The social messaging and network platform, Telegram, is venturing into the world of social discovery. One of the world’s most downloaded apps, that provides encrypted messaging and a social platform for millions of users around the world, is now adding ‘people nearby’ as a new feature. Telegram users will be able to discover and find other Telegram users who are nearby, chat, make friends and network.
Set up in 2014 by Russian brothers, Nikola and Pavel Durov, and since 2017, based in Dubai, Telegram has more than 800 million monthly users. In parts of Asia,Europe and Africa it is by far the most popular messaging and social platform. There are a lot of people on Telegram, and its features are not too similar to what you would find on services like Facebook and Whatsapp.
The app now however is dabbling in more social discovery tools, providing ways to not only connect with your friends or maybe followers, but ways to connect with your immediate local community, or people in the same vicinity of you.
‘People nearby’ is a new feature on the app that users can opt into. And it does exactly what says on the tin – showing you other telegram users who have the option turned on in your nearby area. You can chat to and connect with these people directly on Telegram – using your existing profile. Crucially, you can adapt your profile for the ‘People nearby’ aspect of the app – only sharing as much information about yourself you are comfortable with for those users.
Telegram has a reputation as a secure and safe messaging app, with its high level of encryption. It perhaps is a strong platform to build community and friend finding features on. And as discussed, it’s not short of potential users. It will be interesting to see whether a platform dedicated to connecting you with your existing friends, can successfully add and make the transition to an app that also helps you find new connections.