Telegram hits 500 million active users as millions flock from WhatsApp

Telegram (Image credit: Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Telegram has reached 500 active million users this week.
  • The company says it says 25 million users join over the past 72 hours
  • Migration to more privacy-focused messaging apps accelerated this week as Facebook's new terms of service created fears over WhatsApp user data

Messaging app Telegram today hit 500 million users, a milestone the company had been inching towards slowly ever since it crossed 400 million users back in 2020. While it was always going to get here inevitably, the company attributed this growth to massive uptake over the past 72 hours, with more than 25 million new users signing up within that time frame.

It's very likely that this is a direct response to the backlash against Facebook over its new terms of service for WhatsApp. The company last week issued a notice tying the user data closer to its parent company in countries outside of Europe. Facebook later issued statement after statement to assuage people's fears, but this has failed to deter the mass uptake of rival services like Telegram and Signal.

Telegram for its part has promised to remain private and free in the long-term even as the company moved towards monetizing its product.

Writing in Telegram, CEO Pavel Durov specifically called out WhatsApp as an example of a path he did not want to go down on:

We are not going to sell the company like the founders of Whatsapp. The world needs Telegram to stay independent as a place where users are respected and high-quality service is ensured. Telegram must continue to serve the world as an example of a tech company that strives for perfection and integrity. And, as the sad examples of our predecessors show, that is impossible if you become part of a corporation.

Have you switched to Telegram from WhatsApp? Let us know in the comments below.

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An excellent messaging app that keeps getting better, Telegram is the WhatsApp competitor that you should be using. With slick animations and a lovely design, it's an experience you'll enjoy if your friends are already on the app.

Michael Allison
  • My friends flocked there. Like they did with Parlar, I will not follow
  • Good luck with facebook selling your WhatsApp data to the highest bidder.
  • But this Facebook thing doesn't include Europe or the UK currently does it?
  • No, because of GPDR
  • GDPR only has jurisdiction in 27 of the 50 countries in Europe, and The UK isn't own of them.
  • The UK yes. Do you mean The EU or Europe? - EU = 27 countries
    Europe = 50 countries Quite the dfference.
  • No it doesn't include the UK as we're still in the EU technically. BUT that might change when UK falls under US rule later in the year because of Brexit
  • I made the switch to Telegram. Even without the privacy issue , it's just a better all around app
  • White supremacist are flocking there
  • Listen up, I don't know why your particular comment has riled me so much but understand this...I'm a white, English, hetrosexual male who works with 3 black guys from African nations, an Indian lady, a Pakistani lady a black nurse from Africa and I consider ALL of them friends and EQUALS! This white supremacy bullshi7 applies to a vocal MINORITY and not the vast majority of the white male population OK??? There are always extremists in all walks of life but they will always be in the minority and not the voice of every person in the particular group they claim to represent. If you haven't done so already take a read of ALL of Martin Luther king's 'i have a dream' speech, he is calling for all people to come together under God where all races and colours live in peace with each other! I appologise to you personally because this is not an attack on you it's simply a reply to your sweeping statement that all white men have a sense of superiority over other people groups. Simply not true.
  • Talk about a knee jerk reaction. No where in his comment did he say ALL white people are white supremacists. He said white supremacists are flocking there. HUGE difference. This is why I cannot stand the current social climate. People quick to put words in other people's mouths , project and get overly defensive.
    Your comment seems more reflective of your own insecurities. If you are a white male who isn't racist at all then that comment or this one should not even make you upset al all. You should inherently know it's not about you unless english isn't your first language or you are from another culture, then I can understand not being able to tell the difference.
  • It doesn't include iMessage and Google Chat (RCS) oddly but still interesing:
  • The mob is going to get this service shut down next, they're already frothing over it.
  • Switched to Signal (instead of Telegram) they are also getting a massive influx of users.
  • Of the people bothered enough to switch. Half are going to Signal the other half to Telegram. All they're doing is making it even harder for people to stay in tough with each other 😂. I ain't switching, neither is my entire social circle or collegues