Wednesday, November 29, 2023

The Historical past Of Telegram | Feedough

Since its inception in 2013, Telegram has gained large recognition throughout the globe. The messenger app has been downloaded over 1 billion occasions worldwide, with India, Indonesia & Russia being the international locations with essentially the most installs. Throughout the Russian invasion in 2022, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky relied on Telegram to handle his nation. Even for terrorists, Telegram turned their “app of alternative”!

However how did Telegram turn out to be so huge? Right here’s a quick historical past of Telegram explaining its ideation, recognition and relevance at present.

Who Based Telegram?

Pavel Durov and Nikolai Durov are the founders and homeowners of the messaging app Telegram. The 2 brothers based Telegram in 2013 whereas nonetheless dwelling in Russia.

Famously often called Russia’s Mark Zuckerberg, Pavel Durov is thought for his distinctive gown sense as he solely wears the color “black”, just like the character Neo within the matrix. He describes himself as a libertarian and is on a mission to supply the world with quick, safe, and nameless communication. However the highway to his techno-utopian dream hasn’t at all times been straightforward.

A Little Backstory

It’s the 12 months 2006. Freshly out of St. Petersburg State College, Pavel Durov designs a social platform and names it VKontakte, often known as VK, which is Russian for “in-touch”. Initially conceived as a platform for college college students, VKontakte positive factors recognition among the many normal public and begins welcoming all customers. Seeing this, Nikolai Durov, Pavel’s older brother, joins the corporate as a chief technical officer. Collectively, the Durov brothers work to realize a single aim, i.e. making a model of Fb for Russian our on-line world however solely sooner and higher.

VK had all of the options {that a} typical Fb consumer was acquainted with: a consumer profile, direct messaging, a wall for posting content material and, most significantly, a show of the consumer’s private info. Pavel regarded the web site as a non-anonymous extension to the college discussion board (additionally created by him), out there solely through invitation from different customers. As VK rapidly turned well-liked, the app scraped off the invitation requirement, and its consumer depend began skyrocketing. 

VK Positive factors Momentum  

In lower than a 12 months, VK overturned its home rival Odnoklassniki, changing into the most well-liked social community in Russian our on-line world. Albert Popov, the founding father of Odnoklassniki, believed that this sudden explosion in recognition was partly as a result of VK’s willingness to tolerate specific content material and copyright violations. Whereas Odnoklassniki centered on connecting middle-aged individuals with their former schoolmates, VK developed as a one-stop-shop platform that catered to the younger and hip. Customers went to VK to attach with previous mates, discover new ones, seek for work, or illegally obtain the newest pop album – it was YouTube, Fb and Spotify all rolled into one.

Troubles Start At VK

By the early 2010s, VK had gained over 100 million customers. Its vast attain caught the eye of the Russian authorities. In December 2011, a wave of protests swept the nation, opposing the parliamentary election outcomes. In an try and salvage the scenario, the federal safety service requested VK to close down teams and pages utilizing the positioning to coordinate and rally the protests. Pavel responded to their request by posting an image of a canine in a hooded jacket sticking its tongue out. Group, a Russian tech conglomerate and one in every of VK’s principal backers, was in the meantime trying to take full possession of the corporate. In a now-famous response, Pavel posted a photograph of himself and known as Group a “trash holding firm”.

Durov was subjected to a media smear marketing campaign and accused of misusing firm funds. A video circulated In April 2013 confirmed Pavel behind the wheel of a white Mercedes, working over the foot of a police officer and absconding from the scene, regardless that Pavel claimed he wasn’t driving it. Shortly after, regulation enforcement raids Pavel’s residence and VK’s workplace. Days after the incident, United Capital Companions introduced it had purchased 48% of VK’s fairness. In January 2014, Pavel bought his remaining 12% share to, hung his hat as CEO and left Russia.

The Rise of Telegram

After leaving Russia, the Durov brothers obtained citizenship by donating $250,000 to the nation’s Sugar Trade Diversification Basis.

In August 2013, Pavel pulled the rabbit out of the hat – enter Telegram, an encrypted chat service. It was launched for iOS on August 14 2013 and Android on October 20 2013. Pavel offered the fund and infrastructure for the mission as he reportedly left Russia with reportedly 300$ million after Vkantakte’s buyout. His brother, Nikolai, centered on coding and created the MTProto protocol that’s the foundation for the messenger.

Telegram began as an encrypted messaging system and was primarily based so the Durov brothers may talk between themselves with out the Russian safety providers snooping on them.

Telegram was initially based mostly out of a small Berlin workplace. Nonetheless, the employees uproots to a brand new location from time to time, figuring out of a collection of lodge rooms or lodging rented totally on

The servers of Telegram are unfold throughout the globe, with 5 knowledge centres located in several components of the world, whereas the operations centre is predicated in Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Milestone Options by Telegram

  • Bots: In June of 2015, Telegram launched the Bot API. It created a platform for customers to create and publish their very own bots. Bots exist so as to add options to Telegram and make customers’ lives simpler – bots can deal with funds, average teams, fetch emails and far more.
  • Channels: In September ’15, Telegram launched Channels, a device for broadcasting to the plenty. Channels can have limitless followers, supply view counters for every submit and solely let the admins submit.
  • Supergroups: As WhatsApp elevated its consumer restrict for teams to 1000, Telegram launched the “Supergroups”, which supported as much as 5000 members. In September 2015, Telegram launched channels for broadcasting messages to the plenty. The supergroup’s dimension elevated from 1000 to 5000 members in 2016. Teams levelled up in June ’17, growing the utmost variety of members to 10,000. In Jan ’19, the utmost dimension of teams elevated to 200,000 members.
  • Secret chats: In July 2017, Telegram launched Secret Chats with end-to-end encryption and added a self-destruct timer for photographs and movies to permit customers to ship disappearing media.
  • Passports: In July ’18, Telegram launched Passport as a unified authorisation service for ICOs, monetary providers and different platforms based mostly on real-life ID.
  • Video calls: With 400 million energetic customers, Telegram added video calling with end-to-end encryption like Sign & WhatsApp.
  • Shifting chat historical past from different apps: In Jan ’21, Telegram allowed customers to import previous messages and media from different apps like WhatsApp, Line, and KakaoTalk.

Telegram: The App of Alternative for ISIS

In September 2015, when requested about using Telegram by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS), Pavel Durov acknowledged:

“I believe that privateness, finally, and our proper for privateness is extra necessary than our worry of dangerous issues occurring, like terrorism.”

ISIS really helpful Telegram to its supporters and members, and by October 2015, they managed to double the followers of their official channel to 9,000. In November 2015, Telegram introduced that it had blocked 78 public channels used to unfold ISIS propaganda.

Telegram additional acknowledged that it could block public channels and bots associated to terrorism. Nonetheless, it could not honour “politically-motivated censorship” based mostly on “native restrictions on freedom of speech” and that it allowed “peaceable expression of other opinions.”

Telegram Premium

On June 21, 2022, Telegram launched an non-obligatory paid-for subscription known as Telegram Premium that unlocks extra unique options whereas supporting the event of the Telegram app. It’s part of, as Telegram likes to name it, a sustainable funding initiative that’s pushed by customers and never by shareholders or advertisers.

“Contributions from Premium subscribers will assist enhance and broaden the app for many years to return, whereas Telegram stays free and unbiased, sustaining its values ​​of placing customers first, redefining how a know-how firm ought to work.”, the corporate acknowledged in a weblog submit.

Telegram Vs WhatsApp: The Public Rivalry

Firstly of Jan 2021, WhatsApp introduced an replace to its privateness coverage whereas asking customers to allow sharing their knowledge with their mother or father firm Fb. This sparked a brand new wave of criticism and on-line trolling, particularly on Twitter. Telegram didn’t hesitate to take part and posted the next meme:

This criticism continued additional with a weblog written by Telegram’s founder and CEO Pavel Durov on his Telegram channel. He wrote, “I hear Fb has a complete division dedicated to determining why Telegram is so well-liked. Think about dozens of staff engaged on simply that full-time. I’m blissful to avoid wasting Fb tens of tens of millions of {dollars} and provides away our secret at no cost: respect your customers”. Durov continued within the submit, explaining the discuss happening about WhatApp’s new privateness coverage.

On October 6, 2022, Pavel despatched out a public message on his Telegram channel the place he warned individuals to “keep away from WhatsApp”. He ended the message by saying, “I’m not pushing individuals to change to Telegram right here. With 700M+ energetic customers and 2M+ every day signups, Telegram doesn’t want extra promotion. You should utilize any messaging app you want, however do keep away from WhatsApp – it has now been a surveillance device for 13 years.”

Telegram Key Statistics

Telegram annual customers since 2014 to 2021:


Month-to-month Lively Customers (MAUs)

March 2014

35 million

December 2014

50 million

September 2015

60 million

February 2016

100 million

December 2017

180 million

March 2018

200 million

October 2019

300 million

April 2020

400 million

January 2021

500 million

July 2021

550 million

Sources: (Telegram, Statista)

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