Telegram, which was first released in 2013, immediately gained traction among power users and became their preferred IM (Instant Messaging) tool. Its competitors are WhatsApp, Viber, and Facebook Messenger. What is Telegram and why everyone is using it? Because it focuses on security, cross-platform availability, and rapid product development with unique features like bots, channels, and Secret Chat.
What Is Telegram
Telegram, which was founded by Russian Pavel Durov, who is also the founder of Russia’s largest social network VKontakte (VK), claims to combine the speed of WhatsApp with the ephemerally of Snapchat.
Unlike WhatsApp and Signal, Telegram is a genuinely cloud-based cross-platform service. You don’t need your phone to use it on the desktop. It’s compatible with iOS, Android, Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, and the web. Simply sign in with your cellphone number, and all of your chat, media, and files will appear without the need for a transfer. Coming from WhatsApp, this is one of Telegram’s nicest features for me.
Why Is Telegram Special
This isn’t the end of the list of features. Telegram outperforms its competitors in a variety of ways. Let’s take a look at all the standout features.
- Groups with a membership of up to 200,000 people
- Self-destructing and schedule messages
- It has a 1.5 GB file size limit for sharing.
- Supports voice and video calls on Android and iOS devices.
- Telegram Bots add-on with stickers, GIFs, and emojis
Enough about features and let’s talk about the biggest selling point of Telegram in the first place – Security and Privacy
How Secure is this App?
Security is a distinguishing feature of Telegram. It says that all of its actions are encrypted, including chats, groups, and media shared between users. This implies they won’t be displayed until they’ve been decoded. You may also set self-destruct timers on messages and media that you share with the app. Its built-in feature ‘Secret Chat’ can range from two seconds to one week.
Telegram uses its own proprietary messaging protocol called “MTProto” to achieve end-to-end encryption. It’s worth mentioning that it’s not totally open-source and hasn’t been subjected to independent review.
It also saves a copy of your contact book on their servers, which is how you get notified when new people join the network. It also doesn’t encrypt all metadata completely. Furthermore, MIT researchers discovered that a hacker could determine when a person goes online or offline to the second.
Can Government Force This App to Handover User Data
Telegram has end-to-end encryption, but unlike Signal, the corporation keeps the encryption keys. In the past, the tactic has landed the corporation in a lot of hot water.
It has become the go-to platform for terrorists and anti-government activists to share information due to its focus on user privacy and security.
Telegram was ordered by Russia’s communications regulator, Bask, to disclose over information on the messaging service and the firm behind it or face being blocked. Telegram’s founder Pavel Durov said the Russian government had also asked for access to decipher user messages, all in the name of arresting terrorists.
How to Use Telegram
Telegram, as previously said, is available on all mobile and desktop platforms. Start utilizing the service using your mobile number after downloading the app from your favorite platform.
It will ask for Contact’s permission on the phone and then sync all of your contacts who are presently using the app.
When it comes to the Telegram experience, interactive stickers are a big part of it. Third-party stickers are available for download on the web and in its shop.
It will also send you a notification when someone from your contact list joins the platform. It’s sometimes useful to know, but owing to the current rush, people may find repeating behavior unpleasant.
Pro-tip: Go to Settings > Notifications and Sounds > New Contacts and turn off the toggle. You will no longer receive notifications when a new member joins the platform, which can be inconvenient.
Final Remarks: What is Telegram, Why is Everyone Using It?
There is no denying why Telegram is becoming increasingly popular among users. The service is cloud-based, cross-platform, and loaded with capabilities. On top of that, it does so without jeopardizing user privacy and security.