What is Telegram, it’s features and how do I use it!

In this era many popular social media apps or software running in the market or you can say this Softwares dominating the market in their own way and in different sectors like messaging, video calling, making new friends, encrypted messaging, etc. So Telegram is also one of them providing its users as a end to end encrypted messenger platform to much more. Telegram has a lot of features to be focused on. Here in this article, we will see what Telegram is and its features and how I use it.

What is Telegram?

On the ground, Telegram looks the same as the other messenger software or app available in the market like WhatsApp. But telegram has lots more features than actually, it seems to be. It’s not like any other simple messenger software but more than that. Telegram is a freeware, cross-platform, cloud-based instant messaging (IM) software and application service. The service also provides end-to-end encrypted video calling and messaging, VoIP, file sharing and several other important features. And yet, the service is unlike any other instant messaging service. This application was launched for iOS on 14 August 2013 and for Android in October 2013. The operational center of Telegram is currently based in Dubai, while the application servers are distributed worldwide to decrease data load. Note:- All of the Telegram’s official apps are open source.

Telegram is owned by Pavel Durov and his brother Nikolai who founded the company in Russia back in 14 August 2013. i.e, 8 years ago.

At a glance

  • Telegram is released in 14 August 2013. i.e, 8 years ago
  • This software is written in c+language
  • Telegram is available in 19 languages! That includes English, Russian, Persian, Turkish, Italian, Arabic, Ukrainian, Uzbek, Portuguese, Spanish, German, Dutch, French, Korean, Indonesian, Malay, Belarusian, Catalan and Polish
  • This application comes under the instant messaging category, but the features are more than that.
  • Telegram served globally and the current CEO of this software is Pavel Durov
  • Official website:- https://telegram.org/

What is the Telegram app used for?

With Telegram, you can 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 is like SMS and email combined — and can take care of all your personal or business messaging needs. Telegram provides unlimited storage. This means all your text messages, images, media files & documents will be saved on their cloud. So one can use it for unlimited storage as other Messenger apps will not provide this. Telegram introduced Channels in 2015 where users can share videos, other content for broadcasting. Now, Telegram Channels are used by users to watch their favourite movies and shows for free given by that channel. Some Telegram channels have links that stream Netflix, Amazon, and Voot videos.

Features of Telegram

There are many features of this app but here we will cover some of the major, important and popular features for which Telegram is famous for.

What is Telegram
Photo by Christian Wiediger on Unsplash

Channels (Famous and important feature)

This type of vital feature will be seen in this platform or any other rare platform only. As any other instant messaging software does not provide such type of features. Channels are a form of one-way messaging where admins are able to post messages but other users are not. Any user is able to create and subscribe to channels. Channels can be created for broadcasting messages to an unlimited number of subscribers. Channels can be publicly available with an alias and a permanent URL so anyone can join. Users who join a channel can see the entire message history. Users can join and leave channels at any time. Depending on a channel’s settings, messages may be signed with the channel’s name or with the username of the admin who posted them. Non-admin users are unable to see other users who’ve subscribed to the channel. Furthermore, users can mute a channel, meaning that the user will still receive messages, but won’t be notified. This type of channel provides a lot of content for its subscribers which includes popular movies, web shows and much more educational content too.

Admin as well as users(but not in channels for users they can send only personally) can send text and voice messages, animated stickers, and share an unlimited number of images, documents upto or more than 2GB PER FILE!. In December 2019, Bloomberg moved their messenger-based newsletter service from WhatsApp to Telegram after the former banned bulk and automated messaging. The news service is attempting to grow its audience outside the U.S.

Secret chats?

Telegram messages are Secure with its so called client-to-client encryption also known as Secret chats.

What are secret chats? Messages sent within a secret chat can be accessed only on the device upon which the secret chat was initiated and the device upon which the secret chat was accepted; they cannot be accessed on other devices. Because secret chats are saved only on the devices of chat participants, they cannot be accessed from another device — and they disappear when you log out of Telegram or delete the app.

Secret chats are available in Telegram’s iOS, Android, and macOS apps. You can set timers on messages, photos, videos, and files to self-destruct after a set amount of time with secret chats

According to Telegram Inc., secret chats have supported perfect forward secrecy since December 2014. Encryption keys are periodically changed after a key has been used more than 100 times or has been in use for more than a week. Old encryption keys are destroyed.

Note:- Secret chats are not available for groups or channels they are only available for P2P i.e, person to person.

Cloud-based messages

Telegram’s default messages are cloud-based and can be accessed on any of the user’s connected devices. Users can share photos, videos, audio messages and other files (up to 2 gigabytes per file). Users can send messages to other users individually or in groups of up to 200,000 members. Sent messages can be edited up to 48 hours after they have been sent and can be deleted at any time on both sides. Messages in all chats, including groups and channels, can be set to auto-delete after 24 hours or 7 days, although this will only apply to messages sent after the auto-delete timer is enabled. Telegram offers drafts that sync across user devices, such as when a user starts typing a message on one device and can later continue on another. Users have the option to schedule messages in personal chats to be sent when the other side comes online. Users can also import chat history, including both messages and media, from WhatsApp, Line, and Kakaotalk due to data portability, either making a new chat to hold the messages or adding them to an existing one.

Some Others Benefits

Accounts

Telegram accounts are tied to telephone numbers and are verified by SMS. Users can add multiple devices to their accounts and receive messages on all of them. Connected devices can be removed individually or all at once. In addition, a user can set up a username as an alias that allows them to send and receive messages without exposing their phone number. Telegram accounts can be deleted at any time and they are deleted automatically after six months of inactivity by default, which can optionally be changed from 1 month at the shortest up to 12 months at most with a range between.

Video and voice calls

At the end of March 2017, Telegram introduced its own voice calls. The calls are built upon end-to-end encryption. Telegram added video calling with end-to-end encryption like Signal and WhatsApp, which Zoom does not have yet!. Picture-in-picture mode is also available so that users have the option to simultaneously use the other functions of the app while still remaining on the call and are even able to turn their video off. Are There Costs To Making Voice Calls on telegram? The answer is nope! Telegram doesn’t charge for its services, including voice calls.

Group voice chats

Telegram added group voice chats in December 2020. Any group admin can launch a chat, which will be open to all group members and ongoing even if no one is currently using it.

Message storage

Telegram also receives kudos for providing every user with 2GB in message storage. It’s huge as we compare it with other competitors in the market. Other services don’t come anywhere close.

Does Telegram Share Data With Third Parties?

See their own description,

“Thanks to this structure, we can ensure that no single government or block of like-minded countries can intrude on people’s privacy and freedom of expression. Telegram can be forced to give up data only if an issue is grave and universal enough to pass the scrutiny of several different legal systems around the world.

To this day, we have disclosed 0 bytes of user data to third parties, including governments.”

How to use telegram and how to download it.

One can use Telegram by downloading its software or app from App Store for iOS users and from Google Play Store for Android users.

For iPhone

  • Open App Store
  • Search for Telegram and download it.

For Android

  • Open Google Play Store in your smartphone or tab
  • Search for Telegram
  • Click Install to download and install the app

Then

  • Tap on the Telegram app on your mobile device.
  • Select Start Messaging.
  • Add your phone number.
  • Enter the code sent to your phone.
  • Add your first and last name, then click Next.
  • Finish the setup, now you can use the app.

If other users are on your Contact list, they will be sent a text saying that you are now a member.

Is my personal data Secure in Telegram?

Personal data isn’t 100% secure online. And yet, some services do a better job at protecting someone’s information than others. With many big tech companies like Google and Facebook selling personal data to the highest bidder, it’s nice to see a service like Telegram grow in popularity. As Telegram is commented not to sell any personal data to anyone not even with the government.

What are the Differences between Telegram and Whatsapp?

So we learned about Telegram and its features and how Telegram is different from other Messaging software. But here are some of the major differences between Telegram and Whatsapp messenger. As Telegram has lots more to offer for its users that other software fails to do so. Here are the Differences,

End to End Encryption

  • WhatsApp is not completely Open source, their Backups are not Encrypted
  • Telegram is entirely Open Source and its encryption protocol is fully documented as compared to WhatsApp.

File sharing capacity

  • WhatsApp can share files only upto 64 megabytes (MB)
  • Telegram has lots more than that as it is one of the key features of Telegram. Telegram can share upto 2 GB per file. These numbers are very much greater than Whatsapp.

Group members limit

  • WhatsApp lets you add only up to 256 users to a particular group.
  • Whereas Telegram lets you add up to 200,000 members. Since Telegram groups can have up to 200,000 members, they have support replies, mentions and hashtags that help maintain order and keep communication in large communities efficient. That WhatsApp fails to do.

Group chat Security

  • WhatsApp has end-to-end encryption for their group chat which is pretty much better as compared to the telegram.
  • Telegram has client-to-server encryption which is also good but not as much better as Whatsapp.

Self-destructing Messages

  • WhatsApp and Telegram Both have self-destructing Messages features

Chatbot

  • WhatsApp doesn’t have any chatbots UI
  • Telegram has bots like gif bot, stickers bot, and image bot, etc.

Here Top 15 Telegram Tips and Tricks: What every Telegram needs to know

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