By Alonge David
World of instant messaging has evolved over the years with the introduction of fantastic features and functions to aid effective communication processes as well as extending its purposes. From the introduction of web 2.0 which drive the movement of dynamic and interactive web content and application from the initial instant messengers apps such as Yahoo messengers, MSN messenger etc. to the recent messaging apps such as Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp Messenger and Telegram, the focus has shifted from just a communication application to social interaction and business communication platform between clients and the business.
The most popular messaging app, WhatsApp, was acquired by Facebook for a sum of $19 billion in 2014 after the former owners, Brian Acton and Jan Koum, ran the company for 5 years. With over 1.5 billion active users monthly cut across 180 countries, WhatsApp remains the top used messaging app in the world. However, Telegram, another instant messaging app developed by Russains brothers – Nikolai and Pavel Durov, has been a major rival of WhatsApp with innovative features and functions that make it a viable option to the leading app. The cloud based app has over 200 million monthly active users, estimated to reach over 1 billion users by 2022.
Though, many are not yet to adopt Telegram in business marketing and messaging with prospective and customers, here are 7 remarkable features why Telegram is better for small businesses marketing compared to the leading app, WhatsApp.
- Privacy and Security – If privacy concerns are a priority to you and your business, then Telegram should be a good choice. With a secret chat feature that aids end-to-end encryption of your message with self-destroyed messages feature on timer, even to the point that the messages cannot be traced anywhere on the server, you are certainly sure of your confidentiality and data security with the Telegram app. Though WhatsApp is not lagging behind in protecting users data with their end-to-end encryption feature, however, the Facebook Analytical case cannot phase off from the memory lane knowing that the same owner controls the data system of the instant messaging app. For Telegram, the end-to-end encryption chat feature allows users to set a timer on messages to self-destroy after a specified time. In the case where the other party takes screenshots, the users get notifications for the action taken. On this, your business can have some confidential discussion as well as agreement with clients without much ado on data or privacy breach.
- Cloud Storage – Unlike WhatsApp where your data storage is dependent on the capacity of your device and cannot be guaranteed of recovery if backup is lost, Telegram stores its data on its cloud storage system. This system stores images, videos, text, media files and other documents on the server, easing backup and restoration of data when signing in to the device. More to the advantage of Telegram over WhatsApp Messenger is that data can be accessed as well as downloaded from any device you log in your account without any compromise. This helps your business to have unwavering access to information at a go!
- Larger Group Capacity and Channel – Developing community or creating a group on WhatsApp has always been limited to a pegged number of membership, making it unrealistic for large community development or participants. The total number of group members allowed on WhatsApp group is just 256. In a situation where your business has more audience or social group to address, you rather create a new group where information can be distributed among the groups created for a purpose. On the other hand, Telegram groups can accommodate up to 1000 participants. While the super group gives access to add more members, leaving you with numerous opportunities to nurture a larger audience while strategically marketing your business or brand to the members of the group. Channels are essentially broadcasting to a larger audience. Not only that, Channel on Telegram gives your business the numerous opportunities to communicate its messages to its unlimited audience. Moreso, it gives the creator (Admin) the control to choose those that can post and those that can only read the post, limiting spam messages among the audience. When utilized properly, small businesses can use this medium to organize training, build a voice or course, develop a solution hub among others.
- File Sharing – Under this, Telegram also surpasses its leading competitor on this. While WhatsApp only allows users to send the maximum capacity of 16MB of all files – audio, video, and document; Telegram allows users to send up to 1.5GB of file of all types of files over its platform, this was recently updated to 2GB of file. Meaning it goes beyond just limiting users to some particular file to be transferred, it gives more options than that of WhatsApp. In this case, you can transfer files like .apk, .zip, .exe among others. It gives your business to explore every option of files available for transmission over the platform.
- Bot – Since we are moving to the era of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) , experiencing the use of bot and adopting it in the very simple way to developing our small business operation can go a longer way to achieve greater achievement. Bot is a program (code) based on ML and AI which are used to perform various tasks at a smaller level on Telegram. There are various types of bots on Telegram based on command which has made many users enjoy the platform more. For example, @imagebot allows users to fetch out image or GIF while @pollbot allows you to create a poll and share it within your networks and many more awesome bots available in the @storebot. Using these features ease the communication process and transaction with your audience and prospects.
- Payment – While Telegram may not offer payment directly on the platform, it does support payments with the help of bots which can be easily integrated to a third-party app or payment system. These bots can help you generate invoices, payment reminders, and much more for your clients and prospects. The payment transactions are aided by Telegram API. As well, payment bots can be used to accept payments via credit cards as well as services such as CLICK, Payme, Paymentwall, and more. Therefore, your business can utilize this function to issue invoice, receipt or any other financial transactions without leaving the platform.
- Multiple Device Access – This Telegram feature allows you to run your account simultaneously on multiple devices. Meaning you can operate your single account on any device as long as you logged in your details without missing any information or file since it’s cloud based. It makes it possible to easily switch devices over multiple choices. For example, you were attending a training session on your mobile phone while in traffic, and you got home to switch to your tab for the continuation of the training conveniently without losing data. All messages synchronize on all the devices in real time without missing any information. Though, speculation from Wabetainfo has it that WhatsApp is developing a feature that will allow you to use the same WhatsApp account on 4 different devices at the same time, but till then, Telegram still soar in the euphoria of multi-device accessibility.
Notwithstanding, the tremendous features of Telegram elaborated above may be beneficial and productive to your business process, it should be noted that your clients and prospects interests, adaptability and convenience must be of higher priority and considered before choosing any instant messaging platform to use.