What is Telegram and how is it different from other messaging apps?
Messaging applications have become our preferred means of communication, offering us the chance to communicate with our friends anytime, anywhere. And while Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp are the most famous of them all, there's one app that has recently emerged to disrupt the market by claiming to be the safest of them all. It's called Telegram Messenger.
What is Telegram?
Telegram is an online messaging application that works like the popular messaging apps WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. This means you can use it to send messages to your friends while connected to Wi-Fi or your mobile data. Telegram is cloud-based and claims to prioritize security and speed, making it a good alternative to other popular messaging apps. The service was launched in 2013, and since then has reached 200 million active monthly users.
Founded by Russian Pavel Durov, who is also behind Russia's largest social network VKontakte (VK), Telegram claims to combine the speed of WhatApp with the ephemerality of Snapchat. Like WhatsApp, Telegram also has the ability to display a friend's status online and to attach and share photos, videos, location, contacts and documents.
Telegram's special feature is its security. It claims that all Telegram features including discussions, groups and media shared between participants, are encrypted. This means they won't be visible without first being decrypted. The app also lets you set self-destruct timers on the messages and media you share, which can range from two seconds to a week thanks to its built-in "Secret Chat" feature. It also offers end-to-end encryption, leaving no trace on Telegram's servers.
It's also possible to check the security of your "secret conversations" using an image that serves as an encryption key. By comparing your encryption key with that of a friend, you can effectively verify that your conversation is secure and less vulnerable to man-in-the-middle attacks.
How to use Telegram?
Telegram can be used and installed just like any other messaging application. You can download it from Apple's App Store or Google's Play Store - just look for the paper airplane logo. Once the app is installed, you'll be prompted to enter your phone number, then add your name and a photo. The next step is to find friends and start a chat.
The application can be used on all your digital devices: smartphones, tablets, laptops and desktops. Telegram is available for Android, iOS, Windows Phone, Windows NT, macOS and Linux.