What is Telegram?
Telegram is a cloud-based instant messaging app available in mobile and desktop with a focus on security and speed. The free-to-use messaging app was founded by Nikolai and Pavel Durov in 2013.
Telegram Messenger enables users to ‘send messages, photos, videos and files of any type (doc, zip, mp3, etc), as well as create groups for up to 200,000 people or channels for broadcasting to unlimited audiences.’
Telegram offers Secret Chats where messages can be self-destroyed in a set amount of time. Messages cannot be forwarded from Secret Chats and when a member of a secret chat deletes a message, it is ordered to delete the message as well to the other person.
|Platforms||Mobile, PC, Tablets|
|Founders||Nikolai and Pavel Durov|
|Google Play||Store Link|
|Apple App Store||Store Link|
Telegram vs WhatsApp
WhatsApp has end-to-end encryption for all types of chats within the app but Telegram only uses it for Secret Chats and video calls.
As distinct from WhatsApp, Telegram lets users to access their chats from multiple devices because it is a cloud-based messenger.
Telegram has an open API and it welcomes developers to develop their own Telegram app. It also has a Bot API that helps users to build specialized tools for Telegram, integrate different services, and accept payments from users around the world.
Number of monthly active WhatsApp users worldwide in March 2020 was 2 billion so it is more popular than Telegram. This makes it more likely to be used by a user’s personal network.
Telegram users can get a notification alert when someone takes a screenshot of a message. However it is not allowed in all operating systems. Telegram says, most notably, on some Android and Windows Phone devices it is not possible to detect screenshots taken.
As another competitive advantage over Whatsapp, Telegram stores all files, messages, and documents on the cloud to make it possible to reach them out from different devices.
Both Whatsapp and Telegram use contact lists in the smartphones to let users reach their contacts, meaning users don’t have to add a friend or family member manually to communicate via WhatsApp or Telegram if the person is added in their contact list. Telegram also sends notification when a contact from the contact list joins Telegram.
Both Whatsapp and Telegram offer voice and video calls. Telegram announced video calls in August 2020.
Telegram allows media compression to let users save more space on their devices.
Telegram channels, a tool for broadcasting public messages to large audiences, provide a newsfeed-like experience for every taste. Users are also allowed to create their own channels.
Whatsapp has a feature called Messenger Rooms, where users are allowed to make video calls with a larger group of people.
Telegram has photo and video editing tools and an open sticker/GIF platform to make the user experience better.
Telegram User Stats (2020)
In April 2020, Telegram reached 400 million monthly users, up from 300 million a year ago. (Telegram)
- As of July 2020, Telegram ranked among the most popular global messenger apps based on the number of monthly active users. (Statista)
- In June 2020, Telegram Messenger ranked among the leading social networking apps in the App Store based on the number of downloads, with 2.89 million downloads. (Statista)
- 15 billion Telegram messages delivered daily, according to the Telegram’s data.
- Telegram’s estimated user base for 2022 is 1 billion users.
- Telegram was among the top 10 apps worldwide by downloads in June 2020. (SensorTower)
- Telegram is the #1 most downloaded social media application in over 20 countries, according to Telegram data.
- Civil unrest in Hong Kong added an estimated 110,000 Telegram downloads in Hong Kong during July 2019 across Google Play and the App Store, an increase of 323% year-on-year, according to Sensor Tower.
- Telegram was ranked #3 among the top productivity apps worldwide for the second quarter of 2019 by downloads across Google Play and the App Store, according to Sensor Tower.