Telegram Messaging App Set to Reach 1 Billion Users Within a Year

Telegram, founded by Russian billionaire Pavel Durov, is projected to hit 1 billion users within a year, highlighting its role as a major source of uncensored information, but also facing criticism for enabling misinformation.

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Bijay Laxmi
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Telegram Messaging App Set to Reach 1 Billion Users Within a Year

Telegram Messaging App Set to Reach 1 Billion Users Within a Year

Telegram, the popular messaging app founded by Russian-born billionaire Pavel Durov, is projected to surpass 1 billion active monthly users within the next year. Currently boasting 900 million active users, Telegram has seen rapid growth and is now one of the major social media platforms globally.

Durov, who left Russia in 2014 after refusing to comply with demands to shut down opposition communities on his previous social media platform VK, says Telegram is "spreading like a forest fire" and that the app will remain a neutral platform, not taking sides in geopolitics. He chose the United Arab Emirates as Telegram's home base, viewing it as a neutral country not aligned with any superpowers.

Since Russia's invasion of Ukraine in 2022, Telegram has become an instrumental tool for both governments and a preferred platform for posting and obtaining uncensored information about the war. Major media outlets, government entities, and public figures operate content channels on the app. However, Telegram has also faced criticism for enabling the spread of misinformation and manipulation.

Why this matters: Telegram's rapid growth and influence, particularly in the former Soviet republics, highlights its role as a major source of unfiltered and sometimes misleading content about global events like the war in Ukraine. The app's commitment to neutrality and free speech has drawn both praise and scrutiny, with some governments seeking stricter regulation of the platform.

Telegram's main rival, WhatsApp, has over 2 billion monthly active users. Durov said Telegram has faced pressure from some governments, as well as challenges from major tech platforms like Apple and Google, which have the power to censor content on their app stores. Despite these challenges, Telegram continues to expand its user base and introduce new features for group conversations, such as the ability to publish stories and customize the appearance of group profiles.

Key Takeaways

  • Telegram projected to surpass 1 billion active users in a year, currently at 900 million.
  • Telegram founded by Russian billionaire Pavel Durov, who left Russia in 2014 over censorship.
  • Telegram used extensively for uncensored information on Russia-Ukraine war, but also criticized for misinformation.
  • Telegram committed to neutrality and free speech, facing pressure from governments and tech platforms.
  • Telegram's main rival WhatsApp has over 2 billion monthly active users.