Between January 6 and 10, the messaging service recorded 1.5 million new downloads in the country.

The Telegram messaging service has crossed the 500 million subscriber mark worldwide and added 25 million new users in the past few days as it gained ground amid the controversy over the latest update to WhatsApp’s privacy policy.

Although Telegram did not specify user numbers specific to India, it said 38% of new users are from Asia, followed by Europe (27%), Latin America (21 %) and the MENA region (Middle East and North Africa at 8%).

In a statement, Telegram said it exceeded 500 million monthly active users in the first week of January, and “has continued to grow with 25 million new users joining Telegram in the last 72 hours alone.”

Reports citing data from Sensor Tower indicated that Telegram recorded 1.5 million new downloads between January 6 and 10 in India.

India is the world’s second largest telecommunications market and the largest consumer of data. As of October 30, 2020, the total phone connections stand at 117 crore, of which 115 crore are mobile connections.

A report by Ericsson had said that Indians were using around 12 GB of data per month on average in 2019, the highest consumption in the world, and this is expected to increase further to reach around 25 GB (gigabytes) per month by 2025. .

In a recent blog post, CEO and founder of Telegram Pavel Durov said the addition of global users has seen a “significant increase” from last year, when 1.5 million new users signed up every day, and with its current growth rate, Telegram is on track to billions of users in the near future.

“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 … With half a billion active users and accelerating growth, Telegram has become the biggest haven for those looking for a communications platform committed to communication. confidentiality and security, ”he said.

Mr. Durov added that the company takes this responsibility very seriously.

“Unlike other popular apps, Telegram has no shareholders or advertisers to report to. We do not deal with marketers, data miners, or government agencies. From our launch in August 2013, we have not disclosed a single byte of our users’ private data to third parties, ”he said.

Apps like Telegram and Signal saw massive increases in downloads and usage after WhatsApp updated its privacy policy which included a controversial change in linking WhatsApp users’ data to other Facebook products and services. .

WhatsApp also said that users will have to agree to the new terms and policy by February 8, 2021, in order to continue using the platform.

This sparked a series of conversations as well as memes across the internet because of WhatsApp’s alleged sharing of user information with Facebook.

WhatsApp, for its part, has sought to allay user concerns, saying its latest policy update does not affect the privacy of messages on the platform.

In a blog post earlier this week, Facebook-owned WhatsApp pointed out that it does not share users’ contact lists or group data with Facebook for advertising purposes.

The blog post was followed on Wednesday by full-page ads in major dailies across the country, where it sought to clarify the changes that were introduced as part of the latest update.

WhatsApp, which has more than 400 million users in India, counts the country among its largest markets in the world.

Signal also hopes to capitalize on the opportunities in India with its “Simple and Straightforward” terms of service and privacy policy.

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