Telegram – The Hottest App in Town

 
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The results of the poll are in and 41% of you wanted to know about Telegram!

“Join our group chat on Telegram” is a message you have probably seen numerous times. Whether we are talking about announcements, news, alerts, signals, group chats – Telegram is becoming the “go-to” messaging app.  The app recently canceled the public sale of its token GRAM, due to the fact that the private sale raised $1.7bn from the investors. Here we list the key features that make Telegram such a popular app that attracts more than 200 million active monthly users.

The app was founded in 2013 by a Russian, Pavel Durov, previously known for founding a social networking site called VK. Similarly to Facebook-owned WhatsApp, Telegram lets its users exchange messages, send alerts and make voice calls. One would rightly notice that thousands of other messaging apps perform the same tasks. Therefore the question that poses itself is – why choose Telegram?

First of all, Telegram’s main focus is privacy. Its user base has started to rise dramatically due to two main factors: Edward Snowden leaking secret documents about the USA’s surveillance programs in 2013 and Facebook acquiring the WhatsApp messaging app the following year. Concerns regarding privacy prompted many WhatsApp users to switch to Telegram, although both apps offer end-to-end encryption, a system in which only communicators can read the content. The end-to-end encryption is only possible if you enable the “Secret mode”. The app also provides a “self-destruction” option which is fairly self-explanatory – messages are self-destroyed in the private/secret channels.

As a result, Telegram has been labeled as the champion of privacy. Although its owner is from Russia, the app has “no servers, developers, companies, bank accounts or offices in that country”. Moreover, the attempt to block the app was made in Russia after an order from the Russian authorities to be granted access to the app’s users’ secret messages was refused.  In their recent policy statement, the company announced that it is willing to disclose users’ data to authorities following a court order, although Russia was still excluded from this policy.

Telegram’s Supergroup illustration

Telegram is also known for its supergroups feature, which allows for up to 100,000 users to be a part of the same group. Of course, the conversations can be extremely hard to follow, which is why Telegram is working to increase admin powers. Another extremely important function is the channel feature. It allows a person to broadcast information and messages to the larger public, without necessarily being a member of a given group. As a result, channels consist of information and announcements without comments (Picture 3).

Telegram’s channel feature – NEWCONOMY group

Telegram’s biggest future challenge will be to find the right balance between security and privacy. The app is highly popular in Russia and Iran, even though both countries have tried to block the app. In general, those who are looking for fast and secure messaging, Telegram is more than a solid choice.