Telegram has reportedly surpassed 500 million monthly active users worldwide on the app.
On Tuesday, Telegram sent users a message saying the service has surpassed 500 million active users, with 25 million new users joining in the past 72 hours alone.
While Telegram did not specify India-specific user numbers, it said 38% of the new users are from Asia, followed by Europe (27%), Latin America (21%) and MENA (Middle East and North Africa at 8%).
Reports citing Sensor Tower data noted that Telegram had 1.5 million new downloads between January 6-10 in India.
“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,” said Telegram’s CEO and Founder Pavel Durov in a recent blogpost.
He said people no longer want to exchange their privacy for free services, and 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.
“You – our users – have been and will always be our only priority. Unlike other popular apps, Telegram doesn’t have shareholders or advertisers to report to. We don’t do deals with marketers, data miners or government agencies,” he added.
The boost in users may have something to do with a change in WhatsApp’s terms of service, which now state that the app will share certain categories of information with Facebook.
On Tuesday, WhatsApp clarified that the changes do not affect the privacy of users’ communication with friends and family, and that WhatsApp cannot see anyone’s private messages or hear their calls.