This is a Guest Post and does not necessarily reflect the thoughts and opinions of Techzim. We have a strong filtering process of what makes it to our blog and are confident that you’ll enjoy the article below.
By now you should have heard that there’s a messaging app that is like Whatsapp and it’s called Telegram. (If not, oh well…it happens)
But for the ordinary Zimbabwean why should you consider using Telegram?
Here are a few reasons why Telegram is appealing and why you should try it out and give it a chance.
- Group member capacity. Telegram can take in 5000 people in one group. Whatsapp has a limit of 256.
- Usernames. If you don’t feel like, you can only allow people to add you and contact you on Telegram using only a username. That way in public groups not everyone can have access to your personal phone number. You can still use your number if you like also.
- Channels. Channels operate like groups but have an unlimited number of members and the creator of the channel can choose who can post. That way you can have a channel like ‘Places To Visit In Zimbabwe’ and have 100 million followers and it can still take more followers.
- Secret chat. A secret chat is a highly encrypted conversation with a self-destructing timer. Your messages will be deleted when the timer hits. You can start a secret chat for conversations you don’t want to keep or to be seen by others.
- Disable screen-shots. You can configure your chats so that no one can screen-shot them.
- You can log in to the same telegram profile in as many devices as you want. For example, you can have the same Telegram profile on your phone, another phone, a PC, tablet, and you will receive all messages to all devices.
- Telegram usually has better and new features faster than Whatsapp e.g Stickers, Dark mode, etc.
- You can send videos of any size on Telegram and are not limited to 60 seconds of a compressed video.
- Unlike WhatsApp which only allows certain file types, Telegram can send any file format between users including apps and executables.
What about users?
Besides the points raised above one thing worth mentioning is that we already have a few Zimbabweans that have adopted Telegram and have created or joined groups of specific interest topics such as:
- FuelZW ( https://t.me/joinchat/JbMXP08Sld7wGHbsUZsCaA ) that gives locations of where can be found;
- ZimbabeweBusinessHub (https://t.me/joinchat/GttU-w787cmksgfX5FUfpg?fbclid=IwAR0eHieS71m7TL2Buce6vQu3fddbbltgrFwctHhvuAlmIzG2F6Hka9vnlwA ) where business-minded Zimbabweans can network and share ideas or;
- the just for fun @ZimbabweansOnTelegram (https://t.me/joinchat/IRt4jhFQ9MsjX9SyVYQ-Nw )
These groups allow people to gather together for specific topics and the bonus is that you don’t have to share your contact number with anyone. In fact, you can even hide your username from people so that people don’t see your personal contact details
There’s one small problem…
There are plenty of more advantages with Telegram compared to Whatsapp but the only stifling factor for adoption in Zimbabwe is the fact that no Mobile Network provider has introduced Telegram bundles the same way they have Whatsapp and Facebook bundles.
In my opinion if MNOs are to keep social media bundles, they should add a basket of the most popular social media apps and Telegram should be among them. The idea of handpicking which social media platforms to bundle is not fair to other platforms and services. As a matter of fact, though we are not conscious of this, MNOs who bundle certain services/platforms at a discounted fee are actually breaching ‘Net Neutrality’ rules because they are actively skewing network traffic to specific platforms and services and this gives an unfair advantage to certain companies and platforms over the rest.
But here’s a little food for thought.
How many of us use Gmail for email and Google Photos for photo backup?
We don’t have Gmail-bundles on any of our networks and yet a lot of us use Gmail for our emails. The point is that we don’t necessarily need bundles to adopt a new platform or to use it. We just need to realise that it’s good for us and is a better platform than the ones we use. I’m sure a lot of us can testify that we all had Yahoo accounts at some point but switched to Gmail because of it’s better features. Let’s not wait for Econet, or Telecel, or Net-One to give us bundles. Let’s use the platform that makes our lives easier and better.
This article was written by a guest author who prefers to remain anonymous. The author is a tech-enthusiast with a passion for smartphones, computers, and mobile technology.