While WhatsApp was down over the weekend, people turned to the messaging service Telegram instead; nearly five million people signed up for the app, placing it at the top of the App Store chart. Telegram is now the number one app in the social networking category, beating WhatsApp, Facebook and others.
Designed by the Durov brothers, who are responsible for Russia’s largest social network VKontakte or VK, Telegram combines the ephemerality of Snapchat with a design that is not too dissimilar to WhatsApp, as well as a host of advanced security features.
According to Telegram’s Markus Ra, it’s not WhatsApp’s acquisition and downtime issues that have caused the sudden increase in users though.
“We have been the no. 1 app in Spanish, Arabic, and several Latin American app stores for several weeks before the Facebook deal happened,” he said. “The growth was there — so the WhatsApp acquisition and problems merely multiplied the effect across all affected countries.”
‘It Will Never Sell Ads’
Although Telegram may be similar in looks to WhatsApp, the company boasts originality in speed and security. Thanks to Nikolai Durov’s open-sourced MTProto protocol it is the fastest and most secure mass market messaging system in the world,” the company claims. The company is even offering $200,000 to anyone who can crack the system, it is that confident.
Perhaps the biggest differences between Telegram and WhatsApp are that any developer can build a Telegram client, it operates as a non-profit organization and does not have any plans to charge for its services.
Durov explains that “it will never sell ads or accept outside investment. It also cannot be sold.” This would certainly make it appear a great solution for anyone looking for an alternative to WhatsApp and any other messaging services out there.
It will be interesting to see how this one pans out, especially because Facebook has just paid $19 billion for WhatsApp. For Telegraph to be a real success, it will have to rely on people convincing their friends and family to switch to the service and becuase security is such a concern for everyone nowadays, maybe it won’t be that difficult.