Sci & Tech

Telegram Surpasses 100 Million Users

Telegram Surpasses  100 Million UsersTelegram Surpasses  100 Million Users

Telegram, a messaging app launched by Russian Pavel Durov less than three years ago, has passed 100 million monthly active users, the company announced this week.

Revealing the figure during a keynote at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, Durov also said that the service is now signing up 350,000 new users each day.

Telegram users in 200 countries send 15 billion messages daily, up from 12 billion last September.

“We’re extremely proud and happy that all this growth is 100% organic—we had zero marketing budget,” Durov said during his keynote. “This is a global phenomenon, a global product.”

However, Telegram still has a long way to go to equal its competitors. Facebook-owned WhatsApp recently flew past one billion MAUs, and Facebook Messenger is close to that number too, notes VentureBeat. Telegram passed the marker of 10 million downloads as in early 2014 and reached 60 million active users in May 2015. Telegram, which syncs across all devices, including desktops, and stores messages for free in its cloud, claims to be faster and more user-friendly than its competitors. The protection of user privacy, however, has been presented as one of the app’s key features from the very beginning.

  Founders Pledge

The messenger uses the MTProto, a data transfer protocol developed by Durov’s brother Nikolai. According to Durov, the developers had built the system on the assumption that all communication channels are tapped, and therefore added enough intricacy to its original code to safeguard users against any breach of privacy.

Neither security agencies nor even Telegram’s own systems administrators can get access to user chats, Durov claimed in 2013, something the FBI and CIA are unhappy about.

These assertions seemed sadly confirmed last month when, following the terrorist attacks in Paris, Telegram was pointed out as being a privileged means of communication for militants.

However, not all encryption experts agree with Telegram’s claim of full confidentiality, as reported recently by East-West Digital News. What’s more, in late 2015, Telegram was put under pressure by the Russian authorities to put an end to the “total anonymity” of user exchanges. Durov answered that his company will not allow security agencies to access such content.

“We have not issued and will not issue personal data and encryption keys to third parties,” he wrote.

  Iran Leads

Iranian mobile users remain Telegram's largest group of users, with the app's .me domain registering in at 40 third most visited website inside Iran.

According to Similarweb, Iran now consists of 59.30% of the app's global users, with Russia and the United States following with 3.92% and 6.51% respectively. However, the American figure may be representative of Iranians logging on via VPNs.

The top referring sites, confirming the glut of Iranians using the former Moscow-based app are, in no corresponding order,,,, and, all of which are Iranian content websites.

The top referring social websites for Telegram are Facebook with 58.08%, Twitter with 18.70%, VKontakte 8.17%, Reddit 6.14% and surprisingly Instagram comes in last place with 2.52%.

  Security Issues

Telegram’s lead in the market has not been assured entirely as the application has suffered its share of controversy during summer 2015 with certain official bodies calling for its outright ban citing security issues.

This coincided with attempts to foil the service, something Iran's Telecom Ministry categorically denied it had anything to do with at the time. This led to a tweet by Telegram’s owner, Durov, who said the Iranian government wanted to access customers’ information. Again, the ministry quickly responded: “We did not want to access users’ data, but to control certain illicit activities”, which included the spread of pornographic images.

The country's censors have stated that other illicit channels and groups have been blocked under a new "smart filtering" operation, meaning that only partial segments of the app are no longer accessible.