One thing that gave a slight nudge to Telegram over WhatsApp was their channels feature. However, things are changing now as Meta has launched the WhatsApp channels feature. We thought you might be wondering how the two compare against each other. So, presenting you the WhatsApp channels vs. Telegram channels comparison post.
In this post, you will learn the differences between WhatsApp and Telegram Channels in terms of engagement, privacy, search, notifications, and more. We have also covered the similarities between the two. Let’s get started.
1. Engagement and Interaction
Both Telegram and WhatsApp channels work in the same way. That is, they provide a one-way medium to the channel creator, aka admin, to send messages to their followers or subscribers. In this one-to-many broadcast feature, the recipients cannot reply to messages sent to the channel.
However, both services offer different interaction or feedback options for messages. In WhatsApp channels, you can interact with 6 basic emojis. Currently, you cannot interact using custom emojis.
On the other hand, firstly, Telegram offers a wide variety of emojis, and the admin can choose which emojis to allow as reactions. Furthermore, the admin can even link a group to the Telegram channels where discussions regarding channel updates can take place.
When a group is linked, subscribers will see a comment button under each post on the Telegram channel.
Tip: Learn the difference between Telegram channel and WhatsApp broadcast
2. Subscribers vs. Followers
Telegram calls the participants that join a channel as Subscribers, whereas WhatsApp refers to them as followers. So you will have X followers on WhatsApp and X subscribers on Telegram.
Tip: Know the difference between Telegram channels and groups.
3. Privacy of Members and Admin
What makes channels different than groups is that the members cannot see other participants. This is true for both WhatsApp and Telegram channels. Furthermore, the admin also cannot see the participant’s names unless he/she is added to their contact. Both services also let you see the total number of members.
Moreover, the anonymity of the admin is also maintained in both services i.e., participants cannot see who the admin is. The messages are received with the channel’s name. However, Telegram offers a feature to add the admin’s name to messages.
Tip: Check out 3+ ways to hide WhatsApp chats
4. Visibility in the App
In the Telegram app, you will find no major mention of channels as such. If you don’t know about this feature, chances are you will never discover channels, as there is no separate tab that lists channels or at least shows popular channels. You don’t even get a separate section to see your joined channels. The subscribed channels will appear in the All Chats section of the Telegram app.
On the contrary, WhatsApp has a dedicated section for channels. Tap on the Updates tab at the bottom, and you will be greeted by the Status and Channels section. Scroll down to the Channels section, and you will see the list of channels you have joined, followed by the Find channels section. Tap on See all to see a whole new world of channels.
5. Ability to Find and Discover Channels
To discover new Telegram channels, you need to use the common search icon at the top of the home screen. Type the channel name, and it will show in the search results.
When it comes to WhatsApp, as you saw above, it has a dedicated Channels section where you can discover new channels and see your joined channels. To see the WhatsApp channels search directory, go to the Updates tab and tap See all next to the Find channels. Here, you will see various categories to filter WhatsApp channels, like most active, popular, and new.
What’s even more interesting is that you can filter the WhatsApp channels based on countries. And, of course, the search icon will further let you discover new channels.
6. View Counter
All the subscribers of a Telegram channel can see how many people have viewed each channel message. You will see an eye icon at the bottom-right corner of the message, along with the count. WhatsApp doesn’t offer the channel metrics feature except for admins. But both apps show the number of reactions received on each message.
7. Number of Admins
Telegram lets you add additional admins to a channel. However, this feature is unavailable in WhatsApp channels as of writing this post.
Tip: Know the rights and powers of admin in WhatsApp groups
8. Lifetime of Messages
The messages sent in Telegram channels stay in the channel until the admin manually deletes the message. This isn’t the case with WhatsApp channels, where a message will be automatically deleted after 30 days.
WhatsApp channels are muted by default. That is, if you join a WhatsApp channel, you will not receive its notifications because it is muted. You need to unmute a WhatsApp channel to receive its notifications manually. For that, open the channel and tap on the Bell with a bar icon to unmute it.
On the other hand, Telegram channels aren’t muted by default. However, once you join a channel, you will see a big Mute button at the bottom of the channel. Moreover, you can also send silent messages via Telegram channels. Just tap on the Bell icon while creating a new message in a Telegram channel.
10. Similarities Between Telegram and WhatsApp Channels
Apart from the above differences, there are multiple similarities between the Channel feature of Telegram and WhatsApp. Let’s check them out.
Type of Content
You can send text, links, photos, videos, stickers, and polls in both types of channels.
Number of Channel Participants
There is no limit on the number of people joining a Telegram or WhatsApp channel. Both services can have unlimited subscribers.
When a user joins a WhatsApp or Telegram channel, he/she will see the entire earlier message history in both services. Of course, that’s limited to 30 days of messaging in WhatsApp, as WhatsApp automatically deletes messages after 30 days. Moreover, the user can see the history even while discovering channels, i.e., without joining a channel if it’s a public channel.
Tip: Learn how to print WhatsApp chat history
Types of Channels
Both services offer two types of channels – private and public. Private channels aren’t discoverable. You need a link to join them. On the other hand, public channels appear in search results.
When a message is forwarded in the same app from a Telegram or WhatsApp channel, it will include the channel’s name and link.
Time to Broadcast Messages
Those were the differences and similarities between WhatsApp channels and Telegram channels. To conclude, Telegram channels can be helpful if you want to save the message history. On the contrary, WhatsApp channels offer better discoverability. Which one do you prefer – WhatsApp Channels or Telegram Channels? Let us know in the comments below.
Last updated on 18 September, 2023
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