Until a few months ago I didn’t know anything about the instant messaging app Telegram. In fact, I came to know about it when I was writing about how the Islamic State is/was using Telegram to send encrypted messages to each other in the wake of the Paris attacks and how the Anonymous hacking group was trying to make life a bit difficult for the Islamic State cyber cell. In India we mostly use WhatsApp and these days people have also started using Facebook Messenger, but the problem with Facebook Messenger is that, I don’t know why, it seems a bit claustrophobic, at least to me. This is not the case with WhatsApp. There is ample space around, maybe it’s the font type that is used or the general ergonomic arrangement, or whatever.
Anyway, the instant messaging app telegram has crossed the 100 million monthly active users mark according to the latest company blog post. The blog post also tells that 350,000 new users are signing up every day and 15 billion messages are delivered daily. There has been a 60% growth in the Telegram active users numbers in the past 9 months. WhatsApp on the other hand has over 1 billion monthly active users and even Facebook Messenger is somewhat touching that figure but considering the fact that Telegram is relatively new and right now it doesn’t have the backing of a big company, this growth is quite good.
Telegram now has 100,000,000 monthly active users, 350,000 new users join daily. Thank you for spreading the word! https://t.co/0FN7J9Fl1v
— Telegram Messenger (@telegram) February 23, 2016
The basic reason why many people prefer Telegram over something like WhatsApp is its focus on encryption. Telegram uses the MTProto protocol to encrypt Telegram servers. If you don’t like people around you knowing what you are chatting about, you can have secret chat in Telegram. You can also schedule a time when you Telegram messages are automatically deleted.
The biggest growth spurt experienced by Telegram was when recently Brazil banned WhatsApp. There were 1 million signups in a single day in Brazil alone. Another reason why many people are using Telegram is that they don’t want to use an instant messaging app owned by Facebook or any other big company.