- Durov compared the two messaging apps on various features like end-to-end encryption, the origin of the app, and the source code of the apps.
- Durov said that WhatsApp is "unable to compete with Telegram in quality and privacy."
- He said after WhatsApp’s updated terms of service the number of users migrating from WhatsApp to Telegram has accelerated.
Telegram founder Pavel Durov has hit out at Facebook saying that the company should respect its users. Durov said that Telegram has become a major problem for the Facebook corporation. Durov said that WhatsApp is "unable to compete with Telegram in quality and privacy" and that the Facebook-owned messaging app has switched to covert marketing citing articles which state WhatsApp used multiple paid bots. Durov also noted that WhatsApp's new policies ask users to feed all their private data to Facebook's ad engine.
"I hear Facebook has an entire department devoted to figuring out why Telegram is so popular. Imagine dozens of employees working on just that full-time. I am happy to save Facebook tens of millions of dollars and give away our secret for free: respect your users," Durov noted in a post
"Millions of people are outraged by the latest change in WhatsApp Terms, which now say users must feed all their private data to Facebook's ad engine. It's no surprise that the flight of users from WhatsApp to Telegram, already ongoing for a few years, has accelerated," he added.
Durov further compared the two messaging apps on various fronts. He noted that Telegram client apps have been open-source since 2013. "Our encryption and API are fully documented and have been reviewed by security experts thousands of times," Durov said. He said that Telegram is the only messaging app in the world that has verifiable builds both for iOS and Android. He further claimed that WhatsApp intentionally obfuscates or keeps its code vague, "making it impossible to verify their encryption and privacy." He also commented on the origin of the Telegram app saying that it is not Russian.
"Telegram has no servers or offices in Russia and was blocked there from 2018 to 2020. Telegram is still blocked in some authoritarian countries such as Iran, while WhatsApp and other "supposedly secure" apps have never had any issue in these places,"
Durov also explained the end-to-end encrypted nature of Telegram saying that every chat on Telegram has been encrypted since launch. He said that secret chats on Telegram are end-to-end encrypted and that cloud chats also offer real-time secure and distributed cloud storage. "WhatsApp, on the other hand, had zero encryption for a few years and then adopted an encryption protocol funded by the US Government. Even if we assume that the WhatsApp encryption is solid, it's invalidated via multiple backdoors and reliance on backups," Durov said.
On Saturday, WhatsApp head Will Cathcart, in a series of tweets noted that even by updating the terms of service, with the end-to-end encryption in place, "we cannot see your private chats or calls and neither can Facebook." He further noted that the updated policy will work towards being transparent and to better describe optional people-to-business features. WhatsApp's new terms of service are slated to go into effect from February 8, 2021 failing which the users will lose access to the app.