Telegram Russian Founder Says Messaging App to Cross 1 Billion User Mark Soon as It Continues to Remain a 'Neutral Platform'

By Jace Dela Cruz

Apr 18, 2024 02:18 AM EDT

Popular messaging app Telegram will soon cross one billion active monthly users, according to its Russian-born billionaire founder Pavel Durov. 

This photo taken on March 23, 2022 shows the mobile messaging and call service Telegram logo on a smartphone screen in Moscow.
(Photo : AFP via Getty Images)

Telegram Nears 1 Billion Active Users

According to Reuters, Telegram now has 900 million active users. Pavel Durov, who left Russia in 2014 after disagreements with the Kremlin-linked owners of his VK social media platform, said the app will surpass one billion active users within a year as it spreads like a "forest fire."

In a recent interview with American journalist Tucker Carlson, Durov said: "We'll probably cross one billion monthly active users within a year now... Telegram is spreading like [a] forest fire." 

Despite pressure from some governments, Durov noted that the Dubai-based Telegram would remain a "neutral platform" and not a "player in geopolitics."

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Emergence of Telegram During Russia's Invasion of Ukraine

With a fortune estimated at $15.5 billion by Forbes, Pavel Durov is determined to uphold Telegram's status as a platform for communication.

Following Russia's invasion of Ukraine in 2022, Telegram has emerged as a primary source of unfiltered information from both sides regarding the war and the politics surrounding it.

Thus, many have raised concerns about its role in disseminating content due to the potential spread of graphic and misleading information. However, Durov said Telegram would remain a "neutral platform" and take no sides on opposition campaigners and governments who used the app.

He noted that the "competition of different ideas can result in progress and a better world for everyone." Durov added that he had chosen the United Arab Emirates as it was a "neutral country" that was not aligned with any superpowers.

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