|Developer||Telegram Messenger LLP|
|Source||Windows, MacOS, Android, iOS|
Telegram is also available on a web portal, but to use this you first have to create an account on the mobile app.
Telegram is free to download on both Android and iOS devices. To get started, you first have to download the application on your smartphone and then create an account with your phone number. Just like WhatsApp, Telegram requires an active phone number, that is able to receive communication, in order to verify your account credentials.
As mentioned previously, you need an active phone number to create an account on Telegram. Just enter your mobile number and the app will send you a text SMS to verify your account. Once you get the code, enter it and then the app will ask you for basic information like your name, email, and profile picture.
Of course, to enter your profile picture you have to grant phone gallery access and to connect with other people, you have to grant contact information access.
First of all, let us start with the simple fact that Telegram is super fun to use. The quality of the app is immediately apparent once you start using it. Everything is customizable, the animations are snappy, the background themes are great, it’s just a fun app to use.
To send a message on Telegram, you can either search for the person’s name or click the plus icon and find it from your contact list. If the person is not on your contact list, you can add a new contact and they will show in your phone contact list. If the said person is not on Telegram, you can send them an invite via telegram or create a URL code to sign up.
The chat user interface is the same as what we see on other apps. It is more like WhatsApp which shows a double-tick when a message is delivered to a person and a colored tick when the person reads it.
Along with text messages, you can send a variety of other attachments including media such as photos, videos, and voice notes. Telegram also has an editing tool that allows you to edit your media before you send it. Here you can perform basic features like cut an image, trim a video, add filters, stickers, etc.
Telegram has this other option called “Secret Chat” where you can send end-to-end encrypted messages. To use this, press the person profile icon & More & Start Secret chat. Here you’ll be restricted to use some features of the app like you can’t copy/paste or forward a message. You will also get the option to create self-destructive icons by timers.
Now to send your messages to more than one person, Telegram has the option to invite people in groups or channels. Groups, as you would have guessed are something in which you invite people and share information. You can also assign roles in groups with permission set to individual group members.
Channels on the other side are basically groups, the only difference is that your messages will be broadcast to a wide audience at one time.
Telegram is a cloud-based messaging app that you can use on Android, iOS, and your PC and Mac devices. The app works the same as any other messaging app. You can send text messages to your contact list, you can make voice calls, video calls, make groups, and even send media to your contact.
Now, in case you’re wondering, if Telegram is so similar to WhatsApp then why people are using it? It’s because WhatsApp is banned in many parts of the world. Countries like UAE, China and more have banned WhatsApp because of privacy concerns. Hence Telegram is the only option to fill the resulting communication gap.
Overall, Telegram’s privacy stance is good, but there is room for improvement. Beyond your contact number, the app requires precious little details like your first name, last name, photo (optional), and email address. Telegram documentation also says that the company stores your IP address and some other metadata information for “moderation purposes” for up to 12 months.
While other social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook also store personal data, it’s still less than what Telegram has in their hands. Unless it is the case that Telegram is the only company that publicly said they collect data.
Telegram is a great service for connecting people, and with the social media privacy media storm engulfing headlines at the moment, we think Telegram is a safe bet. We’re not alone in thinking this either; the platform’s active users increased from 10 Million to 100 Million in just 2 days as a result of some of its other social media rivals not ingratiating themselves.
What’s more, Telegram is capable of doing all the things you could want a messaging app to do. You can do voice calls, video calls, conference calls, send text messages, and more.