A lot of people use telegram because it's convenient, fast and secure. Its high-quality data and privacy protection model has been seen as a stark contrast to Facebook, which is accused of surveying users' apps for ads and selling their personal information.
Pavel Durov, the Russian entrepreneur behind Telegram, isn't a typical tech founder. His clashes with the country's government over free speech gave him and his company (and the VK social network he created for Russia) an aura of authenticity that attracted activists and journalists who sought to protect their sensitive communications.
The messaging app uses your phone number as your messenger ID and allows you to share documents and media files that can self-destruct after being viewed. You can also create groups and channels that are private or public, letting you choose how much of your content is viewable to the world. And you can link bots to your channels that can respond to certain messages and automate tasks, making the app more customizable.
But the big reason Telegram became the anti-facebook was its emphasis on security. Its chats, groups and channels are encrypted, meaning only you and your recipients can read what's shared on the platform. This is especially true for Secret Chats, which only appear on the device where they're started and are unreadable across any other devices you're logged in on. Even the company's servers don't hold any of your chat data, meaning it can't be deciphered by ISPs or owners of Wi-Fi routers you might use to log in.