Google’s bid for Telegram would make sense now
I don’t know many people who use G+ for anything, but a fast and convenient login proxy. Google famously missed the social network wave, but it can now stage a comeback in the messenger world.
Given that Google seems to have a particular strength in integrating and scaling acquisitions, as was the case with YouTube, it looks likely that the company’s entry into the messenger world would be best done via an acquisition of an existing player.
If that is the case, there is one particular messenger platform that fits Google very well: the Russian-built Telegram. It would make a ton of sense for the search giant to consider acquiring Telegram today.
From the product and strategy standpoint, two factors make Telegram a great acquisition target for Google:
- The best API in the world for developers who want to build bots
- Exceptional end-to-end encryption
The importance of the former cannot be underestimated as bots are the new apps. Google is huge in apps, but has zero footprint in bots.
Messengers are becoming platforms of choice for delivering content, and this trend will only accelerate. Google understands this, and they seem to be actively working in the background on building out the ecosystem for enabling bots. For example, according to some reports, Google seriously considered acquiring ChatFuel whose tools help anybody build a bot. Although companies could not reach a deal, the interesting part is that ChatFuel’s platform now only allows to build bots for Telegram. Google may already be thinking of buying Telegram and a portfolio of tools for that platform as well.
The end-to-end encryption was a major selling point for Telegram since the very beginning. The company regularly holds competitions and asks hackers to participate and break its encryption for a prize. As privacy and government surveillance have been in the center of public attention, encryption is a major plus for the consumer. For messengers, staying relevant means providing more privacy. A good illustration of this was WhatsApp’s recent rollout of end-to-end encryption.
If Telegram is for sale, and Google decides to make the move, the company could pay north of $15bn for the messenger. Other possible bidders for Telegram could be Facebook, Apple, Samsung, Tencent or Baidu, among many others.