What is and how does Telegram work

In this article we will explain what is and how does Telegram work. Read more! Find out everything you need to know about this instant messaging app.

Surely you've heard of Telegram, a very good instant messaging app, which holds its own against other well-known applications, such as WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. In Italy it is the third most used application for instant messaging. In this article we will explain how Telegram works and how to use it.

The application of Telegram looks a lot like WhatsApp, but in reality they have few things in common. Telegram was born in 2013 from an idea of a young Russian entrepreneur and his brother. Being born 4 years after WhatsApp had to necessarily give users something different and had to have something that made it unique. In recent years many users have downloaded this application; it happened especially in correspondence of a down that hit the main messaging apps. Now it is used by about nine million Italians. Many times the WhatsApp app has been attacked with regards to security, in fact opening the Telegram app immediately shows the words: "The fastest messaging app in the world. It's free and secure." With this phrase it manifests its desire to grow and become the leading messaging app.

How to download Telegram on Android

To download Telegram from an Android device you have to go to the Play Store and write in the search bar in the top right corner "Telegram" to confirm, then click on search. Among the search results will appear the symbol of a paper airplane with a light blue background, if you still have doubts you can check that the app was developed by Telegram Messenger LLP, to confirm that it is the right one. Clicking on "install" will start downloading the app. At this point you can launch the app.

How to download Telegram on iOS

The Telegram app can also be downloaded by iPhone owners. You have to go to the App Store, in the screen that will open, in the search space at the top, type Telegram and click on "search". Once you have found the application, download it by clicking on "install/get" and at the end of the download click on the "open" button.

How do I configure Telegram?

Once you have downloaded the application on your iOS or Android device, the first thing to do is configure it. For the first access you need to use your phone number, it's a simple procedure that will only need to be done the first time to access, in fact for subsequent accesses the app will go automatic. To start configuring Telegram, you have to click on the "start messaging" button. A warning informs the user that to use Telegram you must be at least 16 years old. Other restrictions are also written in this screen, such as: prohibition to publish pornographic content, no spam and scams towards other users and prohibition to promote violence in chats.

Next in the main screen you have to indicate your nationality through the drop-down menu and enter your mobile number. After these steps you can click on V to confirm. The app will send you a message with a confirmation code, which you will have to enter to then be able to start using Telegram's services. You will need to give consent to the app to access the contacts in your address book. Once the procedure is done correctly, you can start using Telegram to send and receive messages with your contacts, only if they have already downloaded Telegram and are using it. The app may ask you to turn on notifications on your smartphone to alert you of the arrival of new messages.

If you have an iPhone, you can also use Telegram through the virtual assistant Siri, which can interface with the app and you can send messages through voice commands. If you want to enable this option, you can click "ok" and Siri will have access to Telegram. You'll have to press "ok" again, if you have an iOS device, to let Telegram access your contacts.

How does Telegram work?

For any device, whether Android or iOS, the operation is the same. It is a messaging app characterized by the presence of a cloud, which helps your smartphone not to burden its memory, because everything will be saved on the cloud. In fact, all multimedia attachments like photos or videos will be automatically saved on the cloud. The chat is not like that of other apps, it is encrypted thanks to a system that makes it impossible to intercept messages. Obviously you can send the classic emoji, gifs, photos, videos and voice messages. Those who developed it define it as a mix between a chat and an email. In fact you can send files of all sizes, for example, even a whole movie. There are also advanced features that Telegram offers, it is an application that you can customize. Its goal is to become a complete app and not just stop at instant messaging. It can also be used via the Web and through clients for Windows and Mac.

Telegram's secret chats

With Telegram, as an alternative to normal chats, you also have the possibility of starting a secret conversation. It works like this: everything that is written in secret chats is handled by end-to-end encryption, so the messages can only be seen by the 2 users in contact with each other. These messages are not stored in the cloud, but remain only on the users' phones. To differentiate a secret conversation from others, a closed padlock appears next to the name of your partner. You also have the option to set a timer and after the set time is over, the message will self-destruct. The maximum time that can be set is 7 days, after which the contents will be deleted on both users' devices. To create a secret chat you have to go to the main menu and click on "new secret chat". Then a screen will open in which you can choose the contact from your address book with whom to start a secret conversation.

Telegram and groups

Telegram groups are differentiated into private, super-private and public. Through search, users will only be able to find public groups, to join a private group you must receive an invitation from the group administrator. In superprivate groups administrators also perform the task of content moderators, deleting what is deemed unsuitable, compared to the administrators of private groups. Each group can contain maximum one hundred thousand users. Private and superprivate groups can be shared in Telegram channels by their creators, to give them a chance to be searched. Another difference there is between group and supergroup. A normal group can contain a maximum of 200 users and each user can invite other users, with the possibility of even changing the name and image of the group. If a group exceeds 200 users it can be transformed into a supergroup with 100 thousand users. A supergroup can choose its administrators, it is more organized and centralized. Changes for basic settings can only be implemented by administrators.

How does a Telegram channel work?

A Telegram channel is a kind of newsletter, which can be public or private and can have an unlimited number of subscribers. It is a real broadcasting channel, where only its creator can write and the members of that channel will receive a notification when there are updates. Public channels can be searched in the search section in the upper right corner of the main screen, private ones, on the other hand, need a link with an invitation or you can only be added by its creator.

To create a Telegram channel you have to go to the main menu, look for the "new channel" item and click on "create new channel". At this point, a screen will open where you can write the name of your channel and add a photo depicting it. You also have the option to add a description, but that's an option. Per proseguire clicca sulla spunta in alto a destra, e si sceglie se rendere il canale pubblico o privato. Se scegli di creare un canale privato dovrai invitare tu i tuoi membri con degli inviti. Per scrivere il primo messaggio sul canale dovrai utilizzare il campo Broadcast.

Lo conosci Telegram X?

Telegram X è una app ufficiale, perché viene controllata lo stesso da Telegram ed è una sua versione indipendente. Possiamo definirla una versione di prova nella quale sbarcano tutte le novità create dagli sviluppatori e che verranno poi attivate su Telegram. Qualcuno pensa che Telegram X nel futuro possa diventare la versione Telegram più utilizzata, sostituendo quella ufficiale. Tra le due versioni ci sono alcune differenze, proviamo a fare un piccolo elenco:

  • Modalità notte. Gli utenti di Telegram X posso scegliere se utilizzare o meno la modalità notte, per Telegram la funzione è comunque presente, ma non è attiva di default. Per attivarlo basta andare su "impostazioni", "impostazioni chat", "modalità notte automatica".
  • Chat e temi. Su Telegram X potrai scegliere i temi per le chat, che trovi andando sulle impostazioni e dopo cercando "temi e chat". Questa opzione ti permetterà anche di cambiare il gruppo di emoji, di aggiungere bolle nei canali, di deselezionare le bolle predefinite nelle chat, di cambiare il colore del tema. La sua interfaccia è molto più intuitiva ed è più immediata rispetto a quella di Telegram.