The Telegram messaging app has seen an increase in the number of new users joining the platform, the company said.

Telegram surpassed 500 million monthly active users in the first week of January. The platform had 25 million new users joining Telegram in the past 72 hours alone, Telegram CEO and founder Pavel Durov said in a blog post posted on his Telegram channel on Tuesday.

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Of this total, 38% of users were from Asia, 27% from Europe, 21% from Latin America and 8% from the MENA region (Middle East and North Africa).

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Amid growing concerns over WhatsApp’s new privacy policy and its sharing of some user data with Facebook, apps like Telegram and Signal have seen a significant increase in the number of new downloads.

In a recent blog post, Durov said, “This is a significant increase from last year when 1.5 million new users signed up every day. We’ve had surges in downloads before, throughout our 7 year history of protecting user privacy. But this time it’s different.

“People no longer want to trade their privacy for free services. They no longer want to be held hostage by tech monopolies who seem to think they can get away with anything as long as their apps have a critical mass of users, ”said Durov, criticizing WhatsApp.

WhatsApp clarification

WhatsApp, meanwhile, released additional clarifications on its new policy update with an FAQ page detailing the changes.

The platform stressed that user chats will remain end-to-end encrypted and that the changes will not affect the privacy of messages sent to friends or family.

“We want to be clear that updating the policy does not in any way affect the privacy of your messages with your friends or family. Instead, this update includes changes related to sending messages to a business on WhatsApp, which is optional and provides additional transparency on how we collect and use data, ”it reads. FAQ page on the new update.