Messaging app Telegram has witnessed a surge in new users joining the platform, the company has said.


Telegram surpassed 500 million monthly active users in the first week of January. The platform had 25 million new users joining Telegram in the last 72 hours alone, Telegram’s CEO and Founder Pavel Durov said in a blog post posted to his Telegram channel on Tuesday.

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Of this, 38 per cent users were from Asia, 27 per cent from Europe, 21 per cent from Latin America and 8 per cent from MENA (the Middle East and North Africa).

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Amid rising concerns regarding WhatsApp’s new privacy policy and its sharing of certain user data with Facebook, apps such as Telegram and Signal saw a significant surge in new downloads.

In a recent blog post, Durov said, “This is a significant increase compared to last year, when 1.5M new users signed up every day. We’ve had surges of downloads before, throughout our 7-year history of protecting user privacy. But this time is different.”

“People no longer want to exchange their privacy for free services. They no longer want to be held hostage by tech monopolies that seem to think they can get away with anything as long as their apps have a critical mass of users,” Durov said, slamming WhatsApp.

WhatsApp clarification

WhatsApp, meanwhile, issued further clarification on its new policy update with an FAQ page detailing the changes.

The platform emphasised that user chats will remain end-to-end encrypted and that the changes will not impact the privacy of messages sent to friends or family.

“We want to be clear that the policy update does not affect the privacy of your messages with friends or family in any way. Instead, this update includes changes related to messaging a business on WhatsApp, which is optional and provides further transparency about how we collect and use data,” reads the FAQ page on the new update.