You might be thinking this to be a sponsored or promoted post but no, I am saying this out of my own personal experience. After the recent news of data breach & leak by WhatsApp-owner Facebook and seeing the recent effects of spread of fake news on WhatsApp, I decided to leave the platform for good (& to Telegram, ofcourse) and have since never turned back.
I have used a lot of messengers, a lot of them actually. Barring the few popular ones like WhatsApp and Facebook’s Messenger I have also tried out Line, WeChat, KakaoTalk, Kik and even group messengers like Microsoft’s GroupMe but Telegram has become my all-time favourite.
So, what makes Telegram good? Read on to find out.
- It works independently of your phone.
This was the very first reason that attracted me to this platform. You see, unlike in WhatsApp you don’t need your phone to stay connected to the internet for you to talk from your desktop. Telegram is cross-platform (Windows, Linux, iOS, Android, Web) and works everywhere independently from each other. So Bye-Bye QR Code scanning.
2. Everything is cloud-synced
Unlike in WhatsApp where you have to take backup to your Google Drive or your phone, Telegram has everything cloud-synced meaning you can start a chat in your phone and continue it on your laptop without any issues and everything including media will be synced. For this same reason, Telegram also has a feature called Saved Messages where you can send messages and media to yourself. Now, why would you do that? Imagine you have a Powerpoint file in your laptop and you want to quickly send it to your phone. The quickest way to send it? Use the Saved Messages feature!
3. You won’t need to share your phone number.
Although, you will use your number to sign-up but unlike WhatsApp where you need phone number of anyone you want to message, Telegram uses ussernames instead. You never need to share your number, you can just say your username and the other person can search it and message you back. Phone numbers won’t be shared at all! I find this feature really helpful.
4. Supergroups and Channels
Telegram has two awesome features for groups. One called Supergroups, basically you create a group with your friends like any other messenger. But in case, you want to fit in a large number of people (1,00,000 to be precise!) and have more control over the group activities you can convert your group to a Supergroup which enables Admin only controls and invite links for your group alongwith private or public access restriction. The other feature called Channels is a one way communication group, it is useful for things like disaster updates in for your locality or class information from your teacher. People even use it to showcase their photography and behind the scenes. How cool!
5. The Bots
Telegram has bots, like a lot of them. And no, those aren’t meant to suck information from you and target you with ads. Infact, bots on Telegram are a blessing to have. You can control large groups with the help of a bot for spams and trouble makers. You can use specific bots like IFTTT to gain much more control over you connected home, social media accounts, etc. straight from your Telegram. Heck, there are even grammar and game bots to enhance your grammar and keep you entertained.
6. Self-Destructing Messages
Telegram is secure by default but if you have serious concern about privacy then you can use end-to-end encryption chat called Secret Chat where both users need to stay online for it to actiavte. You can also set timer to your chats to destruct after certain amount of time after the other person sees it. It’s really a powerful tool and if used properly can prevent any sort of privacy concerns.
7. Large file transfers
Unlike most other popular messenger apps, you can literally send any kind of file in Telegram. And I mean it, I even send .exe files and .iso files to my friends on Telegram. And another plus point with all these as you might have guessed it by now is the size. Telegram supports upto 1.5 GB of file size transfer at a time. It also has the option to select the appropriate size of video according to your data plan. You can downscale a 1080p to 720p, 480p, 360p and even 240p! Same goes for photos.
8. Proxy & Passcode Lock
Telegram has built-in option for setting up proxy network. It also built-in app locker if you need one. Also, a quick note. Telegram won’t save photos to your gallery automatically unless you either turn it on through the settings or manually save the photos you need. Need I say more?!
Yes! Telegram has themes! A lot of them! For both PC and smartphone! What can be more cool than that? I have no idea. Well, by default Telegram offers 3 themes – default, blue and black. You can also schedule to set dark theme for certain period of the say. You can follow the official Telegram groups for PC and Android if you want to theme your app.
10. Telegram Passport
Just recently, Telegram announced a cool new feature called Telegram passport where you can store your verification documents like Aadhar Card, Passport, Driving License and others which you can later use on supported websites to directly log in through Telegram and use it. It’s all encrypted on their servers and protected by password to which even they don’t have access. The rollout is slow but expect it to de adopted widely by the community.
There are other small and neat features like encrypted voice calling, stickers by emojis, GIF support, ability to send short video messages, 2-step verification, hashtags (Oh Yeah!) and lots more.
Cons? Well, as of now there is no such con which puts Telegram at a disadvantage with others. Many would consider that since its privately owned and funded, it may steal our information and sell it for ads but Telegram has stood by its principles and guidelines time and again and shown that it cares about its users first.
What about the privacy? Telegram’s founder is so confident about the security that he has offered to give $2,00,000 to anyone who can break Telegram’s encryption protocol. It was also fined and banned in Russia for declining to hand over its encryption keys to the ruthless Russian Govt. which has been praised by people worldwide.
As online citizens, we should always keep our eyes open and be ready to jump over when there are concerns of privacy. Maybe today its WhatsApp but who knows what comes next.