Telegram, Whatsapp and APIs

At Mendeley we are working on a new API and the documentation is already available at We think that a good API is important to promote Mendeley, create an ecosystem, help niche use cases that we could not tackle, etc.

Since January I have been using Whatsapp. It helps me to keep in contact with some friends and specially with my family. I also installed Telegram which I’ve not been using until recently when some friends from Catux Linux User Group installed it and we created a group on Telegram.

I always wished that I could use Whatsapp on the computer but this is not possible. There are no Whatsapp clients (Web or desktop applications). Whatsapp developers don’t create them, and there is no API to create them. I don’t much like typing on the mobile and many times when I use Whatsapp I have my laptop with a better keyboard just next to me.

I knew that Telegram had a public API. And yes, there is a good desktop application that also runs on Linux. So far I’ve used Telegram Desktop with great success: no problem to install or use. A friend tried the Web Telegram app and he is happy too.

Typing (swiping) on the mobile while I have a good keyboard next to me makes me sad. Now on Telegram I can use the good keyboard if I wish. Or the small.

Telegram has a few interesting features that are not available on Whatsapp: private chats, setup the notifications per group (instead of all groups), the aforementioned API, etc.

I see that some people use WeChat. This one has a Web interface too. I don’t think that it has a public API.

Seems that Whatsapp is very popular in Spain and in a few countries but other applications have better features and almost the same user interface. As always, it’s very difficult to change social applications usage.

3 comments to Telegram, Whatsapp and APIs

  • Albert

    There’s a pidgin plugin for whatsapp, works fine:

    the usual whatsapp limitations apply, most important you can’t be connected simultaneously from multiple devices.

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