Algoa FM ditches WhatsApp for Telegram in ‘first for SA’

Radio stations across South Africa usually request audience interaction through SMS, calls, or more recently WhatsApp. But an Eastern Cape radio station has ditched the latter in particular for a more unknown quantity.

Eastern Cape’s Algoa FM is “the first commercial radio station in South Africa to actively replace WhatsApp with Telegram for instant messaging from its listeners,” the station announced in a press release.

WhatsApp rival Telegram offers a similar service but built by Russian billionaire Pavel Duvov. It’s much smaller than its Facebook-owned rival, and is used by slightly more than 250-million people as of March 2018.

But while it lacks the users, it reportedly stands out in its level of adaptability.

“WhatsApp doesn’t allow for the storage of messages from users and as a result, we can’t build insights and analytics to help us better understand our audience,” Algoa station director Alfie Jay explained.

“Whilst WhatsApp is a great messaging platform where users can send text messages, voice notes, video and images to other WhatsApp users; it has been impossible to link the app to third-party applications.”

“Now, when listeners send messages to the radio station, their messages appear instantly onto the platform; as opposed to the few-minutes-delay previously experienced with WhatsApp,” he added.

Telegram also allows the station to link to external and third-party apps.

Feature image: Telegram

Andy Walker, former editor


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