I have been using Facebook for many years, I even convinced people to leave Myspace for Facebook back in the day so it has been a site that I promoted for a long time but now Facebook has become a shell of its former self. Facebook is now only interested in locking their users to their platform rather than allowing them to use Facebook as they see fit as it used to be. In 2009, Facebook instituted Facebook Messenger through XMPP which meant I was able to connect my Facebook account to Pidgin or any other multi-protocol Instant Messaging (IM) client that I wanted to. This was great actually because it allowed me to use Facebook Chat without being forced to keep the website open which wasted resources since at the time Facebook's website was quite bloated . . . sadly, now it is actually more bloated.
Today, April 30th 2015, Facebook killed support for 3rd Party applications, like Pidgin, forcing people to make a decision between either giving up and accepting Facebook's lock-in web-client with no ability to use a desktop client of any kind or stop using Facebook Chat altogether. I already stopped using Facebook for many aspects and the only reasons I had an account was because of (1.) Facebook Messenger through Pidgin and (2.) I'm an Internet Marketer so I have to know the system for my job. Now thanks to this stupid decision to abandon XMPP support I now have only ONE reason to use it. I am excited for the day that services like they die and fade away because then the "Open Web" will be that much stronger, as it was meant to be.
Anyway, enough of my babbling, here is the short TL:DR (Too Long : Didn't Read) reason why I made this blog post. I'm will be leaving Facebook Messenger and I'm moving to Telegram. You should come with me . . .
I will no longer be available through Facebook Messenger except on very VERY rare occasions, so if you want to message me then you will need to use a different service. I will continue to check it occasionally but I can't promise anything faster than once a week so if you want my attention "instantly" which is the point after all then use something else.
"You could just use the Android/Mobile version so you don't have to use the website.", this is true but why would I do that? I can Swype pretty fast on my phone but I can type about 10x faster so why would I allow Facebook to force me to my smartphone?
So what are you going to be using now?
I am moving to this new messaging app called Telegram.
Telegram is exciting because of MANY reasons but here are a few that I can think of off the top of my head.
- Telegram supports essentially every platform and device while also seamlessly syncing all the devices together so no matter what device you use you will never lose your place in the conversation. What to start a conversation on your Android phone and then move to your laptop to type faster? No Problem.
- Telegram is Open Source Software so you can feel safe in knowing that anyone can view the source code to make improvements as well as make sure what they claim they are doing is what they are actually doing.
- Telegram supports desktop systems like Windows, Mac OSX, Linux (my favorite) and mobile devices like Android, iOS, Windows Phone. If you are on a device that it doesn't support natively you can just use the Web version that works on any system as long as you have a web browser.
- Telegram supports group chats so you can have a group, up to 200 members, where all your friends can chat in one place, all of your family in another, and so on. You can even use it as a business solution if you want to, for FREE.
- Telegram also has the ability to work like a "Walkie-Talkie" so that you can record a voice message and send it to as many people as you like. Ever heard of Voxer or Heytell? Telegram can do everything those can do yet much MUCH more while never limiting functionality like those do.
- Telegram is 100% FREE and they never run ads or anything like that and they don't limit functiionality in any way. It sounds too good to be true but in this case it actually is true, to learn more about the Telegram vision go to https://telegram.org/faq#q-how-are-you-going-to-make-money-out-of-this.
- Telegram has a "Secure Chat" feature which is a direct connection from your device to another device that allows you to send sensitive data to someone else in a method that ensures no one will be able to sniff the traffic and steal your information. NSA can't do anything about it. :)
I can go on and on about Telegram and how awesome it is but if you are interested just comment below and I'll answer any question you may have or you can go to the Telegram FAQs for official responses.
What other options are there?
Google Hangouts via Google+ is an option, I use this as well. AIM (AOL Instant Messenger) and Yahoo IM still exist so those are options as well. I use everything integrated into Pidgin so I don't really care what you prefer to use to message me but if you want my main recommendation then nothing beats Telegram.
Ok, so you've got me interested in Telegram . . . what are the Cons of it?
Well it depends on what you consider a con because some people might find things I don't find a con that I would argue are benefits. I'll give you some possible cons that people might have an issue with and then why they aren't really cons.
Telegram uses your Mobile phone number to identify accounts. - some people find this concerning because they feel it might be a privacy issue.
- Your number being the identifier makes it easier to find friends on Telegram, enter their number and see if they are users. If someone is a Telegram user and you already have them in your contact list then you can automatically message them in Telegram as it will auto-detect them as a contact.
- Your number is used as a physical vault for access. To log into Telegram you to tell the client your number, then it will text you the passcode to your phone. Once you receive the passcode you just enter it into the client and you are logged in. These passcodes are automatically deleted after 5 minutes so no one can have access to your account without physical possession of your phone. This also means that there is no need to remember a password, because there aren't any passwords.
- "I don't want to give my phone number out to everyone!" - no problem, Telegram also has usernames you can give people so they only have that information instead.
Telegram stores data on their servers to keep it sync'd with all of your devices. - some people might feel like this is a privacy issue.
- Telegram does this yes, but it does not require this. Telegram also has a feature called "Secure Chat" that bypasses the servers entirely so that nothing sensitive ever needs to leave your device or your recipients device. (Facebook stores all of this data for their personal gain, Telegram does not.)
I can't think of any more cons really but if someone else can, post a comment below and I'll address it there.
Thanks for reading this novel and I look forward to talking to you on Telegram. :)