Telegram is a free standalone messenger app available for Android, iOS, Linux, macOS, and Windows platforms, and messages easily sync across every platform. The desktop versions require a Telegram download from the Web, and Android owners also can download a more secure version from the Telegram website. However, it is still available from Google’s Play Store. Users who install Telegram on their devices can also log in via their browser. However, this option is no longer available for users who have not already downloaded the app.
Because it’s an ideal alternative for anyone looking for a more secure messaging platform, Telegram has become popular with those who value their privacy online. Not only are messages sent via the app heavily encrypted, but Telegram includes a secret message option that offers additional security and the ability to set a self-destruct countdown that permanently deletes sent messages after a certain number of seconds.
From the start, Telegram’s interface is intuitive to use for anyone who has previously used other communication apps. Upon the first launch, it asks to connect with your contacts, which will be securely synced over its servers. If you accept, Telegram alerts your contacts who already use the service that you have joined.
The app supports basic features such as read receipts, deleting, editing, forwarding, and replying to specific messages. Those messages send almost instantly, making Telegram noticeably faster than most messenger or SMS apps. With this software, users can easily delete entire chat histories or mute notifications for each group or chat, whether temporarily or permanently.
You can liven up your messages with stickers, GIFs, or animated emoji or by adding themes to chat. Of course, Telegram allows users to record and send audio and video messages in the app, and many people appreciate that Telegram doesn’t limit media or chat file size the same way other apps do.
Telegram isn’t just good for one-on-one communication, either. Users can create groups of up to 200,000 members with varying admin levels for text or video chats. Telegram groups support anonymous users and booting users from the group after a specific period. It’s easy to invite new members to groups with Telegram short links.
Similarly, users can create Telegram channels to send messages to multiple recipients (known as subscribers) at once. This option is great for quickly disseminating information to many people, and channel owners can see who has viewed their messages. Channels can be public or private, the latter requiring an invitation or join link. Public channels are one way to attract users with similar interests or find topics that interest you. For those members of multiple channels, Telegram includes a shortcut to jump to the next channel without returning to your chat list.
Both groups and channels allow the host to show their screen to other participants. Live streaming is available through video chats in groups and directly in channels. This function is convenient for sharing presentations, streaming video gameplay, or hosting remote movie nights.
Finally, Telegram can be even more powerful if you’re a developer who uses its open-source API in your project.