Over the past few weeks, leading messaging applications have undergone major changes, which could affect various processes. Let’s explore these updates one by one.
Starting at the end of August this year, Facebook Messenger is rolling out a higher level of encryption update for all users. Although only a few people have it enabled at the moment, End-to-end (E2E) encryption will soon be activated for all users. But what does this mean? Without delving into complex technical terminology, here’s a brief explanation:
- This encryption is more secure and makes it harder for individuals to intercept and access private information.
- E2E encryption ensures that not even Facebook employees can read your messages as they are stored in an unreadable form.
Currently, there is an option to activate end-to-end encrypted (E2E) chat in the messenger. Still, it requires enabling a secret chat with each interlocutor separately in their account settings. Most people are not even aware that this option exists. The new changes will ensure that encrypted chats become permanently enabled for all users.
Telegram is integrating a cryptocurrency wallet into a separate bot. Previously, users had to connect to the Wallet bot to integrate a wallet.
The wallet feature will soon be available to all Telegram users as an integrated tool in the settings menu; this means that users will be able to send cryptocurrency to each other through Telegram, just like sending messages. This new feature has the potential to change the use of cryptocurrency significantly.
WhatsApp has introduced a new feature that enables users to connect channels. However, this feature is not something groundbreaking as it has already been seen on Viber (although it was not very popular) and is now widely used on Telegram. This feature is yet to be activated in Armenia, but it will become available to everyone in the coming weeks.
How is this different from Telegram, and why is it worth mentioning? Telegram has approximately 800 million users, while WhatsApp’s users are expected to exceed three billion shortly.
Telegram channels are primarily popular in a limited number of countries, such as Russia, Ukraine, Iran, Armenia, and others. On the other hand, WhatsApp has a much broader reach and is popular worldwide. This makes the development of channels on WhatsApp much more extensive and diverse.
Furthermore, since Meta owns WhatsApp, it offers seamless integration with Facebook and Instagram and access to novel features that are arduous for other competitors to obtain. As a result, the media industry should also consider adopting this tool and moving towards integration.
Undeniably, these changes can significantly reshape the messenger industry and undoubtedly have a significant impact on the media and financial sectors.
The views expressed in the column are those of the author's and do not necessarily reflect the views of Media.am.