Telegram, a popular messaging app in the cryptocurrency space, hit more than 500 million monthly active users in the first week of January, according to Pavel Durov, Telegram’s chief executive officer.
In the past 72 hours, according to Durov, the app has seen a massive surge in new users. Another 25 million people have registered to use the platform. These new users come from all over the world with the majority – 38% – from Asia.
27% come from Europe, 21% from Latin America and 8% from the Middle East and North Africa (Mena region). In 2018, around 200 million people were using Telegram, which means that user growth has exceeded 150% in two years.
These changes are believed to have led users to share more of their personal information with Facebook to abandon Whatsapp and join privacy-conscious competitors like Telegram or Signal.
Unlike other competing messaging apps, Telegram does not pass on any personal data and offers encrypted chats.
Posting On his personal Telegram channel on Jan. 12, Durov said:
People no longer want to trade their privacy for free services. They no longer want to be held hostage by technology monopolies who seem to think they can get away with anything as long as their apps have a critical mass of users.
Telegram CEO added that, “With half a billion active users and accelerated growth, Telegram has become the greatest haven for those looking for a communications platform committed to privacy and security.”
In 2020, Telegram reported new user signups of 1.5 million daily, a far cry from the current influx of people joining the platform. “During our 7 year history of protecting user privacy, there have been numerous downloads. But this time it’s different, ”noted Durov.
So far, all telegram services have remained free. However, Durov announced in December that some services can now be monetized. He said additional features will be shown for “business teams and users with advanced needs” and those features will be paid for because they are “resource intensive”. Ordinary users will continue to use Telegram for free, he stressed.
Telegram attempted to launch its own cryptocurrency called Gram through the TON blockchain platform, but it was blocked by the US Securities and Exchange Commission. This left Pavel Durov, who had raised $ 1.7 billion for the project from selected investors, debts of $ 1.2 billion and fines of $ 18.5 million.
Now, some investors in TON are preparing a lawsuit against Durov to force the businessman to “sell part or all of Telegram and pay off investors for spending money on Telegram,” according to a Forbes report. Durov reportedly spent $ 500 million of the TON money on upgrading Telegram, which investors say was not part of the original deal.
What do you think of the influx of new users at Telegram? Let us know in the comments below.
Photo credit: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Wiki Commons, Telegram,
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