Telegram sees number of users increase by 25 million in 72 hours: more about privacy

A huge increase in the number of users for chat app Telegram. After Facebook has announced that the privacy policy at WhatsApp will be overhauled. Signal previously benefited, now we see a sharp increase at Telegram.

Number of Telegram users is increasing

Last week it was news that the WhatsApp conditions are being changed. This gives Facebook more options for collecting data. Yesterday WhatsApp waved a hand in the air, because it would all be different. Your WhatsApp chats would remain private and would not be visible to Facebook.

Yet a large group of users no longer trust it. Last week it was announced that Signal saw a significant increase in the number of users. In many countries, Signal is # 1 on the Google Play Store app charts. Now Telegram has also let go. Telegram CEO Pavel Durov reports that as many as 25 million new users have signed up in 72 hours. This brings the number of active users to 500 million. 27 percent of new users come from Europe. According to Durov, Telegram is loved for its end-to-end encryption.

Clarity

Durov also shares some myths about Telegram, just to shed some light.

Myth 1. “Telegram’s code is not open-source”. In reality, all Telegram client apps have been open source since 2013 [3]. Our encryption and API are fully documented and have been reviewed by security experts thousands of times. Moreover, Telegram is the only messaging app in the world that has verifiable builds both for iOS and Android [4]. As for WhatsApp, they intentionally obfuscate their code, making it impossible to verify their encryption and privacy.

Myth 2. “Telegram is Russian”. In fact, Telegram has no servers or offices in Russia and was blocked there from 2018 to 2020 [5]. Telegram is still blocked in some authoritarian countries such as Iran, while WhatsApp and other “supposedly secure” apps have never had any issue in these places.

Myth 3. Telegram is not encrypted. Every chat on Telegram has been encrypted since launch. We have Secret Chats that are end-to-end and Cloud Chats that also offer real-time secure and distributed cloud storage [6]. WhatsApp, on the other hand, had zero encryption for a few years, and then adopted an encryption protocol funded by the US Government [7]. Even if we assume that the WhatsApp encryption is solid, it’s invalidated via multiple backdoors and reliance on backups [8].

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