How to Create a Messenger like Telegram?
Telegram has about a billion users worldwide and is one of the most popular applications for messaging. This messenger offers secure data communication, a straightforward interface, no censorship, and many other powerful functions. This article will tell you what makes Telegram better compared with the competitors and how you can develop an analog.
Understanding why the application is famous and which functions and technical features helped stand out in a hyper-competitive market of messaging applications where WhatsApp and FM dominated is the key to developing an app like Telegram.
Plain interface. After installing the Telegram, the users see a straightforward and understandable application design. It is intuitive, even if the user has never before had a messenger.
End-to-end message encryption. The other reason for Telegram’s fame is the high-end security measures. Pavel Durov is so sure about the security of his application that he offers 200 thousand dollars to those who will manage to hack the security. Fortunately, no one has done it yet. So, what makes Telegram so protected?
The native Telegram protocol MTProto encrypts the messages in Telegram. The protocol combines 2048-bit RSA encryption, 256-bit symmetric AES encryption, and the Diffie protocol of Hellman's key exchange. WhatsApp encrypts all messages end-to-end, while Telegram offers the users the ‘Secret chat’ option to decide which chats they want to encrypt.
Secret Telegram chats are not stored in a cloud. They can be viewed only on those devices that launched the conversation. Furthermore, you cannot resend a message from the secret chat; the other user will receive a notification if you screenshot the secret chat. However, if another device takes a photo of the discussion, there will be no notifications.
Application Programming Interface. Telegram allows other developers to use the API to create their applications. If you intend to develop a messenger like Telegram, you can use this API. However, there are some limitations. Those APIs can’t be employed if your company will have an IPO and plans to draw massive investment since the Telegram team believes it will create conflict and provoke privacy threats.
Open source code. Another advantage of Telegram is open source code. Any developer can receive the code and participate in the development and improvement processes of the application. Still, it deals only with the frontend (user part), while the backend (server part) is private. Telegram says this is one of the conditions that provide security. If the backend is open source, anyone will be able to research it and find gaps for hacker attacks and data leaks.
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Registration. The sign-up process is the gate to your application. The success of your messenger depends on how straightforward and fast it is. Telegram employs the mobile phone number for registration in a few steps. One can also use their email to sign up. Furthermore, you may offer voice verification as WhatsApp does.
Instant messaging. The idea of a messaging application is to deliver brief text from one user to another. This is the prime function of your application, so each detail of this process must be studied and developed thoroughly.
Voice and video calls. Many users enjoy free voice and video calls. However, implementing this function requires loads of time and effort, yet the audience will be more prominent since the application is more valuable for the users. Furthermore, you might add premium functions, like videoconferences for more than ten people or encrypted video chats.
Massive data exchange. The users want to instantly exchange photographs, GIFs, videos, documents, and other content. Many messengers offered this opportunity, yet Telegram went further and offered to trade files up to 2 gigabytes. It is enough to send a few hours of high-quality video. Also, you could integrate with Google Drive or Dropbox using their API so that your users can import files directly.
Photo editing. In most cases, users share photos in messengers, and if the application has an editing tool, more files would be transferred. Hence, while developing a Telegram analog, do not forget to add this function.
Public channels. Adding it to your messenger will become a platform for news, blogs, brands, and creators that use it to communicate the message to their audience. As a rule, only administrators can publish something in this type of channel, yet the users can like, comment, or offer their posts.
Integrations with social networks. There are two reasons for integrating your application with popular social networks:
Notifications. It is a valuable function that informs the users of new messages, calls, files, etc., thus calling them back to the application. One can start it from scratch or use Google Cloud Messaging or Apple Push Notifications to implement this function. Anyway, it is an obligatory function for messengers.
Adjusting the settings. The users also need to have a chance for some custom settings. For example, privacy level, means of security, etc.
The design development involves three stages:
There are two scenarios for this step. According to the first one, a basic, minimal viable product will be developed that allows to turn up the product within a low budget and short time. This is a solution if one wants to enter the market swiftly or if there are failure risks.
The second scenario is developing a complete application with all functions, integrations, and designer solutions. This path is usually chosen when entering a highly competitive market (the messenger market is one of those markets). Because in this case, you will need to lure the audience away from your competitors. Your product must not be inferior to the best offerings on the market or stand out very firmly with some particular functions.
The technology stack for a Telegram backend clone:
The technology stack for a Telegram clone frontend:
Ensuring the quality of any IT product is a significant step, especially if it concerns a messenger like a Telegram that highlights security and privacy as their top priority. QA specialists must test the software code for issues to ensure that there are no vulnerabilities for hackers. Furthermore, the testers will check the compatibility, functionality, security, usability, low-resource testing, etc.
When the development is ready, the product will require listing on Apple App Store and Google Play. The process goes the following way:
You will also need to provide a help desk that will service your users, solve any issues, and collect feedback for further improvement and growth.