Hot News


Header Ads Widget

Telegram vs Facebook | Why are people Switching to Telegram from Facebook?

In a world that's growing increasingly authoritarian, a platform that grants people the right to do and say what they please is a rarity amongst this backdrop. Telegram is a distinct oddity it's commonly on the list of the 10 largest platforms in the world but has just around 30 core employees. They've had no ongoing source of revenue until very recently and Telegram exercises virtually no content moderation, except legal content and calls for violence. Telegram markets itself as a company platform that's available to all regardless of politics or ideology.


Telegram's Russian founder Pavel Durov states “for us Telegram is an idea, it is the idea that everyone in this planet has the right to be free”. So In this post we'll take a look at,

  • What is Telegram?

  • Why was Telegram founded?

  • Is Telegram a safe platform to use?

For years now, the world has fretted over Facebook now matters seemingly unstoppable dominance. The firm has relentlessly neutralized its competitors either by acquisition or elimination not to mention the subjugation of politics, culture and every facet of intimate life crushed and tossed around by the priorities of an algorithm. An algorithm built for ad sales, escalating privacy scandals and disingenuous apologies have only left a sour taste in people's mouths. But recently in the past year or so Mark Zuckerberg's empire has begun to look a little more vulnerable. Lawmakers have increasingly rallied against it. Investors are losing confidence and network outages have only made things worse for the firm.

Also Read: Why is Facebook building new City for its Employees?

Because of all of this, Telegram with its tiny staff has emerged as one of the greatest beneficiaries of all of these stumbles. Telegram gained a record 70 million new users during a nearly six hour Facebook long outage in October 2020, according to the specialist firm Sensor Tower. Telegram became the fifth largest downloaded app up from number 56 in the United States.

So what is Telegram exactly?

Telegram is a chat instant messaging service. The service also provides voice calling, file sharing and several other features. In January of 2021 Telegram surpassed 500 million active users. It was the most downloaded app worldwide in January of 2021 with 1 billion downloads globally. In his early descriptions of Telegram, founder Pavel Durov often cited Edward Snowden's revelations about government spyware and claimed that he made the app over worries about government surveillance in Russia which is why apart from the ordinary chat feature, the Telegram messaging app also has a secret chats function; a function which uses end-to-end encryption and stores messages locally on user's devices as we'll later see.

All may not be as it seems, with this feature Durov who was a fundamentalist libertarian has for years faced off with the Kremlin's efforts to silence him in his native country Russia. He founded Telegram with his brother in 2013 as a digital outpost of free speech after the Kremlin stripped him of control over VK, a popular social media site, he created as a Russian version of Facebook. He was co-founder of VK which was released in 2006.

Telegram has no ads or investors and is funded almost entirely through Durov's personal fortune. It is hosted on multiple servers around the world ensuring that no one government can exercise total control or gain access to information about users. The company's ownership structure is also a bird's nest of shell companies from Belarus to Hong Kong.

telegram vs facebook

Telegram has long been an engine of resistance and an annoyance to tyrants all over the world. In August of 2020, in Belarus during the Presidential elections, the government shut down Whatsapp, Twitter and Facebook. But resistance spread through Telegram. In Iran, Telegram usage takes up 60 percent of the country's internet bandwidth. The app was a crucial platform for organizing and spreading anti-government protests in 2017 and 2019. Currently the service is being used to show what's happening in the Russia-Ukraine war.

How Does Telegram Make Money?

Telegram is extremely popular in Asia, Latin America and increasingly in Europe. As mentioned it remains free to users with no advertisements but supporting such a huge population of users isn't cheap. Durov had walked away from the last company he founded VK with a reported $300 million. But for a long time, he was still paying for the operating costs of the app himself. Telegram needed a way to pay for its soaring server costs, so he turned to the crypto industry. The idea was to leverage Telegram's huge user base to push cryptocurrencies towards widespread adoption. His thinking was that, a native platform currency would be very disruptive. Telegram then started working on building a new Blockchain platform called the Telegram Open Network or TON. They did this along with its own native currency called Grams. The system promised to be much faster than current Blockchain technology. The white paper promised millions of transactions a second versus about 15 transactions a second with mainstream crypto.

Also Read: Now you can buy new Iphones-Ipads on Subscription basis!

Telegram managed to do the biggest initial coin offering in history at the time 1.7 billion dollars from 175 investors but from the start there were red flags. The offering was kept private and there was little way of knowing who the private investors were or where the money had come from. As the official launch neared the US Securities and Exchange Commission brought everything to a sudden halt. The SEC claimed that the crypto network would constitute the distribution of unregistered securities; they also claimed that the company spent 90% of the 1.7 billion in paying off Telegrams expenses without ever distinguishing between money spent on the app and on their TON network.

While Telegram wanted a Utopian vision of a revolutionary Fintech, their rushed launch brought it all to a premature end. While Telegram has been vital to pro-democracy protesters, it's also worth noting how poorly understood the app is especially in the United States, where most journalists still refer to it as a “encrypted messaging app”. This description unnerves many security experts who warn the unlike Signal. Telegram is not end to end encrypted by default. Users must go out of their way to turn on the app's secret chat function which very few people actually do and that only works for individual conversations and not those among groups, so there's millions of people out there who use Telegram who think that no one can see their messages but that's not necessarily true and this confusion could prove very costly.


Elias Camper, Telegram's head of growth business and partnerships in a recent interview with Wyatt has shed some eye-opening facts about the internal workings of Telegram and its founder. He said, “we're portraying ourselves as a company that's open, that's supposed to be for freedom of communication and transparency between users and on the other side we're completely opaque on how we work.”

Back in 2014, after Facebook acquired Whatsapp, Camper had quit in protest. He believed that the social media giant's addictive algorithms had a very negative impact on humanity. Yet at Whatsapp as Camper says, every single employee had access to data on user numbers in different markets. At Telegram, if Camper wanted stats, he had to explain why to his boss. He says Durov is “very very very restrictive, everything has to go through him inside Telegram”

Also Read: The Book that Changed Steve Jobs and Shaped Apple Inc!

Camper further revealed, the company's inner circle of mainly Russian developers look upon their leader as “almost like a divine figure” and they never contradict him. Currently Camper is preparing to leave Telegram. Lastly Camper has hinted at the fact that there was a chance that Telegram could monitor someone's private communications as well stating “technically it's possible to do so, at scale would be difficult but encryption between a user and cloud server could potentially be deactivated on a target account. I don't know if it's happening or not”


So in conclusion while Telegram does sell itself as the app of privacy, there may need to be some more careful consideration in how it's used. To me, it's interesting to see how Facebook's shortcomings were so quickly filled by a team of around only 30 people. So what do you guys think about Telegram? Are you a person that uses it or are you staying clear? So thanks everyone for reading and feel free to check out other similar posts on this site.

Post a Comment