The big alternatives are worse for most people:

* either show your phone number to others (Signal, WhatsApp)
* are paid (Threema)
* aren't straight forward (XMPP, Matrix)

That leads to network effects. Telegram also has support for huuuge channels, I heard that's a distinguishing feature for some.

If I had to choose I'd use threema, but like 3 of my contacts have it and I also have them on telegram, so that's what I use for non-critical comms out of inertia.


@sebx2a @jb55 yes, many normies use it, because they like it better than whatsapp

- better performance and responsiveness
- better user experience
- easy multi-device support
- support for very large groups

in some regions of the earth it's more popular than whatsapp and the quasi-standard.

they definitely seem to censor less

if you want large public group chat, it's like twitter anyway, spooks could be present, so e2e encryption wouldn't help much.

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