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Founder of new growing app says it will have a billion active users next year

Founder of new growing app says it will have a billion active users next year

Meta and Google have some competition.

The world of online messaging and daily scrolling of feeds isn't short of choice.

One of the options to choose from is popular enough to be used by millions but it's probably not the app you use to message your close ones.

Passing 800 million monthly active users in 2023, Telegram Messenger is one of the top five most downloaded apps in the world.

According to its founder and billionaire Pavel Durov, Telegram is spreading like a "forest fire".

Telegram will show off a billion active monthly users "within a year", Durov predicted on Tucker Carlson's show.

NurPhoto / Contributor / Getty
NurPhoto / Contributor / Getty

The messaging app is particularly known for its strong encryption.

Users can send private messages and post updates on a social feed, similar to platforms like X.

The entrepreneur said he came up with the idea of an encrypted messaging app as a way to communicate securely while in his home country of Russia. His younger brother, Nikolai, designed the encryption technology for the app.

Durov, with an estimated net worth of $17 billion, left his country in 2014 after facing pressure to censor his then-social network, VK.

Telegram was blocked in Russia in 2018 after the company refused to hand over encryption data. However, the ban didn't stop people from using the app and so the app was back in action two years later.

Today, Telegram has 900 million users and is unsurprisingly popular in Russia and former Soviet countries.

Tim Robberts / Getty
Tim Robberts / Getty

It stands as a major player among the greats of Facebook, YouTube, WhatsApp, Instagram, TikTok and WeChat.

"The competition of different ideas can result in progress and a better world for everyone," Durov said.

He aims to keep Telegram a neutral platform in the dynamic market of social media, comparing it to the likes of Meta's WhatsApp which may boast over two billion monthly active users but it is hardly "neutral".

According to the Telegram CEO, it's not the governments that are the threat to free speech but tech giants like Google and Apple that censor content.

"Those [Google and Apple] two platforms, they could basically censor everything you can read, access on your smartphone," Durov said.

Moreover, Durov added that both companies threatened to remove Telegram from their stores if it failed to comply with their guidelines.

Perhaps we'll see a shift in default popular apps to the privacy-focused Telegram.

Featured Image Credit: NurPhoto / Contributor / Tim Robberts / Getty