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Telegram crosses 500 million subscriber mark led by user additions in Asia

Messaging service Telegram crossed 500-million subscriber mark globally and added 25 million new users in the last few days as it gained ground amid the controversy over WhatsApp’s latest privacy policy update.

While Telegram did not specify India-specific user numbers, it said 38 per cent of the new users are from Asia, followed by Europe (27 per cent), Latin America (21 per cent) and MENA (Middle East and North Africa at 8 per cent).

In a statement, Telegram said it surpassed 500 million monthly active users in the first week of January, and “has continued to grow with 25 million new users joining Telegram in the last 72 hours alone”.

Reports citing Sensor Tower data indicated that Telegram had 1.5 million new downloads between January 6-10 in India.

India is the world’s second-largest telecom market and the biggest consumer of data. As on October 30, 2020, the total telephone connections stood at 117 crore, of which 115 crore were mobile connections.

A report by Ericsson had stated that Indians used about 12 GB data per month on an average in 2019, the highest consumption globally, and this is expected to rise even further to about 25 GB (gigabytes) per month by 2025.

In a recent blogpost, Telegram CEO and founder Pavel Durov said global user addition has seen a “significant increase” compared to last year when 1.5 million new users signed up every day, and that with its current growth rate, Telegram is on track to reach billions of users in the near future.