Telegram (messaging service)

Telegram (messaging service)

Free cross-platform messenger

Telegram is a cloud-based instant messaging and voice over IP service developed by Telegram Messenger LLP, a privately held company registered in London, United Kingdom, founded by Russian entrepreneur Pavel Durov and his brother Nikolai.

Telegram client apps are available for Android, iOS, Windows Phone, Windows, and MacOS. Users can send messages and exchange photos, videos, stickers, audio and files of any type. Telegram's client-side code is open-source software but the source code for recent versions is not always immediately published, whereas its server-side code is closed-source and proprietary.

The service also provides APIs to independent developers. In March 2018, Telegram stated that it had 200 million monthly active users. According to its CEO, as of April 2017, Telegram's annual growth rate was greater than 50%.Messages and media in Telegram are only client-server encrypted and stored on the servers by default.

The service provides end-to-end encryption for voice calls, and optional end-to-end encrypted "secret" chats between two online users, yet not for groups or channels.Telegram's security model has received notable criticism by cryptography experts.

They criticized the general security model of permanently storing all contacts, messages and media together with their decryption keys on its servers by default and by not enabling end-to-end encryption for messages by default. Pavel Durov has argued that this is because it helps to avoid third-party unsecure backups, and to allow users to access messages and files from any device.

Cryptography experts have furthermore criticized Telegram's use of a custom-designed encryption protocol that has not been proven reliable and secure.Telegram has faced censorship or outright bans in some countries over accusations that the app's services have been used to facilitate illegal activities, such as protests and terrorism, as well as declining demands to facilitate government access to user data and communications.




Pavel Durov

Further reading


Documentaries, videos and podcasts





Financial Times
July 30, 2020
Ars Technica
Messaging company is latest company to criticize restrictions and fees.
July 27, 2020
WhatsApps closest rival Telegram has rolled out a substantial update, adding Profile Videos along with improved People Nearby features, unlimited file sharing with up to 2GB per file and more
Rita Katz
July 9, 2020
Telegram booting far right groups from their hub disproves the idea that rampant Neo-Nazi terrorist recruitment is inevitable in the internet age
July 7, 2020
The policy changes follow the rollout last week of laws prohibiting what Beijing views as secessionist, subversive or terrorist activities, or as foreign intervention in internal affairs
Press Trust of India
July 6, 2020
Changes follow the roll out last week of laws that prohibit what Beijing views as secessionist, subversive, or terrorist activities, as well as foreign intervention in the citys internal affairs
Jonathan Shieber
June 26, 2020
Pavel Durov's grand cryptocurrency dreams for his Telegram messaging service are ending with a $18.5 million civil settlement with the US Securities and Exchange Commission and a pledge to return the more than $1.2 billion that investors had put into its TON digital token. The settlement ends a months long legal battle between the company [...]
Rita Liao
June 22, 2020
The encrypted instant messenger Telegram said on Monday it's ramping up efforts to develop anti-censorship technologies serving users in countries where it is banned or partially blocked, including China and Iran. "Over the course of the last two years, we had to regularly upgrade our 'unblocking' technology to stay ahead of the censors... We don't [...]
Pranob Mehrotra
June 5, 2020
The latest update for Telegram brings a new video editor, support for animated GIFs, a new video player on Android, and more.


Golden logo
Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0; additional terms apply. By using this site, you agree to our Terms & Conditions.