The encrypted messaging app Telegram has rolled out a tool for importing your WhatsApp chat history on iOS. It’s available in version 7.4 update, which is now live in the App Store.
According to the Telegram blog, people can now move their chat history from WhatsApp (and a few other messaging apps) to the Telegram app. Content that gets transferred doesn’t just include the text of your conversations but also videos, photos and any other attachments.
This currently supports WhatsApp, Line and KakaoTalk.
How to move WhatsApp chats to Telegram
To move a chat from WhatsApp on iOS, open the “Contact Info” or “Group Info” page in WhatsApp, tap “Export Chat”, then choose “Telegram” in the Share menu.
— Telegram Messenger (@telegram) January 28, 2021
This works both for private chats and groups.
A massive surge in new users
The app saw its numbers skyrocket in the aftermath of WhatsApp’s (now delayed) requirement to share some user information with Facebook. Telegram developers said on Twitter their messaging app saw a massive spike in the installed base. In January alone, the app saw 100 million new installs, pushing its customer base past the 500 million active users mark.
Telegram surpassed 500 million active users. 25 million new users joined in the last 72 hours: 38% came from Asia, 27% from Europe, 21% from Latin America and 8% from MENA. https://t.co/1LptHZb9PQ
— Telegram Messenger (@telegram) January 12, 2021
In the meantime, WhatsApp has begun rolling out secure Face/Touch ID authentication for desktop and web access over the next couple of weeks. An extra measure of authentication, this feature was designed to prevent someone with access to your phone from linking your account to their web browser (and reading your messages like a boss).
Blame it on one poorly-worded prompt
If you’ve been sleeping under a rock lately, this all began with an innocuous WhatsApp update that presented users with a scary-worded privacy prompt telling them that they had until February 8 to accept the changes related to data processing or delete their account.
At the heart of all this is basically a non-issue: WhatsApp Business needs to share some data (like your phone number and service-related information) with Facebook for service improvements, personalization and better ad targeting. So, why is this not an issue? It’s because data has been flowing between these two platforms for years now.
WhatsApp/Facebook data sharing is not new
But, Wired reminds us that WhatsApp as far back as 2016 actually offered users a switch to opt-out of data sharing with Facebook, as evidenced by the below image. While that feature is no longer present in WhatsApp, its existence a few years ago serves as proof that WhatsApp has been sharing some user information and metadata with Facebook for years now.
It has also published a FAQ regarding the changes in an effort to clear things up.