With the conclusion of WhatsApp by Facebook, media pundits around the world has been weighing in on whether it was a good or bad decision for the $19 Billion dollar company. For us over at Vulcan Post, we noted that although Facebook and WhatsApp promised to not introduce advertising, we think the temptation to monetize WhatsApp will be too high for Facebook.
If that happens, there are bound to be people leaving WhatsApp for a better alternative. And we might be seeing that happening already.
Telegram, a messaging app with a focus on speed and security, is one of the closest alternative to WhatsApp.
If you compare it to WhatsApp, you can see the clear resemblance.
With Telegram, you can create group chats with up to 200 people. Users can also share videos up to 1GB with one another, send multiple photos from the web, and forward any media in an instant. All your messages are in the cloud, so you can easily access them from any of your devices.
An innovative feature is also added: For those interested in maximum privacy, there’s the Secret Chats, featuring end-to-end encryption to ensure that a message can only be read by its intended recipient. Users can also pre set when the message will self-destruct so there is never any record of it.
On Saturday when WhatsApp went down, Telegram had a boost in terms of downloads.
“This is crazy. We’are getting 100 new registrations every second. Trying hard to prevent connection issues in Europe,” Telegram said on Twitter.
To put that in context, that is about 800,000 users added in 4 hours, and 4.8 Million users in 1 day.
Telegram promises no ads and will also remain free for its users.
Some reviewers prefer the app to WhatsApp:
“Due to recent acquisition of whatsapp by Facebook, I was looking for alternatives and this is it! Plus you get encrypted messages. I am not handing over my phone number to Facebook to misuse and give out to third parties. If you value your privacy switch up to telegram. It really works much the same way, if not a little slicker. And it’s also free! Spread the word! Apparently 800,000 people have downloaded Telegram in a single day! And it’s trending on twitter as we speak. It seems we are not all asleep when it comes to securing our privacy,” one reviewer wrote.
So will Telegram be the next billion dollar acquisition? It is unclear how many users Telegram has, but the Google Play Store estimated its download numbers to be between 5,000,000 and 10,000,000, far from WhatsApp’s Google Play Store download numbers of 100,000,000 – 500,000,000.