The messaging app Telegram has reached one billion downloads this year, making it the 15th app in the world to have hit this figure.
As users have become increasingly disenchanted with What’s App’s data policies following their integration with Facebook, messaging apps with enhanced privacy (such as Telegram and Signal) have skyrocketed in popularity. But what is it about these apps that make them so appealing? Both Telegram and Signal are free, independent, and open-platform – offering features such as self-destructing messages and enhanced encryption. Signal focuses messaging while Telegram combines this with social media functions – providing a new way to connect with audiences. With this in mind, should museums be planning to create content for this channel? Let’s explore further.
How does Telegram work?
Telegram can be installed on phones, tablets, and PCs. You need a phone number to set it up, but you can use it across devices and your account will sync. You can also set up a username instead of using your phone number.
You can use Telegram to message people in your phone contacts list who also have the app or you can find contacts by their username with the in-app search.
Telegram is a messaging service that offers a few features that you might not expect. For example, you can send any type of file on Telegram – up to 2 GB per file. You can טלגראס אתר also set up interactive groups for up to 200,000 users and broadcasting channels for unlimited audiences. Consequently, Telegram is a great option for personal or business messaging needs.
Who’s using it?
Telegram is one of the most popular messaging apps in the world with over 500 million monthly active users. The app is especially popular in Iran and Uzbekistan, but it also has a strong presence in many other countries. According to SimilarWeb, Telegram is one of the most downloaded apps in many countries. For example, it is the fifth most popular Social Networking App in the USA, fourth in the UK, fourth in the UAE and second in Switzerland.
Telegram is noted as being the most popular messaging app in Iran, however, it is banned in that country as well as in China and Pakistan. Despite this, Telegram does not release the details of messages sent on its app to anyone – including governments. The company states that they have never disclosed any user data to third parties. The only reports that they will process are those relating to their publicly available sticker sets, channels and bots – for example copyright infringement reports.
What key features should I know about?
Channels are a great way to broadcast to large numbers of people – think of them like a news stream or magazine. Your subscribers can comment on your posts, or you can add a group chat function, but only authorized admins can post new content.
A channel can be open and public – anyone can subscribe – or private, where only people with an invite link can access it.
Groups are more participatory than pages, and they can be either public or private, which makes them perfect for membership groups. Even though there is a limit to how many members a group can have (200,000), that should be more than enough for most purposes. You can set up a group so that all members can contribute, or just the admins, which makes this an ideal tool for panel discussions. Groups also have a Quizzes tool that’s fun to use.
Telegram’s open API allows developers to create bots that can perform various functions within the app, from sending notifications to playing games. You don’t need to pay anything to register a bot (you can do so by using the ‘Bot Father’ function), but you will need some programming skills to create one. Some examples of bots that provide interactive information on exhibits are Museum Guide Bot and Ajaib ghar Bot. Museum Guide Bot offers user-generated content, while Ajaib ghar Bot uses museum API’s – mainly from Rijksmuseum and Coope.