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13 Telegram Alternatives for Your Secure Messaging Needs [2023 Update]

Asloob Alam

Are you seeking Telegram Alternatives? Then read this blog to learn about alternatives to Telegram and get a quick overview.


Telegram is a cloud-based instant messaging software that is freeware and cross-platform. End-to-end encrypted video calling, file sharing, VoIP, and other functions are also available. Telegram's initial release date was August 14, 2013, for iOS and October 2013 for Android.


Nikolai and Pavel Durov, who were also the inventors of the Russian online social site RK, launched Telegram in 2013.


Telegram's data is dispersed over five data centers in various locations around the world, including the operations center in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

 

As per Telegram founder Pavel Durov, post-WhatsApp privacy policy announcement in January 2021, 25 million new users joined Telegram. This works out to approximately 8.33 million new signups per day. In January alone, more than 100 million new users joined Telegram.

 

Telegram swiftly established itself as a viable WhatsApp alternative. According to a few websites, Telegram now has over 550 million active users, and it is one of the top ten most popular social networks in the world based on the number of downloads. Telegram's success spurred businesses to persuade their app developers to create a perfect replacement.

Why is Telegram not recommended?

If you're searching for chatting apps for your workplace or team, Telegram should be exempted from your list, even though a few startups use it. Since it is a social messenger it wouldn't comply with all the office criteria unless you want to just adjust with calls, talking, and file sharing. Telegram will just be your other messenger like FaceTime, WhatsApp, and so on, however, a capable team communication tool can improve team collaboration and boost work productivity, which apps like Telegram can’t do.


As per the Forbes article, even if you're not a Telegram member, you're at risk from a terrible new threat that uses Telegram to target you with harmful software. You risk data theft, spyware, ransomware, and even a complete system takeover if you're a victim of this cyber attack.


Check Point issued a Telegram warning in 2021, that "it tracked 130 cyber attacks that used malware managed over Telegram by attackers. Even though Telegram is not installed or being used, it allows hackers to send malicious commands and operations remotely via the instant messaging app."

What are the disadvantages of Telegram?

Here are some of Telegram's drawbacks that may make you want to uninstall it and look out for Telegram alternatives.

 

  • Telegram collects users’ contact details and metadata
  • If the articles are to be believed, Telegram is not an end-to-end encrypted
  • It has limited support
  • Since Telegram has a 1.5 GB file size limit, illegally downloaded movies are being mixed in with adult content that is not appropriate for children.
  • Telegram also allows attackers to access hacked machines from practically anywhere on the planet using their mobile devices.
  • Due to some operational advantages, cybercriminals are increasingly using Telegram as part of their activities.
  • Attackers can simply exfiltrate data from victims' PCs or transfer new malicious files to infected machines owing to Telegram's unique communication features.

 

Observing the above-so-said segmentations, on the contrary, users have huge benefits from utilizing Telegram as their social chat app, which any app like Telegram may not offer.


If you believe that we are being subjectively biased by pointing out Telegram's drawbacks, further information will show just how objective we are.

How are users benefited from Telegram?

Do you know that with 700 million monthly active users, Telegram has ascended to become one of the top 5 downloaded apps globally in 2022? According to Telegram, it has never spent money on advertisements; instead, it was users who shared their positive experiences with other users (friends, relatives, acquaintances, colleagues, and others). As a result, they did get persuaded to download it.


In light of this, Telegram introduced a premium plan that gives users access to extra premium features while allowing free use.

Telegram Premium

Users will have access to increased limits, better chat management, 4 GB file uploads, faster downloads, exclusive stickers and reactions, and other benefits with Telegram Premium. Despite this, non-premium users will still have access to all current capabilities. In fact, they may even be granted access to select privileges, such as

 

  • Ability to download large documents.
  • Tap to increase the counts on premium reactions that have already been added to a message.
  • Can view the stickers that Premium users have sent.

 

Some of the enticing features that premium users can access are

1. Chat Management

New tools in Telegram Premium help you organize your conversation list, such as setting your default chat folder to ensure that the app always starts on Unread instead of All Chats.


Indeed, subscribers can keep the busiest chat lists organized by enabling a Privacy and Security feature that automatically archives and mutes new chats.

2. Animated Profile Pictures

Everyone using the app can see the animated profile videos of premium users in chats and the chat list. In addition, premium users can demonstrate their fresh look to the world or showcase their creativity with a unique looping animation.

3. 4GB Uploads

Those who use Telegram Premium can now send files up to 4 GB in size, which provides sufficient space for 4 hours of 1080p video or 18 days of high-quality audio. At the same time, non-premium users can indeed upload files and media up to 2 GB in size and take advantage of unlimited free storage in the Telegram Cloud.

4. Faster Downloads

Media and files can be downloaded as quickly as possible for premium subscribers. Users get limitless access to their cloud storage and can access everything as quickly as their network can accommodate.

5. Doubled Limits

Doubled limitations are available to premium users for everything in the app, including:

 

  • Can add the fourth account,
  • Able to follow 1000 channels,
  • Create up to 20 chat folders, each containing a maximum of 200 chats,
  • Add ten chats to the main list,
  • Ten favorite stickers may be saved,
  • Ability to write a longer bio and add a link to it.

 

6. Voice-To-Text

For those occasions when you cannot listen but still wish to see what it says, voice messages can be converted to text. You can give transcriptions a rating to help them get better.

7. Unique Stickers

There are dozens of stickers available for Premium users to send in any chat to add extra emotion and expressive effects to engage the recipients while still making them visible to all users. These stickers are meant to impress, especially millennials, and feature full-screen animations. In contrast to Telegram alternatives, the Telegram team of artists will update a premium sticker collection every month.

8. Premium Badges

In the chat list, chat headers, and member lists in groups, all premium users have a special badge that says "Premium" next to their names, signifying that they are a member of the club that gets first access to unique features.

9. Premium App Icons

Premium customers have the option to add new icons to their Home Screen in an attempt to make it more compatible with their personality or wallpaper.

 

Telegram guarantees its users that it will continue to implement free features that are accessible to everyone and that it will do it more quickly than any other app similar to Telegram.


By providing users with such a wide range of benefits, it is evident that in the comparison between Telegram vs. WhatsApp, the former emerges as the winner. Furthermore, none of the platforms, like Telegram, provides such tenacious characteristics, thereby disqualifying them from being called "apps like Telegram."

 

1. WhatsApp

In the social messenger league, worldwide users are divided into WhatsApp vs Telegram. Video and audio chats, as well as conference calls, are all included. End-to-end encryption can be used for group chat and live video conferences. But as per the rumors, WhatsApp is not as encrypted as they claim.


The world misconstrued WhatsApp's announcement regarding exploiting users' data, but the company later clarified that only select business data would be taken and used to benefit consumers.

 

Businesses leverage WhatsApp marketing by means of incorporating a WhatsApp chatbot and automating B2C communication.


If you're seeking a reliable solution for personal or business use, WhatsApp is undoubtedly one of the greatest possibilities in the Telegram-like apps category.

2. Clap Messenger

Clap Messenger is a new app on the block with a few unique features that are sure to pique the interest of millennials. Its features are well-designed, and because of its user-friendly interface, a user with no technical knowledge can use it without difficulty.


Chat polls are one of its unique features; instead of scrolling up and down to check the answers and counting manually as with other so-called popular chat apps, a user can create a chat poll in the group pertaining to either a choice of movies, holiday destinations or in any attribute and collect the members' opinion poll.


Clap Messenger has been built with advanced security features, ensuring that all features and functionality, like chat, audio/video calls, images, videos, and so on, are end-to-end encrypted.

3. Signal

Moxie Marlinspike and Brian Acton (co-founder of WhatsApp) founded Signal in July 2014, and Signal Technology Foundation and Signal Messenger LLC developed software. It is widely recognized as one of the most secure instant chat programs currently available.


Following the launch of WhatsApp's new privacy policies, When compared to other apps, Signal profited the most, and offices that used WhatsApp for formal communication switched to enterprise chat platforms. The Signal is an instant messaging app for users looking for privacy.

4. Hoote

Hoote is a multilingual voice-based social media platform that allows anyone who wants to be heard to do so using their voice and in their language. Hoote is accessible in 14 Indian languages as well as five other languages.


Hoote is a cutting-edge tool that can be added to the list of alternatives to Telegram. This voice-based social media app may appear to be different from others, but creators and economists anticipate that it will gain popularity in the future.


Hoote has stated that it will gather its users' contact information as well as their postings, as well as the list of persons they follow.

5. Viber

Rakuten, a Japanese multinational firm, owns Viber, which is a cross-platform voice-over-IP and instant messaging software program.


After selecting the appropriate sharing option, it allows fully encrypted phone and video communications on mobile devices and major desktop operating systems.


It features color codes that represent its level of security, such as green, which means the conversation is encrypted and the contact with whom you're connected is reliable, the color red denotes a problem with the encryption key, and the color Gray denotes an encrypted connection with a reliable source.

6. Threema

Threema is an encrypted chat app that does not demand a phone number or email address to use; rather, you are assigned a unique Threema ID, permitting you to use the system entirely anonymously. Scannable QR codes make it much easier and safer to add contacts and authenticate other users.


The app's designers also promise that your communications are destroyed from their servers once they've been delivered.


It includes a feature called Private Chats, which lets people password-protect individual chats, preventing intruders from viewing private conversations.

7. Wickr

Wickr, launched in 2012 by Silicon Valley-based privacy and security experts, was one of the first instant messengers to use end-to-end encryption. Messages are automatically encrypted, and the company is subjected to regular security audits.


The Wickr Me app, which was first released on iOS and then subsequently on Android, allows users to choose an expiration time for their encrypted chats. Wickr announced a desktop version of its encrypted messaging platform in December 2014. The desktop Wickr software was released at the same time as the ability to sync messages across different platforms, such as phones, tablets, and PCs.


It does not ask for any contact information, such as an email address or a phone number, during the registration process, therefore no personal information is collected and the app does not have access to it.

8. Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams is so well-designed, that it can not only surpass in being an alternative to Telegram, but it also replaced Microsoft's products, such as Microsoft Classroom and Skype for Business. This tool is so well-designed that it has started to supplant Microsoft products like Skype for Business and Microsoft Classroom. It's an Office 365 chat-based workplace that's designed to bring people together, allow them to hold conversations, and exchange documents while also providing privileges to teams that need to work together.


Even though it has a big brand, Microsoft Teams pricing does not include an on-premise option.

9. Troop Messenger

Since Telegram is used by a few start-ups and small enterprises, I figured Troop Messenger and others could be added to the list. Troop Messenger is undeniably more than a Telegram alternative. Troop Messenger offers a lot of features compared to Telegram, which is far superior in terms of providing quality. For instance, Troop Messenger groups will have great advantages compared to Telegram chatting groups such as admin super controls, advanced search filters, screen sharing within group calling, and so on.


Troop Messenger is one of the encrypted chat apps on the list and likely you've ever encountered the most secure tool. Its world-class security measures have led a few powerful nations' defense agencies to use it for defense collaboration services and political parties use it as their political campaign software. As a result, you can estimate the tool's security. You will get to see only a few tools like Troop Messenger in the market that can be delivered with all the major delivery models like on-premise, SaaS, chat APIs & SDKs, etc.


Apart from chat basic functions, Troop Messenger is a complete team collaboration tool that provides its users with all the features such as audio/video conference, screen sharing, remote access, live location tracking, and so on.


Troop Messenger was one of the few platforms that allowed both remote and office teams to collaborate during the covid outbreak, especially its module Cattle Call, which allowed its users to hold their business meetings, and webinars without any disruption. Because their team chat apps couldn't meet their remote work needs, many users turned to Troop Messenger. As a result, few Hybrid teams have deployed Troop Messenger as their official tool.


Do you know that Troop Messenger has a Burnout feature similar to Telegram’s secret chat? Teams, Defense agencies, and government officials can use it to convey classified information that no one else on the planet, including service providers, has access to.

10. Discord

Discord began as a communication platform for gamers, but it quickly evolved into a social chat app for groups formed around shared interests, hobbies, and other factors. It quickly attracted a large number of users who saw it as a viable alternative to popular social websites and chat apps like Telegram.


Its success was mostly due to the Discord screen share feature. Initially, it was solely used by gamers, but it has since been adopted by some startups and small businesses.


Discord states that all calls and texts are end-to-end encrypted and do not sell their users' data to other parties, however, there are rumors that it is not as secure as they claim.

11. Snapchat

Snap Inc., formerly known as Snapchat Inc., is a multimedia instant messaging software and service. It has an option that deletes all of your messages once the receiver has seen them. You'll also be notified if they capture a screenshot of your communication. It's the ideal app for anyone concerned about their internet privacy.

 

It also allows users to save photos in the "my eyes only" folder, which is password-protected. It is particularly well-known as a popular media-sharing network, which many businesses utilize to advertise their goods and services.

12. Slack

Slack has all of the essential instant messaging (IM) features, as well as file sharing, searchable message history, conversation threads, and automated syncing across multiple devices, which your hybrid or remote team will appreciate. It keeps within the area of team chat enhancing teamwork, resulting in a simple and easy-to-use interface.


Users have criticized it for its privacy regulations and for storing user data solely on Slack-controlled cloud servers. Clients with large teams, who have had problems connecting to the app and accessing archived messages, have found this to be a particular concern.

13. Google Chat

Previously only available to Google Workspace members, Google Chat, formerly known as Hangouts Chat, is now open to anyone with a free Google account. Similar to Slack channels, Google Chat divides talks into rooms. Threads organize conversations, making it easy to keep track of ongoing projects.

 

Aside from chatting and calling, you can organize a meeting with any employee by tagging Google Meet with the meeting's date and time. This creates a calendar event with a Google Meet link for video conferencing.

Conclusion

Telegram can function as a major social media chat app if the encryption is ignored, but it is an inept tool for business communications and team communication. WhatsApp is simply collecting business data from specific businesses, whereas hackers are taking data from Telegram for their benefit. It's past time for Telegram to take security seriously, or else users will start switching to Telegram alternatives.

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