What is a crisis for WhatsApp is clearly becoming an opportunity for competing instant- messaging apps. Telegram, for example, has reported a surge of more than 25 million new users within a span of 72 hours. Telegram CEO Pavel Durov also took recently detailed an outlook on how the company aims to fund itself in the future.
With the recent surge in the number of users flocking to Telegram, the app now claims to have more than 500 million active users. What is also interesting is the fact that all of Telegram’s new users come from across the world. Durov revealed that 38 per cent of the new additions came from Asia, 27 per cent from Europe, 21 per cent from Latin America and 8 per cent from the Middle East and North Africa.
Durov goes on to write that while they have always seen a rush in the past. This time things have been different. On average, 1.5 million new users are said to have signed up to Telegram per day over the past year.
The future of Telegram
In his message, Durov adds that he sees a general shift in how people use messaging services
“People no longer want to exchange their privacy for free services,” the Telegram CEO said. “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.”
On the point of monetization, Durov had already spoken out a few weeks ago. In order to be able to support the growing number of users, an infrastructure suitable for it must also be paid for. Until now, Durov paid for these expenses himself.
In the future, however, Telegram wants to earn money through advertising, among other things. The current features are to remain free of charge and purely private conversations will not be affected by this. For large “one-to-many” channels, however, the messenger wants to introduce its own advertising platform, “that is user-friendly, respects privacy and allows us to cover the costs of servers and traffic”. Premium stickers could also make the company money in the future.
Telegram and Signal to benefit from WhatsApp’s new terms of service
The latest report from the Telegram chief thus follows similar reports from Signal. A few days ago, the services also reported a rush that briefly caused delays in verification. Both messengers appear to be benefiting from the debacle surrounding WhatsApp’s new terms of service – even though these are not expected to mean any changes for the European region.
This is also reflected in the new features that the messenger has been offering for some time. This is because Signal is obviously positioning itself more strongly as an alternative to WhatsApp and repeatedly alludes to its competitor, which has been battered by the data scandal, with innuendos and also with tutorials for linking groups.