Telegram, a cloud-based messaging app developed by Russian entrepreneur Pavel Durov, gained more than 70 million new customers in one day in Oct. 2021. The jump in membership was due to a Facebook outage that left users of WhatsApp, Messenger, and Instagram scrambling for a messaging service.
The six-hour outage drew attention to the problems with relying on a single service provider for essential technology. “The daily growth rate of Telegram exceeded the norm by an order of magnitude, and we welcomed over 70 million refugees from other platforms in one day,” founder Durov wrote on his Telegram channel at the time.
Pavel Durov Is the Owner of Telegram
In 2013, Telegram was launched. According to the company's website, Pavel “supports Telegram financially and ideologically while Nikolai’s input is technological.” Nikolai Durov, Pavel’s brother, created the unique custom data protocol for Telegram. In 2018, the Durov brothers together raised $1.7 billion from investors to create TON, a new blockchain system based on Telegram.
What are the top features of Telegram?
Groups of up to 200,000 members.
Access to chats across multiple devices.
Send messages, photos, videos, and files of any type.
Option for device-specific secret chats with self-destruction of content.
Open API and code so users can create their own Telegram apps.
Uses less than 100 MB on your device.
Private messaging is free with no ads.
Antitrust Issues in Technology Companies
Antitrust chief of the EU Margrethe Vestager has said the outage showed the dangers of relying on just a few big players and that competition in the space is urgently needed. In 2021, she proposed the Digital Markets Act (DMA) to force major tech companies to change their business models to allow more competition.
“We need alternatives and choices in the tech market, and must not rely on a few big players, whoever they are, that's the aim of (the) DMA,” tweeted Vestager.
Both Sides Are Using Telegram in Ukrainian War
In 2019, Telegram was banned in Russia when Durov refused user data access to the Kremlin. As a result, protestors came out in support of Durov's decision. Eventually, the app was reinstated two years later and is currently being utilized in the war in Ukraine because of its security features.
Durov made a Telegram post in March 2022 explaining his desire to keep Ukrainian users' data safe, saying, "When I defied [the Kremlin's] demands, the stakes were high for me personally. I stand for our users no matter what. Their right to privacy is sacred."