Telegram to hit one billion users within a year, founder says

19.04.2024

 

The Telegram messaging app, one of the most popular social media platforms, is poised to surpass one billion active monthly users within a year, according to its billionaire founder Pavel Durov. Durov stated on Tuesday that Telegram’s growth is akin to a “forest fire” and predicts reaching the milestone soon.

Telegram, headquartered in Dubai, was established by Russian-born Durov. He departed from Russia in 2014 after refusing to shut down opposition communities on his VK social media platform, which he subsequently sold.

“We’ll probably cross one billion monthly active users within a year now,” Durov, the sole owner of Telegram, informed U.S. journalist Tucker Carlson in a video interview posted on Carlson’s X social media platform account. “Telegram is spreading like a forest fire.”

Despite pressure from certain governments, Durov emphasized that Telegram, currently boasting 900 million active users, intends to remain a “neutral platform” and avoid involvement in geopolitics.

Telegram’s major competitor, Meta Platforms’ WhatsApp, boasts over two billion monthly active users. The Financial Times reported in March that Telegram intends to pursue a listing in the U.S. once the company achieves profitability.

Particularly influential in the former Soviet Union republics, Telegram ranks among the major social media platforms alongside Facebook, YouTube, WhatsApp, Instagram, TikTok, and WeChat.

Since Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in 2022, Telegram has become a primary source of unfiltered content, presenting perspectives from both sides of the conflict, albeit sometimes containing graphic and misleading information.

Durov conceived the idea of an encrypted messaging app as a means of communication under pressure in Russia. The encryption was designed by his younger brother, Nikolai.

Regarding allegations that Telegram is controlled by Russia, Durov dismissed them as false rumors spread by competitors concerned about Telegram’s growth. He cited his departure from Russia as a decision to prioritize freedom over compliance with government directives, leading him to seek a new home for his company in various locations including Berlin, London, Singapore, and San Francisco.

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