The surge in Telegram downloads came shortly after WhatsApp introduced new privacy terms. The new rules allow more data to be shared with parent company Facebook. The changes have drawn criticism because users outside Europe who do not agree to the terms before February 8 will be barred from the app.
"People don't want to give up their privacy for free services anymore," Durow said, without specifically referring to WhatsApp. Telegram is the "biggest sanctuary" for those seeking a private and secure communication platform, he added. Durow assured users that his team "takes this responsibility very seriously."
The messaging app was founded in 2013 by brothers Pavel and Nikolai Durov, who also launched the Russian online network VKontakte. Because Telegram refuses to cooperate with authorities and share encryption, the app is banned in Russia and elsewhere. (SDA)