Instant messaging app, Telegram, has recorded a surge in the last 72 hours following a mass exodus form users on Whatsapp.
Pavel Durov, Telegram’s Russian founder, said the platform recorded 25 million new users in the last 72 hours and as of January, has 500 million monthly users.
“In the first week of January, Telegram surpassed 500 million monthly active users. After that it kept growing: 25 million new users joined Telegram in the last 72 hours alone,” said Mr Durov, adding that new users came from across the globe.
Out of the subscriptions,38 percent came from Asia, 27 per cent from Europe, 21 per cent from Latin America and 8 per cent from Middle East and North Africa region.
Mr Durov attributed the surge in subscriptions to users’ need for more privacy. This comes following Whatsapp’s recent policy update that highlighted their intent to share data with Facebook.
“People no longer want to exchange their privacy for free services. They no longer want to be held hostage by tech monopolies that seem to think they can get away with anything as long as their apps have a critical mass of users,” he said.
Telegram has benefited from Whatsapp policy update which is set to take effect on February 8, 2021. Users have to agree to the terms or delete their Whatsapp accounts.
“With half a billion active users and accelerating growth, Telegram has become the largest refuge for those seeking a communication platform committed to privacy and security. We take this responsibility very seriously. We won’t let you down,” he added.
Both Telegram and messaging app, Signal have recorded increased subscriptions this week. Tesla Founder Elon Musk, was among notable personalities who tweeted, urging users to join Signal in place of Whatsapp. As a result, many users thronged the app.
“Verification codes are currently delayed across several providers because so many new people are trying to join Signal right now (we can barely register our excitement),” said Signal in a tweet on Thursday.
Whatsapp issued a clarification on Tuesday letting users know that their privacy was still guaranteed.
“We want to be clear that the policy update does not affect the privacy of your messages with friends or family in any way. Instead, this update includes changes related to messaging a business on WhatsApp, which is optional, and provides further transparency about how we collect and use data,” said WhatsApp on its blog.