Home Telegram set to reach billion users in a year, founder says

Telegram set to reach billion users in a year, founder says


  • Telegram CEO predicts one billion users within a year.
  • Telegram emphasizes encryption and neutrality.
  • Challenges from competitors and governments.

Telegram messaging app is set to cross one billion active monthly users within a year, its founder Pavel Durov has said.

“We’ll probably cross one billion monthly active users within a year now,” Telegram’s CEO told U.S. journalist Tucker Carlson in a video interview posted on Carlson’s account on the X social media platform.

The well-known social media platform, based in Dubai, was established by the Russian-born billionaire. He left Russia in 2014 after declining to close opposition groups on his VK social media platform, which he subsequently sold.

Telegram was designed to compete with WhatsApp’s dominance. Unlike WhatsApp, it allows users to access their accounts from multiple devices. It positions itself as the anti-Facebook, focusing on stronger encryption and less restrictive regulations. Its developers assert that its multi-data center infrastructure and robust encryption protocols make it more secure than its rival owned by Meta.

Durov, who is estimated to have a fortune of $15.5 billion, said, “Telegram is spreading like a forest fire.” Telegram, notably popular in the republics of the former Soviet Union, ranks among the top social media platforms, following Facebook, YouTube, WhatsApp, Instagram, TikTok, and WeChat.

The former VK owner stated that Telegram is the opposite of the Russian government and that competitors had made claims to “discredit” the company. He added that two and a half million users have been signing up for the platform daily.

“We’re sort of a threat so I’m not surprised there’s this perception because our competitors spend tens of billions on marketing and they’re known for using PR firms to also engage in campaigns like that,” Durov alleged.

The battle for information

Durov mentioned that he received excessive attention from U.S. security agencies. He noted that one such agency attempted to recruit one of his engineers to create a backdoor into the platform.

Regarding freedom of speech, he stated that the most significant challenges came not from governments, but from major competitors like Apple and Google. “Those two platforms, they could basically censor everything you can read, access on your smartphone,” Durov explained, adding that they had warned Telegram about removal from their stores unless it complied with their guidelines.

He chose the United Arab Emirates as his base because it is a “neutral country” that aims to maintain friendly relations with all and is not aligned with any superpowers, making it an ideal location for a “neutral platform.”

Durov also mentioned that Telegram is used by both opposition campaigners and governments but remains impartial. “The competition of different ideas can result in progress and a better world for everyone,” he said.

Featured image: Canva / TechCrunch

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Suswati Basu
Tech journalist

Suswati Basu is a multilingual, award-winning editor and the founder of the intersectional literature channel, How To Be Books. She was shortlisted for the Guardian Mary Stott Prize and longlisted for the Guardian International Development Journalism Award. With 18 years of experience in the media industry, Suswati has held significant roles such as head of audience and deputy editor for NationalWorld news, digital editor for Channel 4 News and ITV News. She has also contributed to the Guardian and received training at the BBC As an audience, trends, and SEO specialist, she has participated in panel events alongside Google. Her…

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