CS3216 Application Feedback: Telegram
Telegram was founded by Russian born entrepreneur Pavel Durov in 2013 and it is a secured messaging application. In other words, our conversations in telegram are “secret” and only people involved in the conversations can view.
Summary of what the presenting team said about the application that you think is most important
Here are three points which I feel are the most important.
Firstly, Telegram’s founder, Pavel Durov, stay firm to the company’s values and do not share user’s data despite the fact that terrorists are using it for communication. This is a point for concern because it compromises safety and affects the branding of the company. By staying true to its core value, Telegram established itself as a messaging application that users can trust for private conversations and this builds customer loyalty. However, this could serve as a double edged sword because of the sensitive topic on terrorism. It might portray an image to the public that Telegram is supportive of terrorist activities which in turn damages the company’s reputation.
Another thing that I learned from the presentation is that Telegram does not have a monetization strategy. We all know that a business is not sustainable when it does not generate sufficient revenue to cover cost and Telegram is no exception. Telegram is currently surviving on its Founder’s money from the sale of his previous start-up. Without a monetization strategy, Telegram would only incur cost which result in loses and its funds would one day be wipe out. Hence, in order to be sustainable, Telegram should find a way to generate revenue.
Lastly, Telegram only has text messaging as its core feature for communication. It does not have a call feature unlike its competitors- WhatsApp and Facebook messenger. This puts Telegram at a disadvantage in comparison to its competitors in providing communication services. Therefore, in order for Telegram to remain competitive, they would need to provide its users more value on top of encrypted text messaging.
What are my thoughts about telegram?
Firstly, I feel that it is difficult for Telegram to compete with WhatsApp. In the past, Telegram’s encrypted messaging feature helps to differentiate itself from WhatsApp, however, this differentiation has diminished after WhatsApp implemented encryption to its conversations. Furthermore, WhatsApp has a much bigger market share than Telegram. Without a strong differentiating factor or a bigger market share, it is difficult for Telegram to compete with strong players such as WhatsApp.
Next, Telegram should consider pivoting and enter into the cyber security business. With the increasing emphasis on cyber security, I believe that this industry will bloom in the years to come and Telegram should look into this potential market. Furthermore, Telegram has a pool of talents managing its encryption services and since the brand image of Telegram is associated to security and privacy, Telegram could take advantage of its branding and venture into the cyber security.
Thirdly, Telegram should find a balance between privacy and security. Staying true to its core principles in providing secured chat services does provide Telegram with a strong branding, however, the question to consider is “whether is it right to keep dangerous conversations secured?”. This dilemma occurs when the Telegram is abused to plan and execute wrong doings and thus Telegram should re-look at its stance regarding such activities.
All in all, being a non-technical student, the seminar has shown me the perspective on how non-technical people view and critic applications. Furthermore, it has introduced me to a new format of presentation – Pecha Kucha – which is somehow fun yet challenging because we do not have control over our presentation slides. That is all for my application critic and I look forward the next class on external pitching! Actually, I am more interested in the internal pitching as I am keen to find out about the interesting ideas that my classmates have in mind! I have an idea in mind that has the potential to scale BIG and I hope to pitch it! Ok that is all for today, ciao!