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Updated: May 2, 2022

If you have been getting vague advice about consistency - but are looking for a comprehensive overview of what it actually takes to be a Youtuber - then this is the guide for you! Plus, I have included videos along the way to keep you enticed - and show you how I do things over on my Youtube channel.

First off, let's kick off with some tools you may find handy:

  • YouTube Monetization Videos: The Content Bug has incredibly informative videos on how this works; the review process, Google AdSense and is uber transparent about her analytics. Shelby Church, an American tech and lifestyle YouTuber has a great videography style, a really fun personality to watch and also not shy to explain how much she’s paid through the channel.

  • YouTube Studio App: You may have seen some Instagram creators have a scrolling Instagram feed on top of their videos - this is simply achieved through an iPhone’s screen recording functionality or if Android, an A2Z screen recording.

  • Canva: This is where you can make eye-catching thumbnails by using their examples and editing yourself. You can also create some YouTube channel art which is super easy to do, just remember to prominently display your name and include a Call-To-Action of sorts.

  • MailChimp & Quora: It’s imperative to promote videos on your own platform. Using MailChimp as a way to release your content on other platforms quickly and with Quora you can for example, search Whatsapp Business as a product and see its trending topics, actually answer questions and cue your relevant video/YouTube link.

  • Green Screens & Aesthetic Packs: by searching for green screen and fun effects on the YouTube platform, you will find amazing additions to enhance videos, as well as recommendations for copy-free music, overlays and fonts. Searching for copyright-free music is a MUST to avoid copyright infringement.

Right, so you’ve got your content ideas and an action plan, now you need to get filming? This next video takes the daunting thought of equipment needed and breaks it down into the bare essentials…

In this video you’ll see I’m recording on two cameras, and at the end of it you can make a judgment call for yourself, but it does demonstrate that you really don’t need much at all.

1. Something to record your videos with

2. Something to record your audio with

3. Something to edit your video with

Luckily, a newer cellphone can do all of these 3 things pretty damn well! But let’s delve deeper:

  • Camera: my iPhone camera app used in the video above gives a pretty detailed, wide angle shot. The other film angle achieved using my entry-level CANON760D DSLR is suited to amateur photography and also does the job (remember though to check that it has an aux jack) and definitely trial out /borrow such a piece of equipment before you invest outright in it.

  • Lens: The camera lens is also very important. I make use of the 50mm lens (best intended for low light or portrait photography) and the camera needs to be far away in order to accommodate for a lens that doesn’t zoom.

  • Tripod: You may want to consider a tripod. Whilst you can also totally get away with using books or a shelf to balance your camera or phone, there is for example the basic option of a Manfrotto tripod or a really inexpensive mini tripod option from the likes of Takealot, and a flexible tripod is great for more outdoorsy/on-the-go use like hiking with camera.

  • Audio: given my camera needs to be a meter and half away to avoid an echo (also important is what room you are shooting in, is there a carpet?) My Rode microphone typically plugs into the jack and a great mic for vlogging. I simply needed a longer cable to be able to use my mic not sitting in my jack.

  • Lighting: windows are your best friend and serve to fulfil that flash function. A simple enough setup for during the day, but what if you (like me) are shooting your content after-hours in evening? You need to look at bringing in additional cool and warm light sources that you can play around to see what works best in your space. My best advice is when starting out, use what you have already! In a day and age when content is king, video content is absolute power, and video editing is an invaluable skill.

My next video is a bit of a mixtape of my favourite content creators and their tips and tricks.

One of my most frequently asked questions is “what software should I use?”

Quite simply - this comes down to your own budget and preference. I myself used to use Wondershare Filmora (paid-for but inexpensive) and now use iMovie. There are major fans of Final Cut and a large group of people living the Adobe Premiere Pro life.

Ultimately, it's about trial and error - and figuring out what works best for you and is the most efficient as they are all intended to up the production value of videos.

Let's take a look at what creators suggest for editing Youtube essentials:

  • Hannah Elise swears by her editing essentials; a hoodie, candle, scrunchie and iced coffee, and I have to agree!

  • Louise Henry says the AirDrop feature is your best friend, offering a seamless, far quicker transfer process from your iPhone phone to your MAC laptop.

  • Kane & Pia: this duo is pure #editinggoals, sharing their golden hack of editing to the audio. This means you can do a rough edit of your videos by simply looking at the audio waves and easily remove faulty speech bits.

  • Cathrin Manning, encourages creating Canva templates to layout your end cards and transitional jpegs in one presentation. She also is a great reference for using the Ken Burns Effect to do a slow zoom in, which adds interest to your long clips.

  • Bestdressed videos are often a layered video on top of a video with her look of the day / outfit of the day content. it’s a clever effect, adding texture and little interest to maybe an otherwise boring shot.

  • Hayls World uses super imaginative intro and outro effects, and Fiverr is a goodie to remember to make use of here! You can see people’s portfolios of work done and their prices when wanting to commission someone to do your intros and outros. • Jessica van Heerden is a South African beauty YouTuber whose quick edits/superset of short frames of the most exciting things that will happen in her vlog gets real interest going by viewers before they’ve even watched the actual piece.

  • Monica Church is an American YouTuber who has great examples of interspersing slowed down clips in order to make it cinematic and interesting.

  • Kelly Stamps uses zoomed in crops to her advantage, making a statement of what she’s talking about.

All in all, you need to enjoy the process! Editing can sometimes feel like a big rush, but it’s a fun skill to learn, so slow down, take time and be patient and kind to yourself. You can’t go around comparing your first video to someone’s 100th video, there’s simply lots to be learnt from the aspirational faves I’ve mentioned above. Have you used a tip or trick that’s made the world of difference for you? I’d love to hear more! Now we’re delving into the money-making aspect of YouTube and the 6 revenue streams I mention in this video are testament that you can in fact do YouTube full time and how YouTubers typically use them to make YouTube their profession.


This could be almost be an entire video on its own, but let me break it down simply… When starting out on YouTube your channel will have 0 subscribers and 0 watched time - in order to get monetised, the platform requires you to reach 1000 subscribers and in the last 365 days of your channel, to meet 4000 hours watch time, as a minimum threshold for eligibility.

People could take a year or three, depending on the frequency of their video posts and the number of their views. This isn’t immediate results, but rather a lengthy process. You need to keep close tabs on your analytics and you can do this by logging into the creative studio on YouTube or downloading the YouTube Studio App, which allows you to see the current watched time, number of subscribers and easy-to-read performance graphs. Your next step would be getting an AdSense account, linking your banking details to get paid but to bear in mind the minimum is $100 per month to get paid out.

Just how much you’ll get paid comes down to CPM (cost per mille), cost per 1000 impressions for video (eCPM) if the objective is different to impressions from a campaign. Depending on which niche you’re in, this will determine your CPM as a YouTuber so being consistent in your content and sticking to topics that work, favours the algorithm. YouTube can the easily sell your ad space. Also, it’s a practical consideration to not confuse your target audience. Some niches are more highly paid, for example Insurance, Property, Investment and Stock Trading are said to be the highest paid niches, whereas Fashion and Vlogging have lower CPMs. At the end of the day, you need to stay true to what you are passionate about.

The length of your videos also plays a role (if they are longer than 10 minutes, Google allows you to place more ads, mid-role ads). Where your audience is based sways the income that can be generated. US/Canada based markets are quite developed and more open to ecommerce vs. other markets like South Africa where there isn’t as big of an ecommerce penetration.

It’s important to remember that YouTube is the best search engine in the world - so making beautiful thumbnails and having SEO optimised titles makes sense to rank well off of the algorithm. The more searchable your content, the more views you’ll get. Youtubers make use of 3rd party tools such as TubeBuddy which allows you to see keywords of other creators and recommendations on just how competitive that set of keywords is. These insights help you decide how you frame your video and the angle you take by considering what people are searching for and how you can rank your video for that. Finding that sweet spot between something people are searching for and that content not being really available currently… Having ‘advertiser-friendly’ videos is important because brands want to be associated with high quality content that is neutral of controversy and not inappropriate. Also, using copyrighted music means you’ll be demonetised.


Commonly found across all social networks; influencers who meet criteria and objectives for upcoming campaigns and typically in South Africa, people will work with agents, it’s not as formal as US markets.


There are a few small affiliate programs in South Africa, but for a great reference for this is Amazon's Affiliate Marketing Program which works off of personalised URLS that for example can show the purchase of a camera link came from a specific YouTuber. The brand can see direct ROI, a very cool way to use one’s influence to make money.


If you’ve established enough clout, by simply putting your name on something and selling it, fans will want in on that action, like the clickbait brand made famous by YouTuber David Dobrik, Fanjoy.


Here YouTubers may elect to sell their Lightroom presets for Instagram as their Insta feeds are super aesthetically appealing, like travel couple Marie & Jake , or creating courses on platforms like Skillshare. Your skills are given away for ‘free’ to consumers through YouTube, but now you can have viewers pay/transact for something beautifully structured.


An opportunity for fans to come and meet their fave video influencers. There are huge conferences for such gatherings in America like VidCon where you could meet the likes of Casey Neistat or PewDiePie. Through the YouTube channel you’ll have create a ‘celebrity status’ to capitalise on.

This next video is a more personal journey of how I got monetised within about 20 months of being on YouTube.

As we’ve learnt, YouTube makes no secret of its basic requirement of a channel needing to 1000 subscribers, and 400 hours watch time on the platform. Now your head is full of questions like “how many videos does that mean I need to make?”, “how long will it take me?” And “how much effort do I need to put into this?” Well, personally it’s taken 20 months of being relatively consistent considering it’s not my full time job (and I created over 70 videos). The factors that come into play with the algorithm as to whether or not people like your content are:

Retention Rate - how long people are watching for.

Click-Through Rate - who sees your videos and clicks them.

Number of Subscribers - how many people are engaging and liking your content. Using my content as reference, it’s clear that Whatsapp Business is the most popular topic amongst my audience, and my niche so to speak. Don’t let this put you off, as there is so much merit in terms of niching down — firstly, I love the WhatsApp Business platform, I am considered a good authority to talk about it, and it’s easier for me to do well in that topic. The YouTube Studio app which I’ve mentioned previously, helps me keep tabs on the performance of my channel and provides a good top-line understanding of what’s working and what’s not.

Analytics: showing real time and watched time views.

Revenue: no matter how small, I get a kick out of it in that it means you’re still being recognised in a small way at least.

Discovery: showing impressions, CTR, and who your audience is.

Playlists - topics that are performing the best.

Once I was able to monetise, the platform then asked me which formats I wanted to implement on my channel and I could see the monetisation column changing from off to on. What’s great here is if there is an issue i.e. a copyright issue with a song used, you’re able to elect to trim out the segment or mute the segment, so YouTube offers you options instead of having to losing whole video. TubeBuddy is a major help with the SEO and Tags side of YouTube; I’ve just been using the free version and this helps me tag correctly and informs me of good search volumes against the topics I am identifying.

Thumbnails are best created in Canva, using typically a photo as opposed to a still. Again, Shelby & Monica Church are great references for what’s aesthetically appealing. A simple tip is finding other YouTubers in South Africa; finding a community of people who also love making videos, being able to support like-minded individuals, and get a sense check on your content with all sorts of tech and relevant emotional questions being answered is super helpful.

Educational content can be a little bit dry, so I’ve found myself adapting more B-roll footage - interspersing clips with things like a cellphone / laptop screen recording appearing on screen or clips of myself working to help break it up and keep viewers attention. Looking at other creatives in your niche and how they keep your attention is always inspirational. Louise Henry operates in a similar space to me - she keeps her videos short and sweet, but has included little, clever nuances throughout her content that keeps it engaging.

There are plenty of opportunities to grow an audience and monetize your videos so if you are thinking about starting a YouTube channel in 2021, it’s certainly not too late for you to shine! I recently had the opportunity to speak at a Future Females event in the Winelands, and it allowed me to reflect on my personal digital journey and can safely say I’ve pretty much tried everything to make money online.

What inspired me to write talk about this was a quote I’d seen on LinkedIn, “Don’t let anyone tell you what you can or cannot do.” No matter what channel you find yourself interested in and wanting to learn more about, perseverance, passion and patience are key.

So my advice is simply to go for it - and worry about the rest later! As Marie Forleo says, "Everything is Figure-outable!"

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Updated: Jan 10, 2022

I think it’s safe to say that the majority of South Africans are well versed in how WhatsApp works (primarily as a private messaging service) and social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram serve to enhance businesses’ public profiles. With the Whatsapp Business tool, this allows users to really focus on more personal customer connections, strengthening the connection between businesses and their customers. The first two videos introduce WhatsApp Business and give you a better idea of what its all about:

What exactly is the difference between Whatsapp and Whatsapp for Business? I am so glad you asked!

WhatApp for Business was developed and built with more small businesses in mind - a platform allowing small businesses to now quickly and concisely convey to consumers what they do and can offer. The icon is represented slightly differently with a “B” for Business, but follows the same WhatsApp layout initially. In terms of your Business Profile, you can add all relevant business details such as location, website and email address and use your company logo. It allows for easier engagement with customers, by being able to respond to them quicker with its auto-messaging and auto-responses functionality. In Statistics, you’re able to see how many messages have been sent, delivered, read and received. The messaging tools that WhatsApp Business offers are certainly time-savers!

As a WhatsApp Business user, you’re able to make use of key shortcuts to implement simpler and more personal communications such as Welcome, Away and Custom messages (short links) using the forward slash to copy/share and customise default messages to your customers.

WhatsApp Business Messaging tools allow you to set an ‘away message,’ ideal for when you’re on leave or for over weekends if your business is closed. You can also set up ‘greeting messages’ which would be the first thing a customer would read when they hit your profile. The messaging shortcuts are your quick replies. Setting up these shortcuts manually for your business expedite messaging and you also have the broadcast message feature (up to 256 contacts), as found in a personal WhatsApp profile. Here’s where businesses need to be extra mindful of not spamming their customer database - with the introduction of POPI (Protection of Personal Information Act), consumers have to explicitly opt in to your database and you’ll need a paper trail to prove they’ve opted in. It must be noted that you’re unable to run a WhatsApp Business profile and a personal profile off of the same number - you would need to convert or register a new sim linked to the WhatsApp Business profile. Remember to do a manual back up to beforehand.

This next video helps to dispel some myths that may surround WhatsApp Business and set you straight.

There’s certainly no ‘spray-and-pray approach’ adopted by the WhatsApp Business platform, it wasn’t intended for bulk messaging comms - you can only broadcast to 256 people at a time and they need to have your number stored in their phone or have initiated contact else they won’t receive messages. This isn’t a bad thing given the privacy laws of GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) and POPI as mentioned before coming into effect in SA. Users/small business owners need to be use the platform smartly and be mindful about how they are using marketing platforms, with larger businesses typically opting for WhatsApp API. You aren’t able to have multiple users on the platform, it’s still linked to one number with one user. If you were wanting to have both profiles on one device, you would need two separate sim cards (one for personal and one for WhatsApp Business), second number receives the one-time pin to validate the number and then can carry on with original sim card. (Bear in mind that sim cards do expire.) You absolutely can switch your profile from WhatsApp to WhatsApp Business, and numerous times! It’s a seamless process - I’ve personally done this a couple of times and never lost any info. You may find yourself doing this due to privacy concerns and time sensitive comms, like queries that come in after hours. WhatsApp Business whilst originally only released for Android users, is now available for both IOS and Android users now. A simple download process off of the Play Store or App Store, either transferring your number or starting afresh and it’s an easy one-time pin step.

There are a number of ways in which WhatsApp Business is different from ‘normal’ WhatsApp, which can be found specifically in the business tools section;

  • The Business profile - here you set up all the company details and its description, including the business hours and its location, as well as category and a super helpful ‘about message.’

  • Catalog - this feature is a game-changer! Created on the app (not desktop), you are able to showcase your product / service with pricing, updating to all your new items along the way, and the current limits is 500 products! You can reference customers to your catalog, with the paperclip icons. Whilst you aren’t able to ‘check out’ the platform, you can input your URL for your eCommerce store or still do transactions manually over phone. There isn’t a payment functionality in SA on the platform yet, but we’re keeping a close tab on this update. (learn a bit more in our WhatsApp Pay & " | Beginners guide to Whatsapp Payments video further in this blog). It’s worth mentioning that you aren’t able to bulk upload the catalog or sync to Shopify (yet?).

  • The Away Message & The Greeting Message - both of these features can be set up to apply always or customised to select recipients and you can toggle this feature on and off as needed.

  • Quick Replies - this is a simply set up shortcut done by using the forward slash / and is so well tailored to business comms allowing you to converse with customers quickly and on the move.

  • Labels - uber helpful for the ultimate organiser, this feature allows you to track where a customer is in their in purchase or conversion journey. You are able to use tags such as new customer / pending payment and create your own labels with colours.

  • Linked Accounts - easily done to your FB page.

  • Short Link - you are able to share / copy / generate a QR code with a default message for your customers allowing them to join into conversations with you and your brand.

  • Voice and Video Calls on WhatsApp Business - these are allowed and can’t be prevented, not necessarily a bad thing depending on the way you like to communicate as a business and the level of personal touch you want to add to your customer engagements.

  • Multiple Browsers - you aren’t able to have multiple browsers open using the WhatsApp Business log in. If you’re using one WhatsApp Business account and you were close together it’s possible that one user could be logged in via their phone, and the other use logged in via web but the session would expire. This is where the auto-message functionality comes in handy rather.

  • WhatsApp Business SIM registration - once you’ve registered with the necessary sim in your phone, you can continue to use WhatsApp Business without having the sim card in the phone after registering.

Whilst WhatsApp Pay hasn’t yet rolled out SA, it’s been rolled out in India and Brazil and our WhatsApp Pay & Beginners guide to Whatsapp Payments video gives you a better understanding of how WhatsApp payments work.

It’s a very straightforward process; requiring you to link up your participating bank card to your WhatsApp account, verify the card with an OTP (security measures are in place with a 6-digit pin / fingerprint authentication) then initiating payments are as simple as sending an attachment. It’s a super nifty piece of innovation that would open up amazing possibilities for small businesses in SA now, so here’s hoping we have an update soon!

WhatsApp Business API

For businesses with more complex and larger customer bases, the WhatsApp Business API programme can optimise responses based on their customer’s queries, and prompt interaction with them.

For more advanced functionality, you would need to look at the Whatsapp API.

WhatsApp API in a nutshell, allows you to:

  • Facilitate competitions

  • Run snap polls and surveys

  • Get location-based info

  • Receive video and image submissions

  • Offer loyalty rewards and incentives

  • Answer FAQs

  • Improve customer services

  • RSVP to events

  • Run facial recognition campaigns

  • Redeem product

  • What’s more is it’s free, easy to activate, highly interactive and most rewarding!

A WhatsApp Bot can seem futuristic to most of us but it proves to be a powerful tool for businesses and it’s actually very simple to build, thanks to a platform that’s been developed by a local agency Techsys Digital, which allows someone like me with no coding experience, to build a bot yourself! Depending on your preference, this can be created to be Conversational, Transactional or a mix of the two.

For example, in South Africa a lot of our travel agencies and airlines make use of this in a transactional manner, through supplying boarding passes. A more conversational bot would simulate a call centre-type of environment, but all in all Bots are intended to solve a business objective. Firstly, you need to identify a human-centric problem at the centre and consider what the customer journey looks like… the WhatsApp Business app is ideal for small businesses and allows you to do simple things on platform and the WhatsApp API whilst more advanced, can comes across as not as attainable for some and a developer’s services would need to be enlisted. You might find yourself wanting something with more advanced functionality but aren’t a coder, and that’s where a Bot Builder comes in handy - acting as a sort of middleware between those two need states.

The most obvious benefit of a WhatsApp Bot is the fact that so many people already use the app and it’s virtually free across all networks (cost effective WhatsApp data bundles) - given it’s such a commonplace communication tool that people use, having a business contact you through this app has a more familiar sense about it. Bots allow businesses to scale their customer service, facilitating high number of queries they receive and it’s pretty real time, so responses are typically speedy. As we know, WhatsApp makes use of Encrypted messages, so it’s even more ideal to use this platform when dealing with sensitive information. Some scenarios where a Bot would be most useful include:

  • Checking the weather - something most of us doing without even thinking about it and a simple thing for a Bot to fulfil

  • Reading the news - finding out what the news of the day is and what exact topic, this branching aspect of Bots allows you to get to the information you’re looking for quicker

  • Book appointments

  • Check balance

  • As a brand to facilitate a competition

  • Survey / poll / quiz - brilliant for market research

  • Deal of the day for e-commerce RSVPs / ticket purchases Bots can integrate with specialists in natural language processing, for example something like Google DialogFlow or Lex from Alexa technology, to make the Bot that much more understanding or in touch with human emotion.

Looking at the Buildabot Platform: there’s an incredible report summary where you can see messages per day.

  • It is a really cool flow builder, which shows rich journeys not only engaging on the WhatsApp side, but could also allow a web hook to API for facial recognition in more advanced use cases.

  • Delay replies allow you to send messages back to consumers with a slight delay to give them the opportunity for example to watch a video or perform an action before responding.

  • You can add in rich media simply, easily and can be editable.

  • ‘Make a Choice’ examples enable realistic-sounding two-way conversations with the Bot.

  • The interface is clear and colour coordinated by actions created for the user.

  • The ‘Manage Versions’ tab allows you to roll back changes, useful if you’ve made a mistake.

  • You are also able to duplicate, edit, and trash. You can add a simple text message, media, delay reply, ask consumers to make a choice or ask them a question.

  • Event tracking is a favourite feature of mine (working similarly to Google Analytics Events), where you can set a category, action and a label which pulls into your reporting dashboard.

I hope this video helps you to better understand that you don’t in fact need to be able to code to build a WhatsApp Bot, but rather its as simple as configuring it in a flow builder like MessengerBot.

Many businesses are jumping on the WhatsApp bandwagon, will yours?

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WhatsApp has been facing a lot of heat since it rolled out its latest Privacy Policy updates. The Facebook-owned company has been backlashed by plenty of its users over privacy concerns, requiring it’s users to now agree to let Facebook and its subsidiaries collect user data. People are looking for alternatives and Telegram is certainly proving to be the flavour of the month! In fact, it’s now become the most downloaded non-gaming app worldwide in January 2021, with over 5 million monthly users. The app was founded in Russia back in 2013, by the Durov brothers and its headquarters can now be found in Dubai. Controversy surrounded the app’s ban in Russia, due to the brothers refusing to hand over its encryption keys to the Russian government - a true testament that privacy is at the forefront of what they do and this is a drawcard for many. Telegram was designed for both personal and business use. It does the basics well, but also comes with a giant list of other add-ons that allow users to customise and up their chat game with some very interesting features. It’s fast, easy-to-use, and has unlimited cloud-based storage that allows you to share much larger files, limitlessly. Also, Telegram offers secret chats where users can privately exchange self-destructing messages. Group chats on the platform can offer support to up to 200,000 members, with the added bonus of being able to incorporate bots, polls, quizzes and hashtags. In terms of security, it must be noted that there is only end-to-end encryption in their secret chats.

Here’s a better understanding of the platform’s functionality compared to that of WhatsApp:


When signing-up, you still need to input your cell number (verified via a one-time pin just like WhatsApp or Signal), but you aren’t needing to hand over your cellphone number. What this means is you can communicate with anyone on Telegram even if you don't have the contact number of others, if you’re simply wanting to chat to chat to someone, you can just give them your username (keeping your phone number private).


You are still able to share your live location, drop a pin, send voice notes, do video recordings but an added plus is the Folders feature, allowing you to easily categorise your chats. Given how crazy our lives have become, being able to organise your chats into work / friends / family / help compartmentalise your life a little. A game-changer is being able to send files up to 2GB in size, which isn’t not possible on WhatsApp. You can even play a video before the download has finished.


A Telegram group can afford a maximum of 200,000 members whereas with WhatsApp, 256 is the maximum member capacity in a group. You’re also able to mute all groups by default, a feature that WhatsApp doesn’t have. Over and above one-on-one chats and group chats, are Telegram ‘Channels’ which are similar to Twitter and Reddit. The creator of the channel can decide who can post and other members can view the posts. Pavel Darov himself uses a Channel to communicate the latest updates on the app and even throws in some contentious statements around Facebook, making for some interesting reads. Channels operate with a permanent URL and people can join any time. The platform’s Group chats are a lot more interactive, allowing for the use of hashtags and polls which you aren’t able to do in WhatsApp.


End-to-end encryption is only in the Group chats, but there is two-step authentication (2FA) as well as an added layer of security in the form of touch ID. In order to add fingerprint lock in Telegram, you simply need to set a passcode lock first.


You can link multiple devices to a single Telegram account, for e.g. Business and Personal phones, so you don’t need to have multiple usernames. Because Telegram stores all your messages and content in its cloud, you can access everything from anywhere, using all your different devices. This super cool feature means your sessions can be remembered on browsers too.


There is the equivalent of WhatsApp web, with a desktop browser for chatting, and everything backed up.


The app introduces ‘Destruction messages’ where you can create a secret chat, select the clock icon and choose your desired time/duration for as long as you want the message to be seen. The messages will be automatically deleted when the timer hits and it’s not able to hack in any way. Similar to the popularity of Snapchat, there’s hype around communicating just in the moment.


The Draft Functionality is super helpful - we’re all guilty of finding ourselves reading messages, half-typing a response, only for something else to grab your attention and you end up forgetting to reply. This feature allows you to pick up where you left off, mid-reply and synced to all your devices so you can send it from any other when you’re ready.


Currently, WhatsApp only allows you to delete a sent message but with Telegram you’re able to delete messages without the other person knowing, as well as being able to edit them. You’ve got up to 2 days to edit messages after they were sent however there is a stamp that does let the recipient it’s been edited.


Telegram has a Silent Message Function, where you can choose to not disrupt the recipient - super convenient and considerate if you know that person is in a meeting!


With Forwarded Messages in Telegram, these can be sent on without you even downloading them. You as the receiver can also check the original source of the message; the name, and a link to his/her account is shown. But if you are concerned about your privacy, you can change this.


This feature is major! You’re able to Schedule Messages - being able to set messages before you go to bed that will be sent out early the next morning means you get that extra lie in, and it also comes in handy with wanting to be the first to wish someone for their birthday.


Telegram offers five different chat colour themes (Dark, Day, Classic, Night and Artic). You’re able to change the colour of recipients messages, your messages, and your chat background, even changing the corners of the messages boxes. YOUTUBE There is an In-App YouTube Search functionality - being able to type@YouTube within the Telegram app for makes video sharing that much easier.


As a Telegram user, you’re able to create a Bio - this is fun especially for meeting new people or using the app for networking purposes, you can state your profession, age and location. Profile videos can replace profile pictures, which is so much cooler. When snapping Selfies within Telegram you can edit directly in the app: smooth your skin, add a drop shadow or tweak the contrast.


Telegram has over 20,000 Stickers built into the app. They are hilarious and better express what you’re feeling. There’s also the Masks feature which is interactive and added fun while you’re messaging. With all that said, Telegram does a pretty good job as a WhatsApp alternative. While it may not be the best in terms of security, with its chats not being protected by end-to-end encryption like on WhatsApp, it offers heaps of features, making it way more appealing than your average messenger. Telegram is available for download to South African users on Android, iOS, Mac, Windows and even through any browser, but old habits die hard so perhaps to ease your mind, remember that WhatsApp won’t read your chats and any of your private communications even if you consent to the new policy, however it will provide Facebook with more data it collects about you.

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