One of the novelties announced by WhatsApp last Thursday (14) could bring it closer to Telegram, which has been criticized for its less strict rules than competitors.
The Communities feature will add groups and allow the administrators of these spaces send notices to thousands of people at the same time. In a way, it circumvents other limitations of the application, such as the maximum number of members in groups, which is 256. And it makes it more in line with its rival, which already allows groups with 200,000 people.
The tool will begin to be tested globally in the coming days, but not in Brazil. WhatsApp has postponed the launch of Communities in the country until next year, after the elections.
The company said that, in the agreement it signed with the Superior Electoral Court (TSE), it pledged not to implement any significant changes to the app until the elections take place. One of the main objectives of these agreements is the fight against fake news in the period.
On the other hand, along with the launch of Communities, WhatsApp decided that all forwarded messages can only be forwarded to one recipient at a time, be it a person or a group. For the company, this is an action that will make it difficult to spread misinformation. And it is already valid, including in Brazil.
Other news were announced, such as sending heavier files, up to 2GB – which favors videos –, voice calls for groups of up to 32 people and reactions to messages with emojis. See below where WhatsApp, the most used messaging app in the world, will look more like Telegram, and where it still distances itself.
- The WhatsApp restricts the number to 256 maximum of group participants and also only allows forwarding of messages for 1 recipient at a time. But Communities can add groups in the same space. Thus, community administrators can send notices to thousands of people at the same time. There is still no information about the format of these notices.
- already the telegram allows up to 200,000 people in a group. And when that limit is reached, they can become broadcast groups. There, only administrators can send messages, but the number of participants is unlimited.
What WhatsApp Has and Telegram Doesn’t:
- additional features for business accounts (including payments);
- end-to-end encryption on messages, the same as the Signal app. This means that WhatsApp cannot see the content of messages or hear calls made in the app, because the message encryption process takes place on the users’ device. On Telegram, conversations are not encrypted by default, being necessary to activate it in specific conversations through “secret chats”;
- closed source code. Telegram’s is open, but the service’s server code is closed;
- it is mandatory to disclose the phone number to receive and send messages. Telegram requires this information for account creation, but allows you to leave your phone number anonymous for other users.
What Telegram has and WhatsApp doesn’t:
- voice calls to up to 200,000 people (which is the limit of the groups). On WhatsApp, it is now possible to talk to 32 people simultaneously (up until then there were 8);
- the app can be accessed even with the phone offline. WhatsApp only started to allow this type of access recently, but only via WhatsApp Web. The performance of this feature, however, has been displeasing to users;
- use up to three different accounts on the same phone: Telegram allows users to connect up to three different profiles in the same app. WhatsApp only works with one account at a time on the same device. There are third-party apps that allow this second account and this feature is available on phones from manufacturers like Xiaomi and Samsung.
- lets you set who can see if you’re onlineamong other data that can be hidden;
- have message sending schedule;
- offers looking for close people to communicate with;
- since end-to-end encryption is not enabled by default in the application, messages, photos and files from regular conversations (non-secret) of Telegram can be accessed by the company. Telegram has the means to view the content of conversations between two people and potentially ceding this information to authorities by court orders, for example. This is because, at some point in the message delivery process, the application handles this content without encryption on its servers (the Lava Jato authorities, for example, were exposed by Telegram for this reason). The app says it has no ties to advertising networks that use this data for profile modeling.
- allows you to customize chats with polls, quizzes and games, by installing “bots”. These robots can do different functions, such as transcribing audio messages or leaving background music on a voice call, for example.
What has changed with the news announced by WhatsApp — Photo: Kayan Albertin/Arte g1
Telegram x-ray — Photo: Arte / g1
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