Is Telegram the next Whatsapp?
I met a friend who forgot his smartphone on his office desk on a Saturday. He went an entire Sunday without it. I asked him what he missed the most on the day without his phone.
Ever since the smartphone was invented, all the discussion was focussed on a single topic i.e. to invent something that leverages the strengths of a smartphone in a way which appeals to the masses. With apps, the world saw a new dawn of technology that later led to a revolution in mobile tech. But when did Whatsapp come into the picture?
When mobile telecom providers were enjoying their stint by converting every call/text/connection into a source of revenue, mobile apps’ popularity began to rise among smartphone users. Within a limited time frame, free messaging apps began to queue up fast on leading app markets. Amidst this shift, Whatsapp’s unique no-ads service, simple-to-use interface, cross platform compatibility and smooth functionality, gave it all it needed to rise up in the competition. The users enjoyed uninterrupted connections and endless messaging with the absence of typical regional tariff rates. Being the new crowned king of the smartphone messaging platform, Whatsapp surpassed mobile app downloads on every app market, making Facebook Messenger feel sorry for its attempt to compete.
However, lately a new kid in town is attracting attention on the international scale; he goes by the name of Telegram.
When Whatsapp suffered one of its biggest service outage on 23rd February, 2014, Telegram suddenly rose to fame by becoming the most downloaded iPhone app in 48 countries. The download stream pushed the app to No. 4 position in the app store within hours, as users turned their back on Whatsapp worldwide. Whatsapp witnessed another huge blow from Telegram after the news of Facebook acquiring Whatsapp, hit the online space. Whatsapp users, ridiculed by Facebook’s ambitious attempts to integrate social with physical, took to their smartphones to replace Whatsapp with Telegram, fearing that frustrating ads will now haunt the corners of Whatsapp interface. While the question still stands as to whether Facebook has plans to modify the platform to convert it into a revenue-generating monstrosity, there are a few things where Telegram takes the trophy home.
In terms of features, Telegram offers everything that Whatsapp stands for today, and even brings a few new things to the table. Unlike Whatsapp, Telegram emphasizes on privacy and security owing to its cloud-based structure that is heavily encrypted. As a result of which, users can enjoy an additional platform of desktop to chat for free, something that Whatsapp fails to provide. You can share unlimited photos, videos, and a variety of supported file formats (doc, zip, mp3, etc.) unlike Whatsapp’s limited support for native photo and video formats (and recently audio). On top of everything else, Telegram has promised its users to provide absolutely free service forever, as compared to an insignificant $0.99 which Whatsapp currently demands (though the free service is usually extended to a maximum).
So, maybe it’s time to shift to a better customer service plan for Whatsapp if it has to tackle the new wave of competition from the likes of Telegram. But as current charts and figures indicate, Whatsapp doesn’t seem to slow down with constant influx of new users due to its exploitative popularity around the global atmosphere.