- Go to ‘Settings’
- Find out ‘Messages’
- Find In-App Browser
- Turn on the Toggle button
- Now ‘In-App Browser’ will start opening links within the Telegram app.
Stream videos within the app
Watching videos is really a great pass-time. We get a number of great videos from our friends and family members. But for YouTube or other streaming videos, the videos need to be opened either in a separate app or a browser. But with this messaging app, you can get things sorted. Watch normal videos and streaming videos directly within the app. Though the feature needs some improvements it is still cool.
How to use Telegram Stream Videos and Audio Files feature?
Just like other great Telegram features, this feature should also be activated by default. Just in case it is not activated:
- Go to ‘Settings’
- Tap on ‘Data and Storage’
- Now scroll down to find out ‘Stream Videos and Audio Files’.
- And slide the Toggle button to turn on this feature
Now you can enjoy streaming audios and videos without leaving your chat session on Telegram.
Chat easily with the Telegram desktop app
Yes, WhatsApp offers a service to use it from the browser, and directly from the desktop. But there is a catch. Both your computer and your smartphone should be connected to the internet. That makes the feature half-boiled. But with the Telegram desktop app, it is hassle-free and better. You can even contact your mates, even when your smartphone is not connected to the internet. Everything will be synced once both the devices are connected to the internet.
How to use Telegram desktop app?
Download Telegram desktop app from the internet. You can get it for Windows (even a portable version is available), Linux and Mac. Install it. Now get started by entering your mobile number. You will get a Telegram message with a one-time password for authentication. For detail, instruction see: How to download and install telegram for PC- Windows, MacOS, and Linux
Send bigger files
When the world is moving towards 8K videos, WhatsApp limit the size of sending files aggressively to 16 MB. It is really a big disappointment for the power users. But with Telegram, you can send files as big as 1.5 GB. Now that is a big reason to switch to Telegram from WhatsApp.
Support for peer-to-peer calling
WhatsApp route all the calls through its servers, which can slow them down but can also even prevent your IP address from getting disclosed to the person you are calling. Though calls even are secured with end-to-end encryption as well, why allow them to get hands on even the encrypted data. It offers peer-to-peer calls, which can not only be fast but can also offer a better quality. If you are worried about your IP address getting disclosed, you can choose peer-to-peer calling only for certain recipients you trust. Thus, get the best of both worlds with this messaging app.
How to enable peer-to-peer calling on Telegram?
Peer-to-peer calling on Telegram is enabled for all the contacts by default, but you can even configure it.
- Go to ‘Settings’
- Select ‘Privacy & Security’
- Now scroll down to choose users for whom you want Peer-to-peer calling
- You can switch between everybody, only to your contacts, or totally stop peer-to-peer calling.
There are apps, which can allow 2 WhatsApp accounts to run on a single device. But that is not as cool as the one offered by this messaging app, where you can add multiple accounts to it. Yes, the best way to sort out your work life and personal life. Just add an account and switch effortlessly between accounts to view and send messages.
How to use Telegram Multiple accounts?
- Tap on the hamburger menu
- Then on ‘Add Account’
- Now repeat the same steps as you do perform for creating a new Telegram account
- To switch between different accounts by again opening the hamburger menu, and by tapping on the account.
That’s not it. Telegram even have a plethora of other handy features, which make it way better than WhatsApp. Everything is possible for its open-source nature, and you can directly contact the developer group for any of your grievances, or for your own suggestions. Other notable features include automatic deletion of account if not used for a certain time, integration with different third-party platforms, Telegram Bots, Stickers, a supergroup with 3000 participants with some additional features, and a lot more.
Though Telegram is better than WhatsApp, it also lacks a few features. The biggest being the absence of the video calling feature. I wish that is introduced soon. It doesn’t even come with the Status feature as offered by WhatsApp. But none of the non-existent features is a deal-breaker if you have made up your mind to switch to Telegram.
The only thing this app need is a good promotion to make people aware of the features. Telegram being open-source, it doesn’t collect your data to share the same with advertisers. Thus, your data is always secure.
Hope the information on the Telegram features was informative to you? Did I miss out any great feature of Telegram? Surely let me know about it in the comment section down below.
You might also like to know about:
- How to Create a Telegram account on Android, iPhone, and Windows
- How to Save Media and GIF files from Telegram on Android, iPhone & Desktop
- How to share media from Telegram to Whatsapp
- How to Delete Account in Telegram Permanently- Android & iPhone
- How to create a restricted group on Whatsapp; only Admin can post