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What is Telegram

Data: 28-Feb-2019 Editor: AppsToTalk

If you are searching for some new solutions for communication in the Internet, you might need information to compare products and find the best service. So, what is Telegram?

Telegram is an instant messenger with VoIP support. It allows exchanging text messages and files of any type of size up to 1.5 GB each. Besides, an option to make voice calls is also provided. This functionality is available in other instant messengers as well, but this product stands apart due to the speed of its work and being absolutely free.

The founders of Telegram are the Durovs brothers, Pavel and Nikolai, and they are the only people defining how this service will work. As they state, Pavel Durov is responsible for the general vision of the product and financial support, while Nikolai Durov works with technologies. The owners claim that their messenger will always be free to use and ads-free. It was developed as a non-commercial product and is funded exclusively by Pavel Durov. It does not accept any third-parties investments; neither is it going to be sold.

History of the Telegram messenger

This instant messenger was launched as a mobile app for iPhone in August 2013, the Android version was added in several months, in October 2013. The trademark was registered as Telegram Messenger LLP, the UK privately held company which belonged to Pavel Durov. In rather a short period of time, the product got versions for all mobile OS, desktop computers and even a web version for browsers.

At first, the development team for this service was based in St. Petersburg, Russia, later they moved abroad due to the new IT regulations. They had to decide in which country they would work, and currently the team is located in Dubai.

The messenger got its popularity quickly enough due to the absence of any fees, neat design and advanced security — the Durovs brothers claim that their creation is the fastest and safest solution among all instant messengers.

According to the Telegram data, in March 2018 they reached the number of 200 million active users. The company’s CEO reported their annual growth was more than 50%. It is not known for sure how many people use this service right now. The owners of Telegram emphasize that they are not going after obtaining more customers to collect their details and get commercial profits for the service. They are concentrated on making a convenient messenger for people to chat and exchange information instead.

Features provided by the Telegram service

How does Telegram work? At the current stage, this service is a cross-platform messenger with versions available for every environment. Its cloud nature allows it being installed on several devices under the same account, and multiple simultaneous logins are supported. Several copies of the messenger are fully synchronized — each message will be delivered to each instance. The data are saved in a cloud, the user can access them from any location and delete them. Data centers are located in several countries of the world which guarantees maximum speed of messaging.

The user account for this service can be created on a mobile phone only, as the identifier is the phone number.

After initial registration, this number will work as login when the user accesses the service from another device for the first time or reinstalls the application. You can refer to an article on how to create a Telegram account for the details.

The application will get access to the address book of the smartphone it is installed on and define which of your contacts also use this service. Then you will be able to contact them with the help of this messenger. During the registration process, the user is asked to provide name and surname: you can search for your friends this way, too.

There are three main options which Telegram messenger provides: text chats, channels and voice calls.

In text chats, you can communicate face to face and in groups. While working in groups, you can use the Reply options, hashtags and notifications to manage your communication more efficiently. As for personal chats, there is an option to have secret chats with the self-destruction timer for your texting.

Personal voice calls in Telegram were implemented in 2017, it was significantly later than the introduction of this service by its main rivals. Video calls are not supported by this messenger at the moment, and the developers claim they do not have it in the plans.

Telegram channels are the feature which made this service so popular. It is an option to run broadcasts for other users, and they can subscribe to a channel to get regular updates in their apps. Comments are not supported in the channels, which protects the authors from cyber bullying.

This option has turned the app from being merely an instant messenger into the fully functional social media. Pavel Durov already has an experience of creating such products, as he made Russian analogue of Facebook called VK. This abbreviation’s meaning is “in contact” in Russian.

There are popular personal blogs, thematic groups and brand channels broadcasting for thousands of subscribers. And, unlike Facebook or Twitter, Telegram does not annoy its users with ads and unrelated posts.

More than one factor attracts people to this service. Some users simply like to try new solutions, others migrated due to the absence of any fees, many people switched to this service because of its channels and stickers. In any case, this messenger is a thing worth testing.