Privacy-focused messenger Telegram is the buzz in many industries these days. The app now has more than 500 million active users – thanks in large part to the recent surge in downloads triggered by WhatsApp's new terms and conditions, which were perceived by many as privacy-infringing policies.
While WhatsApp has been able to share specific user data with Facebook since 2016, users could prevent the data transfer. The new terms mean that users will have to accept WhatsApp's synergy with Facebook before they can use the app.
While WhatsApp claims it cannot read messages due to its end-to-end encryption, users are still wary of the data that WhatsApp can send to Facebook. That's why the Telegram messenger can be an alternative for many users.
But Telegram's appeal goes beyond WhatsApp's privacy downside. The messenger has sophisticated microblogging capabilities and can serve as a news channel, and its group chat features are more advanced than WhatsApp's. Telegram offers bots that can help manage group chats, collect data, and get rid of other bots. Users also enjoy other robust features, such as secret messages, self-destructing messages, and archived messages.
The messaging application has always been popular in certain areas of the globe. Even after some governments placed a ban on the app, users turned to VPNs to gain access.
Apart from individual users, the news media and corporations are turning their attention to Telegram. It's easy to reach thousands - and even millions - of users at once with a single message thanks to Telegram channels. Also, since more and more people are flocking to Telegram, it makes sense to reach them there rather than lose them completely.
How Does Telegram Help the News Media?
Telegram offers many advantages to the news media. For starters, there's hardly a better place to reach users than their messaging applications. The platform makes engagement easy because the content is posted in chronological order. Also, it's easy to automatically post tweets, website links, and other information on Telegram channels.
Concise, straight-to-the-point, and easy-to-read content, which is the ideal style for Telegram channel announcements, allows users to consume information and stay interested. Let's explain other advantages below.
Enjoy high speeds on a slow Internet connection
Another great appeal of Telegram is that the app seems to work well in areas with bad internet connections. This means the news media don't have to rely on superb networks to reach their target audience – unlike when using some other channels.
Expand user reach
Telegram attracts a different demographic: the news media can reach young users on the platform and garner their trust. As it currently stands, many Telegram users tend to trust media channels that use the platform.
Receive feedback easily
Telegram channels allow users to interact as they can post comments on announcements, breaking news, and opinions. This way, the news media can measure the success of their engagement on the platform.
Meet users in their space
Since Telegram channels share the same dashboard as private messages, it'll be hard for users to miss media content. While the channels have a mute button that prevents notification pop-ups, audiences can still see the latest messages on their chat homepage.
Enjoy various multimedia features
The messaging tool supports a vast range of multimedia features, including video, text, snippets, photos, and audio, and users can easily see previews. All you have to do is make sure your previews are enticing enough to get them clicking. There's also a desktop version, and you could always adjust your channel to meet your needs: for instance, you can make use of the "delayed post" feature to determine when your content gets published.
Easily edit posts
You don't have to panic if you post an incorrect link, want to change the contents of a snippet, or decide to replace a video or photo hours later. Telegram channels are also suited for story follow-ups and ongoing news, as you can bond posts together using the thread feature.
You don't have to adjust to dodgy algorithms
Since you get users to subscribe to your channel, you don't have to tweak and bend your content to conform to some algorithm for exposure – as is the case with Facebook and Google. You're free to keep your content original and focus on your audience. You have to make sure your audience is engaged though, as your channel could easily be muted if they find it bothersome. So, keep things short and don't send messages too often.
Make use of simple and effective statistics
You need statistical tools to track how well your Telegram channel is performing. There are many analytics tools that can help you track your channel's performance.
TGstat.com is where most of the analytics action happens, with in-depth data and stats on more than 150,000 Telegram channels. Indicators include CI (Citation Index) and ERR (Engagement Rate by Reach). You can also take advantage of in-app analytics tools and bots, such as Channel Stats and TGStat Bot.
How to Create a Telegram News Channel
Creating a Telegram channel is simple. There are slightly different processes for the desktop and mobile versions of the app.
Before you start, here are some important pointers on creating a channel:
- Channel logins contain 5-32 characters.
- The name and bio for a Telegram channel must not exceed 255 characters.
- Each user account can be used to create up to 10 channels.
- There is no cap on the number of subscribers for each channel.
- Each channel can be assigned up to 50 administrators.
- Up to 20 bots can be activated for each channel.
- Content in Telegram channels can be edited after a maximum of 48 hours.
- User support has to be contacted to delete a channel with more than 1,000 subscribers.
To create a channel on Telegram Desktop, follow these steps:
- Open Telegram.
- Go to the top-left corner and open the menu by clicking on the three lines.
- Click on Create Channel once the menu options appear.
- Enter the name of the channel in the next window and type a bio.
- Choose the type of channel you want to create in the next window.
Note: Private channels don't appear in public searches. They're only available to subscribers, and you'll have to send direct links to prospective subscribers. Public channels can appear in public searches, and users only need their names to find them and subscribe.
You can make a private channel public at any point.
- You can now invite up to 200 contacts to your channel and create a logo.
To create a Telegram channel on your mobile device, follow these steps:
- Tap the "New message" icon in the bottom-right corner of the chat home screen and select New Channel.
- Tap the Create Channel button.
- Enter the channel name and description on the next page.
- Click on the camera icon to add a picture for your channel and click on the check sign in the top-right corner to complete the process.
Develop Your Telegram Channel
You have a wealth of tools at your disposal to develop your news media channel and attract subscribers. Firstly, here are some best practices to apply:
- Keep things short and simple. Since you'll be in the private space of your audience, you don't want to waste their time as they could be swift in using the Mute button. Keep news topics fresh, concise, and exciting.
- Use an appropriate logo. Your photo is your channel's visual description. Make sure you use an appealing logo that your audience can easily identify you by. You should take this seriously as it says a lot about your professionalism.
- Use paid ads to spread the word in-app. You can make deals with other Telegram channel admins to promote your channel. This is one of the most effective means of advertising as users can simply click on your channel link to check you out. Make sure the first content they meet is good enough to compel them to hit the Subscribe button.
- Add your Telegram link on your website and other social media channels. You can funnel traffic through your website and other platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Some users only use other social media platforms in passing, with Telegram being their main space. Do well to add your Telegram channel link in your bios and posts.
Best Practices for Publishing Content
Winning over new subscribers and keeping them are two different things. To keep your audience loyal, you have to furnish them with the right news pieces – and you have to do it right.
- Create a schedule for posting new content. You don't want to "disturb" users and make them mute your channel. Do well to stick to hours where almost everyone is in a receptive state. Avoid sending news posts at night unless it's breaking news. Opinions and posts from contributors should be sent out during the day, ideally at 8 am, 1 pm, and 6 pm.
- Keep posts as concise as possible and rely on snippets and previews to do the job.
Bots will help you manage your Telegram channel better. They can schedule posts, set notifications and alerts, and create and manage polls, among other things.
Here are some bots you should be looking at:
Here is how to set up your own bot:
- Go to the Telegram search bar and type @botfather.
- Once the bot's page opens, click on Start.
- Tap /newbot to create a new bot.
- After that, enter a name for the bot.
- Now, choose a username, which must end with "bot."
- If the username you chose is accepted, you'll be shown your new bot's API key. Make sure you save the key in a secure location as it can be used to control your bot.
- Next, go to your newly created channel and add the bot as an admin. To do that, tap the top of the channel to open the About page and click on Administrators. Select Add an Administrator, enter your bot's name, and select it.
You can now use the @botfather bot to manage your new bot. Other tools, like @manybot, will help you add different functions, such as automatic posts from your RSS feed, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and even your blog.
Remember that your news media's success on Telegram depends on your content and administrative strategy. If you do it right, you're set to enjoy the best audience engagement and conversion rates.
Another advantage of Telegram is its ability to transfer large files of up to 1.5GB – unlike WhatsApp, which pegs the maximum file transfer size at 100MB.
That said, 1.5GB isn't always enough these days. You'll have to look elsewhere if you want to transfer files larger than 2GB. The problem is, cloud storage companies such as Dropbox, Google Drive, and OneDrive will subject you to expensive subscriptions to make that happen – even if you want to do a one-time transfer only.
That's where FileWhopper comes in. It's a file transfer service that allows you to send files and folders of any size without having to enter a subscription agreement. All you have to do is pay a one-time fee determined by the size of the file or folder you want to transfer.
Here are the advantages of using the service:
- You won’t be forced to pay a monthly subscription fee as you only pay for what you use. Your transfer size determines how much you get to pay. However, you'll enjoy a free 5GB transfer the first time you use the service. Before you begin the transfer process, you can check the cost of your transfer using a slider on FileWhopper's homepage.
- File transfer caps won't limit you. FileWhopper's advanced cloud transfer technology allows you to transfer files and folders of any size. You'll enjoy a seamless process whether you're transferring large photos, video files and edits, work assignments, software files, or even game files.
- You don't have to install large software programs that could end up hurting your computer's performance. The service uses a tiny program that auto-deletes as soon as the transfer process is complete. The application connects your computer to FileWhopper's servers, helps you select the file or folder you want to transfer, and shows you the transfer progress. The service does all the heavy lifting.
- Transfers are fast thanks to the service's multi-threaded technology. That's not all: your recipient can start downloading your file or folder the moment you start the transfer instead of waiting for you to finish the process.
- You also don't have to worry about security as the service does a good job in that area. It uses zero-knowledge encryption technology to make sure your data can't be seen or intercepted by third parties. FileWhopper offers password protection to make sure access to the data you transfer is granted to you and the recipient alone. The recipient has to download the tiny FileWhopper app to receive the data and decrypt it with the provided password.
- The service won't flood you with ads about other offerings. While FileWhopper comes with some extras such as adding up to 6 recipients, insuring your transfers, and keeping your data on the service's servers for extra days, it's up to you whether to use them.
- If your system shuts down unexpectedly or your internet connection suddenly goes out, the transfer progress won't be affected. The service takes a snapshot of your current progress, and since everything is hosted in the cloud, you can pick up from where you left off once you're back online.
Transferring large files and folders without monthly subscriptions has never been easier thanks to FileWhopper. You can try out the service for yourself at FileWhopper.com to get a taste of its many advantages. Just start with your free 5GB transfer.