Delta Chat is Better than WhatsApp, Signal, and Telegram
With Facebook finally changing how WhatsApp works so that they can profit off of the users (as expected),
many people are choosing to switch to other internet messaging apps like Signal & Telegram.
We’ve already talked about how naïve that is given there isn’t really anything stopping Signal & Telegram from changing their policies
or adding anti-features in the future (they have already).
If you haven’t had your ear to the ground in places like the Fediverse or Free Open Source Software communities, you probably haven’t heard of Delta Chat.
Yes, it’s yet another internet messaging app, but it does things in a way that is much more “freedom-friendly” for users.
It has an interface that’s almost exactly the same as what you’re used to in WhatsApp, Signal, and Telegram.
It repurposed the Signal interface from Signal’s open-source client code, so if you’re familiar with that already, it’s going to be very easy to use.
Delta Chat is an open-source program that’s still in development so there are bugs, but it’s still very usable. There are versions of the app for Android, iOS, Linux, macOS,
and Windows, so practically every platform is covered. You can download any of the versions here, and you can communicate any bugs and wishes here.
Meanwhile, let’s look at how Delta Chat is better than many of the other popular electronic messaging apps.
You already have an account
Delta Chat uses the most widely used international network of internet messaging in existence: email.
If you have an Android device, or iOS device, or Mac, or Windows PC, or an Xbox, or a Playstation, or a Nintendo Switch, or a job, or a bank account, or went to school at some point during the information age, or ever downloaded an app from an app store, then you probably already have an email account.
It works with the largest user base on the internet
Almost 4 billion people(1) have at least one email account already. That’s probably the entire population of the internet. WhatsApp’s 2 billion user base is dwarfed by the number of users with email accounts.
Delta Chat works with all of those people out of the box with no need to pressure them into installing a different app and building another network silo.
There is no messaging network silo here, and that’s a huge advantage. But if your friends do want to use Delta Chat, they might like it better than their default email apps.
It doesn’t require your phone number
One of the worst things about WhatsApp, Signal,
and Telegram is that all of them require your phone number to create an account.
This can be a violation of your privacy since your phone number can be associated with your real identity, bank accounts, address, place of work, etc.
It can also be used to create relationship maps. If you give any of those apps access to your contacts list, it will scrape the phone numbers and
match them with phone numbers in the service’s centralized server database in order to tell you which users have accounts on the platform you’re using.
That should be recognized as another privacy violation. I can easily tell who has what app by matching their phone numbers without their permission or knowledge. In the case of Facebook,
they can probably match your WhatsApp contacts with Facebook contacts and create an even larger relationship map thus making manipulation via advertisements even easier.
Also see: Why are we still using phone numbers?
Delta Chat doesn’t need to create relation maps in order to tell you who else you can chat with because you can chat with literally everybody.
You just need to know their email address which is probably already in your contacts list. No server side contact matching required.