An alternative to WhatsApp created by Russian Entrepreneur Pavel Durov, Telegram – while not as popular as WhatsApp – has a steady base of users worldwide, and is well-liked for its host of intuitive and useful chat features unavailable in its competitors.
Telegram does the basics well, but also includes a giant list of other add-ons that allow users to customize and deck out their chats with some very interesting features.
It supports the sending of files, media, contacts, and location details, as well as voice and video calls. The size limit for sending over files or media of any sort is capped at a whopping 2GB, much higher than WhatsApp.
Similar to WhatsApp, Telegram also has a Secret Chat feature that makes sent messages disappear after a period of time.
For interactions involving large numbers, Telegram opens support for chat groups up to a staggering 200,000 participants, and it also has a channels feature that allows users to create one-way message channels – meaning only admins can send messages – that an unlimited people can subscribe to. This is particularly useful for businesses that want to share their news, updates, or important information with their audience. Lacks video and voice calls which in testing
One giant advantage that Telegram has over its rivals is the availability of dozens of features that users can add into their chat groups such as automated bots, polls, quizzes, and games, some of which can be really fun additions.
Telegram can also be used on desktop with a dedicated application available for both macOS and Windows. Unlike WhatsApp, it can have multiple logins and does not need your phone to be connected to the internet to work. There is also the option for users to change the phone number associated to their accounts, unlike the way WhatsApp ties accounts to individual phone numbers.
The service does not offer backups. Instead, it stores all content on the cloud and syncs all chats and channels between devices instantaneously.
Telegram also supports stickers and wallpapers as well as various other customization options.
When it comes to security, it may surprise you that Telegram uses the least safe protocol.
It uses Client-Server encryption, which means that messages sent are decrypted and re-encrypted at the server level before being sent over to the receiver. This means that Telegram theoretically has access to the contents of messages sent, although it claims that it would take a tremendous amount of legal paperwork from various legal systems around the world for any of it to be accessed.
Telegram’s Secret Chats feature, however, does use the more secure E2E encryption method, although it uses a closed-sourced proprietary protocol which experts have so far been unable to analyze or rate (meaning that no one really knows just how secure it is).
There is a built-in passcode lock feature with fingerprint security on the Telegram mobile app.
User Data Collected:
Telegram only collects and stores three items :
1. Contact information
2. Phone number
3. User ID