Hotgram, Talagram to be appeared as independent apps: official

May 8, 2019

TEHRAN – The Hotgram and Talagram, the messaging apps known as the Telegram varieties in Iran, will be available as independent apps in the near future, Abolhassan Firouzabadi, the secretary of the Supreme Cyberspace Council announced, Mehr reported on Tuesday.

Hotgram and Talagram are two messaging apps produced by the Iranian company Rahkar Sarzamin Hooshmand (Smart Land Strategy) using Telegram’s open source code and servers. With 25 million users in Iran, the applications were warmly welcomed since it was banned in the country on April 30, 2018.  

Telegram, with 40 million subscribers in Iran, was on top list of messaging applications in the country. Hundreds of people and companies in Iran used the app for their marketing and sales.

The Hotgram and Talagram were active with the permission of National Center for Cyberspace and coordination of judicial system of Iran, Firouzabadi announced.

The Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Ministry provide bandwidth for two messaging apps according to the permission of judicial system of Iran, he said.

He said that may be they cannot afford the budget for being independent from Telegram servers in due time.

“The ICT Ministry does not buy any server for Hotgram and if there was any support, it was very limited,” he announced.

The alternatives for Telegram was a number of Iranian messaging applications introduced during recent months.

Five messaging applications have been approved by the National Center for Cyberspace, an organization established by the Supreme Cyberspace Council.

Soroush, Gap, iGap, BisPhone Plus and Wispi are the applications developed by Iranian experts and are supported by the center.

Domestic messaging applications eye officials for further support to help them to convince subscribers to move to another application.

Firouzabadi announced that the council selects three messaging applications for further support.

“This does not mean that we want to ban other applications, but three of them are prioritized for supporting by the government,” he said.

According to reports, in late April 2019, Google has removed a number of Iranian apps from Google Play, including Hotgram and Talagram.

The move comes a few months after Apple banned Iranian apps from App Store.

SB/MQ/MG

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