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Telegram Hits 1 Billion Users Within a Year

MOSCOW: Pavel Durov, the billionaire founder of Telegram, expects the messaging app to surpass one billion monthly users within a year, likening its rapid growth to a “forest fire.” Durov, who resides in Dubai, launched Telegram after leaving Russia in 2014 following a dispute over government demands to censor content on his VK social media platform.Telegram

In an interview with US journalist Tucker Carlson shared on the X social media platform, Durov revealed Telegram’s current user base of 900 million and predicted significant further expansion. Despite governmental pressures, Durov emphasized Telegram’s commitment to neutrality in geopolitics.

Telegram’s primary competitor, WhatsApp, boasts over two billion monthly users. Reports suggest that Telegram may seek a US listing once it becomes profitable.

Particularly influential in former Soviet republics, Telegram ranks among the major social media platforms globally. Since Russia invaded Ukraine in 2022, Telegram has become a key source of uncensored, albeit sometimes graphic and misleading, information about the conflict.

Durov conceived the idea of an encrypted messaging app under Russian government scrutiny. He left Russia to ensure independence from governmental influence and dismissed rumours of Russian control over Telegram as baseless.

Durov highlighted challenges to freedom of speech posed by major tech companies like Apple and Google, who can restrict access to apps through their stores. He chose the UAE for Telegram’s base due to its neutrality and openness to all nations.

Telegram remains a platform open to all viewpoints, serving both opposition movements and governments without taking sides. Durov values personal freedom over material possessions, opting not to accumulate significant wealth beyond cryptocurrencies.

–Reuters

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