Telegram, a little-known app that was started in 2013, is now among the top IM service providers thanks to recent stats that show users exchange more than 10 billion messages daily.
This is a huge improvement considering that the app only managed about 1 billion messages on a daily basis in December 2014. This is no small achievement in any case, especially when you look around and see the level of competition that exists in the IM world.
The leaders in this field are WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, both of which are owned by Facebook. According to stats revealed in April 2015, these two instant messaging apps send a combined 45 billion messages daily. On the other hand, WhatsApp, which is probably the most popular messenger in the world right now, manages more than 30 billion messages a day. There are even other tougher players in the industry, among them Snapchat and Viber, all of which send millions of messages daily. Telegram is now pitted against these giants, and it is not doing badly.
So, what is Telegram?
As noted earlier, Telegram was launched in 2013 and by March last year, there were already more than 35 million people using the app on a monthly basis. One thing that catapulted the usage of this app was when Facebook bought WhatsApp for a fee of $19 billion. This, coupled with the fact that WhatsApp experienced a 4-hour outage at some point and that Telegram came in with a trusted end-to-end encryption to their messaging services, resulted in more downloads for this messenger app. At some point, App Annie reported that Telegram was the most downloaded app in 46 countries across the world.
Telegram vs. WhatsApp
What makes Telegram an ideal app is its messaging capabilities. It is the best app for chatting with large groups as it accommodates up to 200 people in a single group, 100 more than what WhatsApp offers. Also, this app is cloud-based, and as a result messages can be accessed from any device. Unlike WhatsApp, users can share an unlimited number of media files, with sizes up to 1.5GB.
From a distance, you might think it’s another WhatsApp clone thanks to the double ticks, simple user experience, ability to share videos, photos, texts, and other media files for free. However, this app is very different from the Facebook-owned app. According to the developers of Telegram, the multi-data center infrastructure and the end-to-end encryption of the app is what makes it a fast-performing and more secure app than WhatsApp. What even makes it a better app is that it is completely free of charge, unlike WhatsApp, which requires users to pay $0.99 per year after using it free in the first year.
Telegram also offers some interesting features, among them secret chats that are self-destructive. Senders can accompany a message with a self-destruct timer, where the message is automatically deleted from the device of the recipient after a certain set time. Once the set time expires, the message will disappear from the recipient’s device without leaving any trace.
Even though Telegram has not yet introduced support for voice based services, the fact that more than 10 billion messages are exchanged every day, up from 1 billion in December last year, could mean a new era is coming to the IM world; an era that will give WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger a run for their money.