Over the past few weeks, I have reached out to individual content creators on social media to move to Telegram. It is difficult to “bust the myth” of the “reach” of Twitter, Facebook or YouTube, because the available statistics are opaque. Herein, I’ll try to make a convincing case for content creators.
I have analysed the technical merits of the platforms and then narrowed my decision.
- Social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter) has numerous “bots” or automated accounts. They are served from “ad-farms” that game the system to illegally drain money from the advertisers. The platforms are aware of these automated systems, but they remain a significant resource of “internet traffic”. This traffic may come from IoT devices (for example your smart TV or refrigerator!) for your Facebook posts. It can be easily cloaked to appear as “legitimate”.
- Advertisements are not universally effective. I access social media from specific bots (Instagram posts) to auto-post in Telegram. I haven’t touched Facebook in over a decade, and YouTube through desktop browser with AdGuard (or YouTube Vanced) on Android. It filters out the pesky pre-roll and in video advertisements. Even if I log in Instagram through my browser, I run it through an ad-blocking extension. The ROI on advertisements running through is minimal.
- YouTube pays the least amount in India for “each impression” compared to the West. Unless you have viewership in millions, you are still getting underpaid.
- You are effectively working for an algorithm, even if you believe you are “independent”. You aren’t. Videos are routinely struck or “demonetised” because of “mass-reporting” and bot activity of those who understand how to control.
- Buying of social media “followers” is now elevated to a commodity business.
Telegram boards each user through a mobile number. Therefore, most users are legitimate. You can automate bots on Telegram, but they have strict interactions on the platform and can only work within defined parameters.
I remember the time when Facebook listed millions of users in each earning call. There are numerous reports that the user base has stagnated and is under increasing regulatory scrutiny.
WhatsApp is an apology for an application. One of the best applications to replace SMS is because it uses your device data, WhatsApp “pretends” to be a “chat-application”. It has gained a user base because of “partnerships” with mobile device manufacturers as a default application. Users rarely interact with the technology to understand its ramifications.
Telegram obviates all these deficiencies. Besides, in Telegram desktop, you can export your data.
Strongly consider Telegram a contender, even if you want to stay on other social media. I have seen the technology industry evolve over the past two decades and understand how companies can go bust. Even if you are building a user-base to reach out to others, consider a safe strategy. Digital payments (and direct customer relationships) are better than paying for “superchat privileges”.
(I pay for Telegram Premium because I believe in the current direction of the application and contribute my efforts to make it sustainable). I bought three licenses for the Threema application as my fail safe mechanism, in case Telegram goes bust or changes its course from its original stated purpose.