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How to migrate a group from WhatsApp to Telegram

In todays world, we have lost control of our privacy on the internet. Though most people don’t realize how important it is to control what they share and what they don’t, the world still moves on adding new online users unaware of the pit falls of this lack of privacy.

I don’t do anything illegal, so have nothing to hide.

– An Internet User 🙂

Is the above statement true?

If you are one of those like above, I would suggest you to watch Netflix The Social Dilemma to understand the real threat to lack of online privacy. The current polarized world is a testament to how valid the online privacy concerns are.

This article is not to talk about Online privacy and its implications but to assist you. In case you have decided to migrate your group from WhatsApp to Telegram, this article would guide you through the different steps required.

Short comparison between WhatsApp vs Telegram

Lets look at a short comparison of WhatsApp vs Telegram. This list is in no way a complete feature list but just out of personal experience of using both of them (and several others).

Before going through the comparison, let me address the main question about security or end-to-end encryption topic. Security is always a balancing act. Since WhatsApp uses end-to-end encryption (as they claim), for using the desktop WhatsApp App we need our smartphone to be connected as well (same with Signal). This becomes an issue when you have multiple devices and you need to use desktop app for faster communication. All the more important when you are using it for your business.

WhatsApp uses end-to-end encryption as per their website but the current issue trending in January 2021 of change in privacy policy is due to the fact that, Facebook owns the largest amount of internet conversations as part of their businesses through different Apps we daily use viz WhatsApp, Instagram, Facebook and Messenger. The real contention which kicked off the debate is because of this fact and Facebook is planning to unify all these user content.

  • End-to-end encryption
    WhatsApp has end-to-end encryption but telegram has end-to-end encryption only for secret chats and video calls.
  • Chat Backup encryption
    WhatsApp chat backup is uploaded to 3rd party cloud providers and the storage is without any encryption so the cloud provider can easily utilize your chat data but Telegram conversations are encrypted on the server where its stored as well. Check references section at the bottom for technical details link.
  • What happens if you change your phone?
    Changing phones are a normal process, in general once in 3 years or sooner. WhatsApp backups are not compatible between Android & iOS so if you decide to move, your conversations are lost. Telegram you don’t have to worry about this.
  • What if you have 2 SIM card and want to have multiple accounts?
    WhatsApp by default supports only single instance of the App but Telegram can have multiple user accounts configured with different SIM/numbers for different use cases.
  • WhatsApp Broadcast vs Telegram Channels
    WhatsApp Broadcast sends message individually to each user in the list but Telegram Channel messages are sent to the channel subscribers only and available in one place. Telegram also provides statistics on how many people saw it, also allow to create rich messages with images etc.
  • Can I use it from multiple devices?
    WhatsApp needs your mobile phone to be connected in order to use WhatsApp Desktop client. Telegram does not have this limitation due to the difference in security architecture and implementation.
  • What about smartphone storage getting exhausted?
    In the case of WhatsApp your smartphone storage gets exhausted but in the case of Telegram since its stored on the server the storage space is almost unlimited.
  • What about Bots or automation APIs?
    WhatsApp does not have support for Bots but Telegram has support for a large number of Bots.
    For example, click and add this bot (@covid19_india_alerts_bot ) for India Covid daily updates.
  • What about the search bar?
    WhatsApp searches only your contacts and your chats but on Telegram the search results also shows public groups, channels. Try your luck searching for your interest groups.

How do you validate end-to-end encryption on Telegram Video Calls?

Once the video call starts

Confirm with the other person in the call, whether they see the same symbols at the top right of the call.

What kind of groups are we talking about?

Although this guide applies to any kind of group, I would like to take the example of a private group which is created to manage and communicate with the residents of an Apartment complex.

So where do we start?

Installing and setting up Telegram App on your smartphone is ignored in this article for brevity. Lets walk-through how to create a group.

1. Click the button on the top right.

2. Click “New Group

3. Select at least one user you need to Add and click Next

4. Type the name of the group and click Create.

You can also set an image for the group or do that later.

5. Your group should be successfully created. Click on the Group Icon on the top right to edit the group.

6. This is where you can add members manually. But if you have a larger group, we can use an easier method. Click on Edit from top right.

What if my group contains too many members?

Usually in case of larger number of members, its impossible to add one user at a time. So lets see how to make that task easier.

7. Click Group Type

This screen allows to edit different details of the group. You can add group Description, Add Admins, Change permissions of members, Setup notifications etc.

8. In order for members to join this group, you can share the link. Click “Copy Link” and share the link to your existing WhatsApp Group.

Your WhatsApp group members can install Telegram and then click this link to join this newly created group easily.

What are the group permissions you can setup?

Here is the view of the permissions you can setup for the group as a Group Admin.

You can also give these permission to Admins or Moderators of the group as and when necessary. Spamming can be reduced using the SLOW MODE at the bottom.

Telegram looks interesting, what else can I do?

Though Telegram has tons of features when compared to WhatsApp, this article would be too long to list them all. Instead I would like to add Group features in comparison and few Tips which would help in this specific scenario of managing the Apartment group.

Here is a short list of useful features and benefits on Telegram while managing a larger group

Unified history
Edit your messages after posting, delete them so that they disappear for everyone.

Cross-platform availability
Access your messages anytime, from any number of your mobile or desktop devices.

Instant search
Find the message you’re looking for, even among millions. Filter by sender to make searching easier.

Replies, mentions, hashtags
Easily trace a conversation and keep communication efficient, no matter the group size.

Smart notifications
Mute the group to get notifications only when people mention you or reply to your messages.

Pinned messages
You can pin any message to be displayed at the top of the chat screen. All members will get a notification — even if they muted ordinary messages from your group.

Moderation tools
Appoint administrators that can mass-delete messages, control membership, and pin important messages. Define their admin privileges with granular precision.

Group permissions
Set default permissions to restrict all members from posting specific kinds of content. Or even restrict members from sending messages altogether – and let the admins chat amongst themselves while everybody else is watching.

File sharing
Send and receive files of any type, up to 2 GB in size each, access them instantly on your other devices.

Public groups
Get a short link for your group and make it public, like This way, anybody can view the group’s entire chat history and join to post messages.

Customization via bots
Create custom tools for any specific needs using Bot API and Inline Bots.

What’s the difference between groups and channels?

Telegram groups are ideal for sharing stuff with friends and family or collaboration in small teams. But groups can also grow very large and support communities of up to 200,000 members. You can make any group public, toggle persistent history to control whether or not new members have access to earlier messages and appoint administrators with granular privileges. You can also pin important messages to the top of the screen so that all members can see them, including those who have just joined.

Channels are a tool for broadcasting messages to large audiences. In fact, a channel can have an unlimited number of subscribers. When you post in a channel, the message is signed with the channel’s name and photo and not your own. Each message in a channel has a view counter that gets updated when the message is viewed, including its forwarded copies.

Also you can connect a Channel and Discussion Group together. A Discuss button shows up at the bottom of the Channel in that case.

Hope this article was useful.


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