Telegram gets 25 million new users in just 3 days thanks to WhatsApp privacy policy controversy

Highlights
  • Telegram now has over 500 million active users on its platform. 
  • Over 25 million people joined Telegram in the past 72 hours alone. 
  • 38 percent of the new users were from Asia, 27 percent from Europe, 21 percent from Latin America, and 8 percent from Middle East and North America

Ever since WhatsApp updated its privacy policy that called for tighter integration between the messaging platform and its parent company Facebook, people have been flocking to competitors in droves. WhatsApp’s competitors such as Telegram and Signal saw a massive uptick in the number of active users. Telegram now claims that it crossed the 500 million active users mark, with 25 million of them having joined the platform in the past 72 hours. Telegram founder Pavel Durov said 38 percent of the new users were from Asia, 27 percent from Europe, 21 percent from Latin America, and 8 percent from MENA (the Middle East and North America). This is a significant increase compared to last year when 1.5 million new users signed up every day.

Despite the seemingly meteoric rise in Telegram’s user base, it still pales in comparison to WhatsApp, which is estimated to have as many as 2 billion users worldwide. It’ll be interesting to see just how much WhatsApp’s user base was affected by these new policy changes. Realistically speaking, it shouldn’t be very significant, as a good chunk of users and businesses will still continue to use WhatsApp due to familiarity and ease of use. WhatsApp even issued a statement to clear the air around its new policies.  

Also read: Don’t like the new WhatsApp privacy policy? Here are 5 WhatsApp alternatives to consider

Throughout its seven-year history, Telegram has consistently remained several steps ahead of WhatsApp in terms of features. For example, Telegram support E2E (end-to-end) encryption well before WhatsApp, along with loads of other features like stickers, the ability to embed GIFs, and more. Furthermore, Telegram lets users communicate with each other without a phone number, which adds an extra layer of privacy.