Leaving WhatsApp? Telegram wants to make it simpler to move over

(Image credit: Natee Meepian/Shutterstock)

As people contemplate jumping from WhatsApp as the Facebook-owned messaging service makes changes to its privacy policy, two similar services have emerged as possible destinations — Signal and Telegram

While Signal would seem to have the edge — it’s a secure platform while Telegram doesn't even encrypt conversations by default, or at all for other parts of its platform — Telegram is working on something that will appeal to WhatsApp users looking for a change of scenery. Specifically, Telegram say it’s developing a special tool to bring over your WhatsApp conversations.

If you can't bear to leave all your WhatsApp conversations behind or don't feel like wrapping up lengthy chats, this new tool is certainly something to keep on your radar. It's a straightforward feature that WABetaInfo spent some time using. This WhatsApp Export Chat option lets users select Telegram from the Actions menu to bring those chats over to WhatsApp.

Telegram will find out where you want to send imported messages. You can opt to bring over an entire conversation or group, or you can start a new one if you prefer. Once complete, you should be able to sift through all your old chats in the "Imported" folder. Of course, if you have disappearing messages or similar settings, you may not see your messages brought over, depending on when the messages you were using had been set to expire.

Still, you should think hard about which messaging option to go with if you’re leaving WhatsApp, or if you really need to leave in the first place. If you aren’t comfortable with sharing all your personal information with Facebook, which is what will happen as of Feb. 8, you could consider options such as linking a blank profile. As we note in our guide to Telegram, some security experts criticize Telegram’s cryptography, which is reason enough to consider other encrypted messaging apps

Telegram’s message importing tool isn't available quite yet. An update was available on the App Store for a brief moment, then it was seemingly completely scrubbed by another update to the App Store. That likely means it's still in the works. If you’re switching apps, though, you may want to keep an eye out for when it does become available so you can start moving over those messages. 

Brittany Vincent

Brittany Vincent has been covering video games and tech for over 13 years for publications including Tom's Guide, MTV, Rolling Stone, CNN, Popular Science, Playboy, IGN, GamesRadar, Polygon, Kotaku, Maxim, and more. She's also appeared as a panelist at video game conventions like PAX East and PAX West and has coordinated social media for companies like CNET. When she's not writing or gaming, she's looking for the next great visual novel in the vein of Saya no Uta. You can follow her on Twitter @MolotovCupcake.