Hangouts vs. Telegram

It is no secret that I am huge fan of Telegram. I’ve written a couple articles here about Telegram before, speaking of why I like it, and even wrote a comparison to WhatsApp.


Recently, I’ve been invited to a few group chats in Hangouts to speak with others who are comfortable with that platform. I quickly found myself constantly irritated and annoyed with the lack of group chat features I’ve been spoiled with in Telegram. I figured it is time to make a comparison of the two so my friends in Hangout know what they’re missing out on.


Feature
Hangouts
Telegram



Price
Free
Free
Platform
Android, iPhone, web app
Android, iOS (iPhone and iPad), BlackBerry 10 (using Android), Windows Phone, Windows, OS X, Linux, web app
Multiple Platform Sync
Yes, across all devices.
Yes, syncs across all devices.
In-app advertising
No
No
Marked as Sent/Read
Read only
Yes
Photo sharing
Yes - jpg, png
Yes - jpg, png, gif, webP
Video sharing
Yes
Yes
GIF sharing
Yes
Yes
File Sharing
Yes - photos, video, audio, location, contacts
Yes - up to 1.5GB of any file type
Voice recording
No
Yes
Phone calling
Yes
No
Video calling
Yes
No
Stickers
Yes
Yes. Also allows to create and share your own!
Group Chat
Yes
Yes
Group Chat features
  • Title of group
  • See who’s read up to what point
  • Share photos
  • Share links (no previews)
  • See who’s online
  • Title of group chat
  • Group avatar
  • Reply to specific message
  • Mention user(s) to identify who you’re talking to specifically, and notifies them, even if chat is muted
  • Share photos
  • Share GIFs
  • Share links with previews
  • Public link to group chat available
  • Starts you off where you last read
  • See who's online
Contact Sharing Method
Contacts must have a Google account.
Contacts may have your phone number or email in your contact list - OR - users may create and share a username
Secret Chat
No
Yes
Status Update
Yes
No
Muting Chat / Group chat
Yes
Yes - Mentions will still notify you
Customize chat background
No (except when using Easter Eggs on desktop)
Yes
Location sharing
Yes
Yes
In-app photo editor
No
Yes
In-app GIF and JPG finder
No
Yes
Material Design (Android)
No
Yes
Search for content in chats, including hashtags
Yes - Only within each chat
Yes - Universal in all chats
Drag-and-drop files, photos, etc to desktop or web app
No
Yes - Desktop
Pop-up Messages
Yes - Reply
Yes - Reply
Custom notification sounds/LED per contact
No
Yes - Android only
Broadcast messaging
Yes
Yes
Open API
No
Yes
Forward Messages
No
Yes
Shortcut to conversation
No
No

I've highlighted all features in blue where there was a 1-up on the other. As you can see, Telegram as a lot more blue than Hangouts.

When Hangouts 4.0 is released, I know I will have to revise this article. Until then, Telegram, in my opinion, is still the messaging app to beat!

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