Six things to know about Telegram – Science & Tech

Amid the controversy surrounding Telegram and its application in Indonesia, here are a few things to know about this free, non-profit cloud-based instant messaging service.

What is Telegram?

Telegram is a chatting app launched in 2013 that was first available on smartphones and later through the web, making it usable on PCs and laptops. One of the app’s selling points that the company touted is the safety of chatting by encryption. It can also create groups containing up to 10,000 members, send multiple types of documents, store users’ media in the cloud and allow users to build their own tools using an application programming interface.

Russia’s Mark Zuckerberg

That’s the nickname belonging to one of the creators of Telegram, Pavel Durov. The CEO of Telegram, he and his brother Nikolai created the app that has gained 100 million users worldwide. Before heading the company, Durov founded social networking program VKontakte, which gained 350 million users, before he was pushed out. 

Among Durov’s interesting aspects is his habit in only wearing black and casually using mocking GIFs to answer certain inquiries, even from the Russian government. Durov is on the move around the world with four of his employees after a run-in with the Kremlin over Vkontakte. He is reportedly using Airbnb to find lodgings.

Read also: Govt blocks Telegram messaging service

Safe chatting

The part that gave Telegram an image as a safe chatting app is its encryption that protects the secrecy of contents considered personal or business secrets. Another feature to promote safety is the timed destruction of messages. This is why political activists in Russia use the app to circumvent their government’s censorship. The encrypted chatting is done using a feature called “secret chat” that provides encrypted local storage along with end-to-end encryption. 

Alex Rad, a blogger with a background doing reverse engineering and app security, criticized the secret chat’s…

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