With over 63 million installs, Telegram became the most downloaded non-gaming app in the world in January 2021, overtaking Tiktok. According to app analytics firm Sensor Towers, India recorded the largest number of installs at 24%, followed by Indonesia at 10%. The evolution and success of this cloud-based instant messaging app is quite a story.
What led to the surge?
Telegram was started in 2013 by the brothers Nikolai and Pavel Durov, the creators of VKontakte known as VK, the largest social networking site of Russia. Nikolai created the MTProto protocol that is the basis for the messenger, while Pavel provided financial support and infrastructure through his Digital Fortress fund, with partner Axel Neff joining as a second co-founder.
Even though WhatsApp has more than 1.3 billion users worldwide, the features offered by Telegram like secret chat, self-destructing messages, encrypted backup ensure more secured chats. Apart from security features, Telegram is also ahead of WhatsApp in terms of other features like Dark Mode and larger group capacity. Every month Telegram added a new feature that seems to really understand what people want or need. Besides all this, it seems to be the only real competition to the giant owned by Facebook. Positioning of the product played the most vital role in Telegram’s success. In the beginning of 2010, there was a lot of news about leaks of personal data, spying on users and abusive use of users’ personal data. The company took advantage of the situation with the request for secured online services and branded the product, hence creating a unique identity.