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What Happened To The Signal, Telegram Hype Train?
The internet was bombarded with stories, videos, and information regarding how WhatsApp is going to share personal data with its parent company Facebook. Within hours of this news, the tech-savvy users started looking at alternatives that offer free cross-platform instant messaging services.
If there is a service that could replace WhatsApp, it should be free, free of ads, cross-platform compatible, and easy to use. Two services that gained traction during this moment were Telegram and Signal.
So, it has been a few months since that incident, and it seems like people have moved on with their life by continuing to use WhatsApp. So, what happened? Are Signal and Telegram are not as good as WhatsApp?
Telegram Is Much Better Than WhatsApp
Honestly, Telegram is a much better platform when compared to WhatsApp. There are features like multi-device login, sharing large files, and many groups and communities. Honestly, it's like a whole social media in itself. However, the platform, in my experience, does not carry the level of quality, all due to the image that it has built over years.
When compared to Signal, I can see a lot of my contacts use Telegram. However, I still feel that the platform is not good enough for regular usage as there are always groups that are mainly used to spread pirated content, and I can't club that with my personal messages.
Coming to Signal, it is definitely a much better platform when it comes to user privacy and security. However, I have hardy receive two or three messages in the last few months, that too during the peak anti-WhatsApp wave, where people were looking for alternate platforms. So, I don't see a point in using Signal as an alternative too.
WhatsApp Enjoys The Monopoly
Just like other Facebook products, WhatsApp enjoys the monopoly, as it is one of the first platforms to offer free cross-platform texting. Not just that, it also introduced a lot of features like free voice and video calling, multimedia sharing, and ad-free user experience.
International voice and video calls are very expensive even to date, where, WhatsApp comes as a godsent. I don't say it is the only platform that offers these features but is the only app that most people use, which makes it very convenient.
Given the nature of WhatsApp, people don't feel to move to other platforms, as there will always be some learning curve. Another hit feature of WhatsApp is the status Windows, which gives WhatsApp an Instagram-like vibe.
Considering all these features, even though there are many compelling WhatsApp alternatives, people aren't ready to switch completely, as WhatsApp will always have a special place in their heart, like the one platform that started all, when everyone used to send SMSs, which used to cost a bomb.
I asked around 10 people before writing this piece (which is a small sample size), and not even one of them has switched to WhatsApp alternatives. I will continue to use WhatsApp, and I also have installed Signal and Telegram, so I am ready for either way. I personally feel WhatsApp will continue to enjoy the monopoly for more years to come.