Evan Spiegel is the co-founder of Snap Inc., he is best known for reportedly rejecting a $3 billion offer from Facebook in 2013 to acquire Snapchat. Snapchat was only 2 years old, and Evan…
They can take our IPs, but they will never take our freedom.
This is the cause championed by Pavel Durov, the founder of Telegram, when the Russian authorities attempted to block Telegram in 2018. Before starting Telegram, Pavel had cloned Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook in Russia while he was still in the university.
Started together with his brother in 2006, the social media platform VK (short for VKontakte) took just a year to surpass 1 million users. His brother, Nikolai Durov, is a genius programmer and mathematician – having won one gold and three silver medals in International Mathematical Olympiad.
VK had reached the 10 million milestone in 2008, overtaking Odnoklassniki to become the most popular social media platform in Russia. That’s why he is widely regarded as the Mark Zuckerberg of Russia.
In 2011, the Russian government requested VK to close anti-Putin pages, but it was rejected by Pavel. This had irritated the Russian government. Even though he declined to sell his shares, Putin’s allies and Mail.ru had managed to acquire VK’s shares from other shareholders.
Dissatisfied with his government, Pavel protested by flying money paper planes, worth USD160 each, out from his office’s window in 2012. It was one of Pavel’s outrageous public stunts, protesting against his government’s policies to suppress the freedom of speech.
When he was being scrutinized, Pavel realized that he didn’t have a safe means of communications, that’s how Telegram started. His brother Nikolai started to design a secure communication system, and Telegram was born in 2013.
The logo with a paper plane flying onwards to the blue sky, has symbolized Telegram as a secure platform that facilitates freedom of speech.
In 2018, the Russian authority attempted to block Telegram’s usage but it had instead affected Viber and other gaming networks. However, Telegram remained available for the majority of Russia’s residents, even though over 15M IP addresses were blocked, according to Pavel.
Pavel declared victory via his famous Instagram post, striving to defend privacy and freedom of speech of his fellow Russians. It was a solid showcase on how secure Telegram is, which is one of the reasons why Telegram is popular not just in Russia, but also in the rest of the world.
Besides being known as an encrypted messaging app, Telegram is popular among the users with its commitment to be free to use, and ads free forever. Telegram can be used across various devices and OS, no limit on the size of your media, offers API for bots connectivity, and many other features.
In fact, Telegram’s user base has been growing at a rate of more than 40% each year since its launch in 2013, hitting 500M users in early 2021. According to Hootsuite, Telegram is the 11th most used social media platform worldwide.
We don’t put a dollar toward marketing or advertising. I think we’re more efficient than Facebook.
Our growth relies solely on our users suggesting to their friends to download and use Telegram.
Interestingly, the legal address of Telegram’s parent company is located in the British Virgin Islands, while its development team is based in Dubai. This is because Pavel had left Russia after being ousted from VK, claiming that the country is incompatible with Internet business at the moment.
Pavel obtained the Saint Kitts and Nevis citizenship through donation and deposits, which allowed him to focus on creating Telegram. It might be Russia’s loss but the Pavel has shone at the world’s stage. Well, literally on stage when he said WhatsApp sucks in public.
It doesn’t matter how many other messaging apps are out there if all of them suck. For me and for most of my team, WhatsApp sucks the most.
We are living in 2015, we are supposed to have flying cars and everything right now. If you have WhatsApp on your phone, your battery is low and your phone goes dead, suddenly you can’t get access to your messages. It’s over.
It doesn’t have cross-devices sync, you can’t send documents or big media. There are a lot of limitations in group chats, in your communications – it’s not private.
Pavel might look like a tech villain but he is a truly brilliant tech icon with his own unique perspectives. Unlike many whose actions are based on profit, Pavel has the background and ability to act based on ideas.