The Curious Case of Telegram vs. Whatsapp

The Curious Case of Telegram vs. Whatsapp

So it’s not news Telegram has been encroaching on Whatsapp space for a while. Maybe they are not as big or as popular just yet but telegram HAS been gaining ground and hijacking market share in the last 6 months. Let’s briefly discuss why this is the case and what you could take from this to improve your Nigerian business.

Get with the times – Change is Constant

Whatsapp was either averse to change or too slow to adapt. There was obviously a hole left in the web since the slow but gradual death of chat apps like Yahoo Messenger. That slot has been filled by Google Hangouts… but only for a very minute number of people. So telegram went ahead and provided you with the option of having their app on your tab and your computer and basically telegram on every kind of device. And users who needed this solution shifted over to telegram. Whatsapp only just launched their web app last month and it’s not even a standalone. It needs to be in a browser to function at all… so not only were they slow to adapt, they are yet to adapt properly.


Never get comfortable when you are ahead – Strive to be better

Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence –Vince Lombardi

As at December 2014 Telegram had 50million active monthly users sending 1 billion messages a day… in comparison to Whatsapp who currently has 700 million users. Telegram had only existed for 16 months at this time and Whatsapp had been around since 2009. If this does not spell competition I don’t know what does.

Last December in an exclusive interview with TechCrunch Pavel Durov (The man behind telegram) said he thinks WhatsApp will launch a Web version, similar to, “since they tried to hire our web dev.” And he was right, seeing as they did launch a web version and played catch up just last month.

One of my favorite quotes by Vince Lombardi explains this point perfectly… yes it may be impossible to be perfect. But you can be excellent forever if you are properly invested in the right things at the right time. It’s like football for example; a younger footballer “should” generally be able to run faster than a much older one. He should be expected to be more agile, have a better reaction time and less prone to getting exhausted quickly. But with age comes experience and technical knowledge; the kind of mindless mistakes a young player might make are not expected of an older more experienced player. He is more calm and collected through out a football match, yes he is slower but he is also smarter and more technically gifted owing to years and years of practice.

Whatsapp had the audience and the age and gradually started to lose that to the competition because they lost the drive to keep doing what made us love them in the first place. The reason whatsapp was so big was because it was available to every operating system for mobile users in a time when BBM was exclusive to Blackberry phones. And somehow they forgot that and got a bit too comfortable. Maybe it was because the company got swallowed by Facebook or not I have no idea… but that happened.


Truthfully it will take a while and a lot of pushing for Telegram to seriously dent the market share Whatsapp currently holds… But you must admit they are on the right track and all that is left is for Telegram to seriously catch on like Whatsapp did… And it will. Best believe that it will. The average person would try telegram once and automatically prefer it to Whatsapp. Better experience more secure and less complicated to use.

If you can be a little more like telegram with your business, adjust to match the ever changing wants and needs of your customers, when there is a hole in the industry you plug it with a hole that runs right back into your pocket with a pipe. You are positioning yourself to be an industry leader.

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