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Telegram hits WhatsApp where it hurts, crosses 1 bn mark on Google Play Store

Telegram downloads have been hurting WhatsApp especially in 2021 due to the various controversies the Facebook owned app got into and because it crashed for hours recently. WhatsApp users have been migrating to Telegram in droves since then.
Telegram downloads have been hurting WhatsApp especially in 2021 due to the various controversies the Facebook owned app got into and because it crashed for hours recently. WhatsApp users have been migrating to Telegram in droves since then.

Telegram has some really bad news for WhatsApp. It has just crossed the one billion download mark on the Google Play Store. This makes Telegram one of the few messaging services to cross the milestone. Here’s everything you need to know.

Popular messaging service Telegram has crossed the one billion download mark on the Google Play Store, marking a new milestone for the cross-platform messaging app that works on most desktop and mobile devices. This surge in Telegram downloads will be a big worry for WhatsApp, which is the biggest messaging app in the world. The service has seen considerable growth in 2021, especially after WhatsApp introduced new privacy related terms of service earlier this year, and when Facebook’s services experienced an extended outage for hours a couple of weeks ago.

Telegram messaging service is not as popular as WhatsApp in India, but is preferred by younger users especially those who are part of large gaming groups for games like Battlegrounds Mobile India, or for sharing study notes and other reference material. The service is growing in popularity and racked up 32 million and 26 million installs worldwide in March and April 2021 respectively, according to Statista.

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Telegram crosses one billion downloads on the Play Store
Telegram crosses one billion downloads on the Play Store

Popular messaging service Telegram has crossed the one billion download mark on the Google Play Store, marking a new milestone for the cross-platform messaging app that works on most desktop and mobile devices. This surge in Telegram downloads will be a big worry for WhatsApp, which is the biggest messaging app in the world. The service has seen considerable growth in 2021, especially after WhatsApp introduced new privacy related terms of service earlier this year, and when Facebook’s services experienced an extended outage for hours a couple of weeks ago.

Telegram messaging service is not as popular as WhatsApp in India, but is preferred by younger users especially those who are part of large gaming groups for games like Battlegrounds Mobile India, or for sharing study notes and other reference material. The service is growing in popularity and racked up 32 million and 26 million installs worldwide in March and April 2021 respectively, according to Statista.

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Other events, like the recent Facebook outage that took down Messenger, Instagram and Facebook for over six hours saw Telegram’s audience increase by 70 million, according to founder Pavel Durov. Similarly, confusion and panic around WhatsApp’s decision to introduce updated terms of service (that allowed the company to share additional data when users chatted with businesses) also added to Telegram’s considerable userbase.

Telegram has been working on finding methods of sustaining itself and with nearly 500 million active users, the service requires funds to continue working and keep away larger companies like Facebook and Google. The Telegram app is free, which means users do not pay anything for the service. The company’s founder had explained last year that it was working on a method of monetising the app through small sponsored messages in public and one-to-many channels. The service was expected to start displaying these ads in 2021, but they have not yet appeared in any channels so far.

Meanwhile, Durov had also explained in 2020 that the service will remain free as it exists in the future, but certain features might later be made available to paying customers -- essentially a premium tier and that the company was also planning on working with artists to sell premium stickers on the app, as an additional revenue source. It remains to be seen whether Telegram is able to challenge the current market leader, WhatsApp, which has two billion active users and this so without monetising the app.

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