Telegram has two features that, while similar, have very different goals. We are talking about groups and channels, which draw attention for their wide reach. The former work similarly to WhatsApp groups, with the difference that they hold up to 200,000 members; the channels, in turn, serve to transmit messages to large audiences and can have an unlimited number of subscribers.
But the differences between these features don’t end there. To avoid possible confusion, the Telegram clarified the function of each one of them, as you can see below.
Telegram: groups versus channels
According to the company, the groups were developed for sharing messages with friends and family or for communication between small work teams. Despite this objective, they can take on a much larger dimension, as mentioned above. For comparison purposes, a WhatsApp group supports up to 256 participants. If you are looking for a greater reach, the user will have to resort to the “Broadcast List” tool, which allows sending messages to all cell phone contacts.
Due to the possibility of bringing together 200,000 people in a single group, Telegram has more tools than the competition. This includes the ability to change group privacy, hide old messages from history, and appoint administrators with granular privileges. It is also possible to pin messages at the top of the screen so that all members can view them.
The channels are similar to the WhatsApp Broadcast List, but with a much greater reach. As already highlighted, they can have an unlimited number of subscribers. Also, when posting to a channel, the message does not include the user’s credentials, but the channel’s name and photo, with a “more public” content. To enable range monitoring, the app displays a view counter in the message.
Public and private channels: what’s the difference?
The channels, as well as the groups, can be public and private, but they have some peculiarities that deserve special attention. Public channels can be easily found and accessed in Telegram search; private channels, also called “closed companies” by the app, do not appear in the search.
In this case, the user can only gain access through an invitation link to the channel or if it is added by the creator. It is worth noting that private channels with publicly available links are treated as public channels.
Public channels are widely used by content creators, online course owners and people who want to share knowledge. They have a t.me link (such as https://t.me/tecmundooficial, TecMundo’s channel), which can be shared and published anywhere.
Comments on Telegram channels
To increase interaction between users, Telegram has added a comment button to channel posts, but it’s only valid for those who have a chat group linked. Comments are available in the threads and are forwarded to the chat group, so everyone stays up to date on the subject.
Users who are not members of the channel’s chat group will receive notifications of responses to their comments in a chat called “Replies”. If you have a channel and want to activate this feature, just go to the “Channel Settings” menu and tap on “Chat”.
How to create groups and channels on Telegram?
To create a group on Telegram, just follow the step by step below.
If you have an iPhone, the first step is to create a message. To do this, tap the icon in the upper right corner under “Chats”. Then select the “New Group” option. If your device is Android, click the circular pencil icon in the chat list and choose “New Group”. The option is also available in the desktop version, just select the menu button in the upper left corner.
To create a channel, use the same path. However, instead of choosing “New Group”, click on “New Channel”.