Messaging apps have always been popular.
But when Facebook acquired WhatsApp, startups’ third eye of innovation opened. And we saw a new slew of messaging apps entering the sector and the existing ones expanding their business model.
Facebook’s acquisition of Whatsapp, which was one of the biggest business deals of 2014, presumed to make Facebook all the more profitable, ironically flamed the demand for Telegram application – one that was operating as a sidelined app before.
Users who were already wary of Facebook in terms of how it used their data, switched to Telegram – the app which offered end-to-end encryption of messages. And within no time, without any single point promotional effort, the download rate of the messaging app increased by 1.8 million users.
Between then and now, the messaging industry has not just acknowledged Telegram as a top player but is finding answers to how to build a chat app like Telegram. Especially its flagship incorporation of Bots in messaging app but also an encryption architecture that makes it impossible to hack.
Today, we are going to look into the different facets of Telegram like messaging app development, helping you get to the bottom of what made Telegram successful and the roadmap you will have to follow to become a success.
Table Of Content:
- Telegram App Outlook
- Must-Have Features for Telegram App Development
- Telegram App User Experience Module
- Technology Stack of Telegram Application
- How Much Does it Cost to Develop an App like Telegram?
- How Does Telegram Makes Money? What is the Telegram Business Model?
- How To Make Money With An App Like Telegram?
- Business Level Challenges In Making An App Like Telegram
While the above image surmises the Telegram market share and its basic level synopsis, in order for you to get a complete understanding of the application, you will have to look at the business from the inside – who constitutes its users, which companies it competes with and what makes it stand out in the otherwise competitive messaging space.
Knowing what the business stands for will help you understand how to create a messaging app like Telegram.
Who Uses Telegram Application?
The prime difference between Telegram vs. WhatsApp chat applications is that Unlike WhatsApp which specifies that the users should be 18 years of age and above, Telegram has posed no such restriction on the platform. People of any age can interact with the application. Purpose wise, Telegram is used for both personal and business purposes by its users. The set of features that the app works with makes it a competitor of both WhatsApp and Skype.
The application is active in a number of nations, but it is most actively used in the Asian nations.
The primal reasons why users opt for Telegram application are:
- Encryption of message, which highlights the brand’s focus on users’ privacy
- The fact that they are not backed by any agency that would have the need for users’ data to support their business model.
Who Are Telegram App Top Competitors?
Telegram messaging app sees competition from both business messaging and personal messaging app front. So, the app has competitors in both WhatsApp, Facebook messenger and Slack, Skype for Business.
Being a messaging app, the features and functionalities that Telegram app comes with is similar to other messaging app platforms operative in the industry.
To revise, here are some of the features of a messaging app which Telegram app also shares within their ecosystem – Login, Text functionality, Creation of Group, Ability to make calls, Notifications, Sharing of Live Locations, etc.
Admin-Side Features of Telegram Application
In addition to these features, there are some functions of a messaging app like Telegram that help the brand stand ahead of its competitors.
Here are what those Telegram specific features are:
1. Multi-Platform Availability
The application is not only active on Android and iOS, but also Web. So, can take the help of either an app development company or take an iPhone development route to get started with the process of when you build Telegram clone app.
2. End to End Encryptions
Telegram is one of those few messaging apps that use end to end encryption to safeguard the information shared on the platform.
3. Multiple Accounts
The app allows users to log in from multiple accounts and use the application from different numbers, instead of restricting their usage on one number, like in case of WhatsApp messaging application.
Telegram was one of the first messaging platforms to include the functionality of chatbots within the application. The bot helps users with a number of tasks starting from reporting the recent news to enabling in-app purchases.
5. Cloud Storage
Telegram works on cloud storage. And since cloud storage is known to be dynamic, it allows users to access their data from anywhere once it is saved in the app, without asking them to back-up their data.
This cloud storage facility also enables them to track their sessions and download files any time they see fit.
6. File Type and Size
The maximum data size that you can transfer within the application is of 1.5 Gigabytes. The app also does not stop users from sending over specific file types. This makes the platform a go-to messaging apps for people who uses rare file types.
7. Multiple Groups Creation
There are two types of groups which you can create on telegram application:
Normal Groups – Ones where you add people from the contact list. These can have 200 bots and members
Super Groups – Every group can be promoted as a Super Group which is private and can have over 100,000 members and bots.
While the features that Telegram comes packaged with, already creates a distinction between the famous messaging app and its competitors, what truly sets it apart is the user experience that it offers to its stakeholders.
The application, straight from its onboarding page, highlights the best of its offerings and showcases what the users will get when they’ll install the application.
From the moment you sign in, the whole user flow that follows, makes the application an example of a focused, minimalistic mobile app.
The colour combination and icons, text combination that Telegram uses is also directed towards making it an easy in and out experience for the users.
Elements wise, they have not added multiple functionalities in the application that would take the focus away from messaging or making video calls.
Creation of an application that can support an expensive feature set and minimal design standards like Telegram app does, calls for a technology stack that is hand-picked to provide a safe ecosystem for millions of users to interact and share data in real-time without any lags and breaches.
Let us look at the probable tech stack that Telegram app operates on next.
Even though the factors that affect mobile app development cost remains same in case of Telegram app like it would in any other app, the cost of Telegram application is several numbers ahead of the developmental cost of messaging apps like WhatsApp, Android Messages and Facebook messenger etc.
The reason behind a greater cost of developing chat app like Telegram is the backend technologies it works around and the measures it takes to keep the data secure and unhackable.
Additionally, the fact that the app witnesses millions of users being active on the platform in real-time, performing multiple actions like messaging, making calls, making in-app payments, shopping, etc. makes the designing and development of the application all the more cost inducing compared to other apps in the same category.
Business/revenue model is the core structure of any business. This offline business necessity holds equal prominence in the online/ mobile space as well.
Businesses, irrespective of what category they operate in and what user size backs them need inflow of funds to keep the operation afloat – At least that is what we have grown to believe in.
Telegram, opposedly, did not had a single source of revenue planned for themselves till much recently. Meaning, the Telegram revenue model was something that never existed in the company’s books.
Right from the company’s establishment, the founder, Pavel Durov has been very clear that Telegram will never be a money-making business. The aim would always be on offering a safe, encrypted platform for people to interact in. This is the reason why the brand never saw funding coming in from only source nor any other mode of revenue generation. Telegram is till date working on the money that Pavel received upon selling his social media platform.
But as the rule of the business goes, you cannot grow your business forever until you maintain a balance between expense and revenue. Telegram took its first step monetization 3 years back where the team developed and released paid stickers on iMessage and the money which is being earned through the medium is being used to pay designers and developers.
Now while the amount earned through this Telegram revenue model route is not enough, the brand assures users that it will introduce non-essential options but will never turn towards advertisements option to earn money for making profit is not their end goal.
But just because Telegram’s founder had a financial back doesn’t mean you would to. In order for you to survive in the industry, you will have to look into multiple ways to earn money on your Telegram clone app.
There are four most-applied ways that are a part of chat application monetization model, through which messaging apps generally make money and how you can too. Here are what those ways are:
Partnering with brands to show their ads on the app is one of the most incorporates ways to earn money on your app. Everytime a user clicks on an app, you get money in return from the business.
You can add elements in your application like Stickers or Gifs which you can allow your users to purchase in monetary terms.
In-App money transfer
Although this would require you to expand your messaging app business, but you can create a structure for your users to send money to other users from within the application. This way, while you will get a portion of the transaction fees, they will not have to jump to other applications to perform the task.
This too, like in-app money transfer would require you to expand your business offering. In this part of the application you can give your users the ability play games within the application by making payment – either to play the game or jump to the next level.
The challenges that startups might face when developing a complex application like Telegram are majorly four-fold. Two of those issues are such which would need a technical solution while there are two issues which have to be solved by the business itself.
Choosing the Platform
While Telegram is available on all – Android, iOS, and Web, the maximum installs that it gets is from Android. While Telegram has reached a business level where it can afford lags in terms of low traffic, for a startup, it will be very important to choose between Android and iOS platforms to start with and then decide whether or not to expand into the Web platform.
A wrong decision on this front can lead to startups losing a good portion of their limited money in vain.
Database Choice especially on Concurrency Grounds
The next technically inclined challenge that businesses can face would be in terms of the database choice. An issue that emerges with developing architecture of messaging apps of all types and complexities.
Ideally, they should prepare for a Telegram like messaging app development process that would prepare the app to can handle multiple users in real time, assuming they are all performing the most server draining tasks like uploading large sized documents or doing video calls.
As a mobile app development company that specializes in the development of complex telegram like messaging app development, we make use of Microservices architecture instead of Monolithic to ensure that the app never crashes and is ready to hold millions of concurrent users, with all of them performing highly complex tasks.
Raising Money for Development and/or Expansion
The technicalities, minimalist design, and complexities that Telegram like messaging app development process comes attached with doesn’t just make it a time taking affair but also a highly costly one.
While Telegram had a financial backup to manage their operations, assuming you are a startup that doesn’t have the same privilege, you will arrange for funds to build Telegram clone app.
Telegram claims that it has till date not spent a dime on the promotion of the messaging platform. The mediums that have helped them spread their business actively and attract new users are:
It is a publishing tool which lets users develop fully formatted post along with media files. Additionally, the Telegraph posts are supported by the Instant view functionality, making it easy to access content within the application.
Telegram comes with a Gaming platform that allows you to develop HTML5 games with minimal sounds and graphics. These games are then loaded on-demand like web pages instead of asking to be downloaded on the users’ devices.
The service lets users store their personal data like passports, national IDs, receipts, and bills etc. on the cloud which is protected with end-to-end encryption. The messaging platform itself cannot access the data, which makes it an attraction point for security focused users.
The API enables developers to connect their program to Telegram system. They also give mobile app developers a space to create their own bots, which can even be powered by Artificial Intelligence.
While Telegram has taken an unconventional route to promote their application, you can follow the usual practices to promote your application – advertisements, creation of website, using social media to promote the app, pushing it on product sites like Producthunt, etc.
We can help you find solutions to all these issues and many other unsurfaced ones. Get in touch with our business consultants today.