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New App Alert: Telegram Plans To Launch Its Own Super App!

By TD NewsDesk

TD NewsDesk

Updated on Tue, Sep 26, 2023

Overall Rating
Once upon a time, there existed telegrams. These were the predecessors of today’s digital messages that shared important news, announcements and heartfelt sentiments through wires that spanned vast distances.

Then, in 2013, when profile pictures, emoticons and blue ticks reigned the social media realm - another Telegram entered that chat. Not only does (this) Telegram allow messaging but it also creates a place for creating channels.

This is the story of the new-age Telegram!

Confused? Well, we’re talking about Telegram, the global messaging giant boasting a staggering 800 million monthly active users, that is on the cusp of unveiling an ecosystem that could reshape how we interact with apps and services. According to a recent report, Telegram aims to replicate WeChat's super app strategy!

This initiative, designed to empower third-party developers to create mini apps, is poised to revolutionize user experiences and may give Tencent, WeChat's parent company, a run for its money in international markets. "Developers can use JavaScript to create infinitely flexible interfaces that can be launched right inside Telegram — and can completely replace any website," expressed Telegram.
Now the question arises how is Telegram bridging this app gap?
  • The report says to realize this ambitious project, Telegram has assembled a network of infrastructure partners, ranging from established tech titans to critical players in the crypto space. The Telegram Open Network (TON) Foundation, Telegram's crypto partner, is pivotal in laying the blockchain foundation.

  • Moreover, the recent announcement of TON Foundation's partnership with Tencent Cloud marks a significant milestone. "Given the similarities between WeChat mini apps and Telegram mini apps, we believe that mini-app developers from WeChat who are currently using Tencent's cloud service will begin to build on TON," said Justin Hyun, head of growth at TON Foundation.

  • While WeChat champions its proprietary payments system, Telegram has embraced a different approach, integrating with 20 payment solutions and refraining from commission fees via its Bot Payments API. Telegram has even welcomed a self-custodial wallet developed independently by The Open Platform (TOP), utilizing the TON blockchain. This crypto wallet opens up numerous transaction scenarios in regions lacking centralized online payment options.

That sounds cool but why is Telegram ringing these changes?
  • The same report says Telegram's vision is simple yet groundbreaking: create mini apps that seamlessly integrate into the messenger, eliminating the need for standalone websites.

  • The collaboration between TON and Tencent Cloud promises mutual benefits. As Telegram games built on TON embrace Tencent Cloud's gaming solutions, mini app developers from WeChat, currently relying on Tencent's cloud services, may find a new home in the Telegram ecosystem.

  • This collaboration is a testament to the transformative potential of Telegram's decentralized mini-app marketplace.

On the other hand, this partnership arrives at perfect timing for Tencent as it seeks to expand beyond China's borders amid a slowing domestic tech landscape. If Telegram's mini-app platform gains traction internationally, Tencent stands to reap substantial rewards, mirroring the success of WeChat's mini-app model in China. (Yeah, that's quite a tele-pathy between Telegram and Tencent.)

Besides, it will help Telegram cope with the competition in the super app market. For instance, for months, Elon Musk, the Tesla and SpaceX CEO, showed interest in launching his own version of China's WeChat! The tech giant aimed to introduce an app that can offer users video chatting, messaging, streaming, payments and much more.

As Telegram and TON take cues from WeChat's playbook, the world watches with anticipation to see how this mini-app platform, with a decentralized twist, will reshape the digital landscape.

Do you think this narrative between Telegram, TON and Tencent will be the 'call' that will change it all?

First published on Tue, Sep 26, 2023

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Telegram Super App Mobile Applications Social Media WeChat Mini-app The Open Network (TON) Foundation Tencent

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