In the first half of January 2021, Telegram saw a major increase in active users count. As per the Telegram CEO Pavel Durov’s statement, the number of users in this popular app inside the crypto industry has crossed the 500 million user mark.

In the first week of January, a huge surge of people applied to Telegram. From 10 January 2021 till this writing, more than 25 million people have joined this service. As for the geographical density, the new users are very spread out in the world. Most, though, are situated in Asia (38%), followed by Europe (27%), Latin America (21%), and the Mena region of North Africa and the Middle East (8%).

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Reason for the new user growth

Reportedly, Whatsapp issued some new privacy policy changes for its users. The likely cause for Telegram user numbers’ growth is due to this change in their rival app’s rules. According to reports, the new privacy policy update states users must share their private data with Facebook. After doing so with the parent firm, one can use Whatsapp or not at all.

Notably, this may have prompted the users to look for alternate messaging applications. Naturally, most people would not feel comfortable with exposing their personal data to tech companies. So, they are preferring to leave Whatsapp and sign-up for privacy-centric options like Signal and Telegram. Indeed, these apps are very protective of personal data and allow encrypted chats to their users.

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The CEO’s comments on the phenomenon

The Telegram CEO has commented on this, stating people are not interested in giving their privacy away for free services. Because of this act by tech monopolies to control their users, people are adapting to secure platforms like Telegram instead. In 2020, Telegram saw 1.5 million new sign-ups every day. But, the massive surge in 2021 is different. Durov further mentions the possibility of monetizing the app for users who need advanced features and business teams.