At more than 100 million users, Telegram is quickly gaining hold as a preferred messenger for more people. The application can be accessed from your smartphone/tablet or desktop. All telegram installations registered with your number are synced through a cloud-based system.
There are many messaging applications on the internet all with the ability to send messages with ease and share photos and other media. These applications seem like replicas of each other Telegram compensates this with its speed, security and synchronization ability. According to the Company, “Telegram is the fastest and most secure mass market messenger in the world”
What sets Telegram apart?
Telegram is free– According to the company’s FAQ page, “Telegram is not intended to bring revenue, it will never sell ads or accept outside investment. It can never be sold.”
Telegram runs on money donated by the Dorov Brothers (founders). The founders’ goal is to enable access to a highly encrypted platform for as many people as possible.
Security– It has been touted as one of the most secure messaging applications. One of the founders who is also a computer programmer; Nikolai Durov, built a custom open-source MTPROTO protocol. So confident is the company about the security of the application that there is a $300,000 bounty for bug-hunters; an amount only reserved to big software companies like Microsoft.
The ability to start a secret chat enables end-to-end encryption with self-destructive timers on the chats ensuring no trace of the conversation is left on Telegram servers. Encryption keys can be used to verify the encryption of the chat giving immunity from man-in-the-middle attacks.
Open-source- Unlike whatsapp, telegram is built on a partly open-source platform. This allows third party developers to create Telegram clients popularly known as bots. These bots act as intelligent human beings delivering news, weather updates and even answering questions based on their knowledge database.
Ability to edit messages. Introduced in May, 2016, the feature is a goodbye to typos which have possibly plagued every messaging app user. The feature works for all chats. Edited messages display a “edited” label just like on Facebook. No other messaging platform has added the feature so far thus making telegram the first.
Ability to set up large groups. A Supergroup Telegram group will hold up to 5000 members. This is almost 20 times the size of WhatsApp groups. Telegram groups are unique in a few ways. There is a unified message history. This means that edited and deleted messages are edited or deleted across all members’ devices How cool is that?
Pinned messages can be placed on the top by the administrator. This can either be the topic of the day, group-rules or even a quote which is visible to all members. Only administrators can add members to Supergroups. A normal group will hold up to 200 members.
Channels– These provide a platform for broadcasting messages to large or public audiences. There is no limit to the number of members who choose to join a channel. They are used to provide traffic updates, deliver media etc. The good thing about channels is the lack of participation from the members. That way all messages are from the channel thus eliminating the large number of texts one would get in an interactive group. It’s important to note chat and media history is delivered to one’s device once he/she joins a group. That way, you can see what has been going on in the group since inception.
Large file sharing-Finally, telegram enables its users to share files in all formats. This ranges from books, photos, zipped files and even large media up to 1.5GB per file. This is a huge break from its closest competitor WhatsApp which will only allow documents and videos not exceeding 30MB. This has brought about the emergence of movie sharing groups and large file archives on the platform.