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Telegram to hit 1bn users in a year, founder says

Telegram founder Pavel Durov believes the messaging app will have 1 billion users soon, and chose Dubai for his new base as it is 'neutral' Reuters
Telegram founder Pavel Durov believes the messaging app will have one billion users soon, and chose Dubai for his new base as it is 'neutral'
  • Telegram is based in Dubai
  • App is ‘not a player in geopolitics’
  • Founder chose ‘neutral’ UAE

Telegram, the messaging platform based in Dubai, will have one billion active monthly users within the next year, its founder Pavel Durov said on Tuesday.

The app has 900 million active users at the moment.

It aims to remain a “neutral platform” and not a “player in geopolitics,” Durov said during a recent video interview with US journalist Tucker Carlson.

The Russian-born entrepreneur fled his home country in 2014 citing government interference in VK, another company he founded.

He said he considered Berlin, London, Singapore and San Francisco as alternative bases but it was difficult “to hire global talent in those places because of the bureaucracy”. 

Durov said he opted for the UAE as it was a “neutral country” that was not aligned with any superpowers. 

The app has gained significant importance, especially after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in 2022.

It is now used by governments and individuals in Russia and Ukraine to share unfiltered information about the war.

Both countries have major media, government and public figures using Telegram for communication and updates.

Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelenskyy shares daily video addresses on the platform, while Russia’s Kremlin announces president Vladimir Putin’s activities on it.

Telegram is most likely to target Hong Kong for its potential listing, experts told AGBI in March.

Durov said in a Financial Times interview that a potential IPO is a way to “democratise access” to Telegram’s assets.

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