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Telegram says 25 million joined in last 72 hours as it crosses 500 million users

Telegram has been receiving a surge in numbers as people are looking for alternative messaging apps after WhatsApp announced an update to its privacy terms on January 6, 2021.

Telegram founder Pavel Durov announced on Telegram on January 12 (Kenyan time) that 25 million new users joined the platform in the preceding 72 hours.

“In the past 72 hours alone, more than 25 million new users from around the world joined Telegram. Thank you! These milestones were made possible by users like you who invite their friends to Telegram. If you have contacts that joined in the last few days, you can welcome them using one of Telegram’s unique features, such as an animated sticker or a video message.” Pavel Durov said.

“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.

Both Telegram and 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.

The new users came from all around the world — 38 percent from Asia, 27 percent from Europe, 21 percent from Latin America, and 8 percent from the Middle East and North America. This is a huge surge, considering that Telegram’s rate of new sign-ups in 2020 was 1.5 million daily.

The WhatsApp announcement resulted in a backlash on Social media, forcing Facebook to clarify that the changes do not affect the privacy of private messages which are encrypted.

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It added that the update will include “changes related to messaging a business on WhatsApp”.

Under these changes, information gleaned from WhatsApp messages sent to businesses can be used for marketing purposes, including advertising on Facebook and personalizing shopping activity on Facebook.