WhatsApp-rival Telegram passes a billion global downloads, India largest market, says report

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Updated: August 31, 2021 5:57 PM

Telegram also hit 214.7 million installs in the first six months of 2021 — up 61 per cent on-year from 133 million in the year-ago period, Sensor Tower said.

Telegram (Reuters)India has emerged as Telegram’s largest market with nearly 22 per cent of lifetime installs. (Photo credit: Reuters)

Telegram has surpassed one billion global downloads, according to Sensor Tower data. The instant messaging app was founded in 2013 and competes against Facebook-owned WhatsApp and Messenger.

According to Sensor Tower, Telegram crossed the billion-download milestone on August 27. WhatsApp, Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, Spotify, Snapchat, and Netflix are other apps that have managed to surpass the one-billion download mark globally.

India has emerged as Telegram’s largest market with nearly 22 per cent of lifetime installs. Russia and Indonesia are next on its market-share list, with 10 per cent and 8 per cent installs, respectively.

Telegram’s installs skyrocketed following outrage over WhatsApp’s decision to update its privacy policy. The developers have also introduced several new features such as group video calls, updated voice chat experience, and screen sharing with sound to attract users.

Telegram also hit 214.7 million installs in the first six months of 2021 — up 61 per cent on-year from 133 million in the year-ago period, Sensor Tower said.

The numbers, however, do not represent the total active users. Last year, Telegram said it had nearly 500 million active monthly users.

WhatsApp’s decision to update its privacy policy earlier this year has been a blessing for Telegram, which has used the negative sentiment towards the Facebook-owned platform to attract users. WhatsApp’s new privacy policy was meant to attract businesses and help subsidiaries of parent Facebook.

Telegram, and competitor Signal, added millions of users amid raging controversy over how WhatsApp’s new policy would affect user privacy. In just three days since WhatsApp announced the policy update, Telegram Founder Pavel Durov said the app added 25 million users. It was also January’s most-downloaded app, Sensor Tower had earlier reported.

Telegram also received a $150-million investment from Mubadala Investment, the Abu Dhabi state fund, and Abu Dhabi Catalyst Partners in March.

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