According to a recent TechCrunch report, the messaging platform Telegram rolled out a slew of new features focused on empowering channels and competing with rival service WhatsApp. The updates allow channel owners to customize better, analyze performance, and potentially grow their audiences.
Launched in September, Telegram’s channels act similarly to WhatsApp’s recently introduced Communities feature. Both allow broadcasting messages to unlimited followers. However, Telegram has unveiled channel-specific features to incentivize channel creation and attract more users.
New discovery tools match users to potential channel subscriptions based on interests and behavior. Additionally, premium users can now “boost” any channel of their choosing, granting upgraded capabilities.
These capabilities include posting ephemeral stories and accessing post-level analytics, such as story views, reactions, and shares over time. Telegram channels can also add custom emoji reactions based on their boost level.
Will Telegram’s new offering allow owners to understand audience engagement better?
The features address weaknesses in Telegram’s previous channel offerings, allowing owners to understand audience engagement better. They also provide growth incentives, like giveaways for gifts and Telegram Premium subscriptions.
Experts see the updates as a direct response to WhatsApp’s rapid growth in Channels. Last month, CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that WhatsApp Channels had reached over 500 million monthly active users – over half of Telegram’s user base.
Alongside channels, Telegram rolled out supplemental features like voice message transcriptions, code block formatting, two-sided wallpapers, and an improved Topics view in groups.
It remains unclear if the new channel features will be enough for Telegram to catch up to WhatsApp’s dominance. However, the messaging battle shows no sign of slowing between the two rivals.
Featured Image Credit: Telegrams Logo