Remember when, Facebook (you might have heard of these guys they’re a pretty small startup in the Valley), bought Whatsapp for 22 billion dollars? Of course you do, it was the news story of the year as far as social networking is concerned.
With a user base of over 600 million users, things are looking up for the cross-platform mobile messenger as they continue to operate independently within Facebook. As for now, the only noticeable change as of now is the blue ‘ticks’ which solved the mystery of whether that infamous faded double tick meant that the message sent was read or not.
The other change was that there were a couple of outages, where everyone migrated to ‘Telegram’ in Whatsapp’s downtime, thus propelling it up in the app store charts . Now essentially, Telegram operates the same way as Whatsapp, with the same loveable cartoony wallpapers and that ever-so confusing double tick which no one seems to understand. So, it’s basically just another IM standalone app right?
Well, kinda. What makes it different from its competitors though is that it not only has a web and tablet interface, but it can also send any kind of file up to 1GB and supports groups of 200 people (not that I know that much people). Telegram also toys with the public, setting up contests and giving a substantial cash prize ($300,000) for whoever manages to crack the Telegram encryption. Their previous contest to decrypt intercepted traffic produced no winners. Clearly these guys mean business.
Telegram also has the option for ‘secret chats’, basically a client-to-client secure encryption which disables any logs from being kept. The best thing about it though is the fact that it’s open source, allowing anyone who understands the disciplines of modern cryptography to point out any vulnerabilities and also ensure continuity and better scalability.
I mentioned, before that it has a cross-platform interface. What’s so great about it is, simply the fact that it actually works, and it does so pretty well in that manner. The UI is just gorgeous, it mimics Google’s material design principles and deploys the experience as its own. What also deserves a special mention is the video sharing. Telegram can highly compress the uploaded content, preventing any unnecessary loss of quality.
Competing with a saturated market of messaging services like WhatsApp, Hangouts, LINE and WeChat, Telegrams’ unique selling point is its speed, accessibility & security. However, our era is one which always begs for more. As I sit here at 3 in the morning thinking up of what I can write for this immensely overdue article, one question still wanders my head. What else can be done? Not just for Telegram, but for messaging services in general, for them to have that one thing which people might not need but ending up not living without.