Telegram’s enigmatic founder Pavel Durov revealed that the number of Telegram Premium subscribers has crossed the 5 million mark. This figure, while falling short of Durov’s earlier minimum target of 20 million, demonstrates a remarkable surge from 4 million in just one month. The journey from 4 to 5 million took a mere fraction of the time it took to reach the initial 4 million, emphasizing a notable acceleration in the growth rate of Telegram Premium users.
Durov, known for his “non-Russian” stance, personally shared this update, underlining the significant progress made in a short span. Despite the shortfall from the initial target, the achievement signifies a rapid adoption of Telegram’s premium features.
Interestingly, a Telegram representative recently declared the company’s lack of assets in Russia, raising eyebrows over Russia’s sudden cancellation of fines imposed by local courts. This development mirrored similar actions taken against other tech giants like Google, YouTube, Meta, and TikTok, leading to speculation about mysterious disappearances from the state register of debtors.
Telegram introduced its paid subscription in mid-June 2022, and Durov marked the crossing of 4 million premium subscribers in December 2022. The subsequent growth has been meteoric, with premium subscriptions doubling in just 5 months and quadrupling in the last 12 months.
Durov, addressing the safety concerns surrounding Telegram, emphasized that to cover all costs, the premium service needs to attract 2.5-3% of its user base. With an active audience exceeding 800 million as of July, the current premium user base represents a small yet significant fraction.
The safety of Telegram has been a subject of debate, especially regarding its role in the war and the potential danger it poses, as evidenced by ongoing regulatory considerations by Ukraine. The platform’s popularity in Ukraine has surged since the war began, making it a crucial communication and news dissemination tool.
Critics have pointed out concerns, including the lack of end-to-end encryption in regular chats. Durov’s background as an Emirati programmer of Russian origin, his aversion to being labeled Russian, and his association with the banned Russian social network vkontakte in Ukraine contribute to the multifaceted discussions surrounding Telegram’s role and safety.
As Telegram Premium continues its accelerated growth, it remains to be seen how the platform navigates the evolving landscape of regulations, security concerns, and user expectations.