Since positioning itself as a privacy-first messaging solution in 2013, Telegram has climbed up the ranks, earning itself a coveted spot among the top 10 social media apps in the world. 

How did the encrypted messaging app amass over 800 million monthly active users, or clear over 1.3 billion cumulative downloads? Making sense of Telegram's meteoric rise to popularity is no easy feat, which is why we've compiled 100+ Telegram statistics exploring its growth, revenue, users, and more.

Telegram Company Snapshot

Year Founded 2013
Industry Software
Founders Nikolai and Pavel Durov
CEO Pavel Durov
Headquarters British Virgin Islands; Dubai
Employees 11-50
Funding $1 billion 
Valuation (as of 2021) $30 billion 

Telegram Company Facts

Telegram’s CEO is Parel Durov, a Russian billionaire who founded VK in 2006.

In 2014, Durov sold his stake in VK and left Russia after resisting government efforts to interfere with the company and access user data. The Forbes list billionaire has since made Dubai his home.

Telegram’s headquarters[1] is in Dubai Media City (a tax-free commercial zone).

As per its FAQ [2] page, the Telegram team left Russia due to local IT regulations. Telegram tried several locations as its headquarters including Berlin, London, and Singapore, before selecting Dubai.

As of February 2024, Telegram had between 11-50 employees as per its official LinkedIn page.

Telegram started with what Parel Durov (CEO) described as a team of six ACM champions and six winners of other programming contests [3] in 2014. He credits this team of 12 engineers for Telegram's impressive 40 million registered global users in its first 8 months of operation.

Telegram History and Timeline

evolution of telegram


  • On March 10, 2013, brothers Nikolai and Pavel Durov founded Telegram.
  • On August 14, an iOS version of the Telegram app [4] was launched.
  • In October, the Android app was officially launched.
  • Telegram introduced secret chats with self-destruct timers.


  • In May, Telegram’s first temporary HQ [5] was established in an undisclosed Central European country. 
  • Throughout the year, Telegram also launched its standalone desktop, web app, voice messages, and usernames.


  • In January, stickers were launched, with a photo editor following in February.
  • In June, Telegram released its Bot API.
  • In September, Telegram introduced supergroups, and channels and hit 60 million active users.
  • In November, Telegram blocked ISIS-related channels[6].


  • Telegram launched Instantview and revamped its Android app.
  • In October Telegram introduced a games platform.


  • In May, Telegram launched Bot Payments, Video messaging, and a $200,000 contest for template makers.
  • In December, Multiple accounts and swipe-to-reply were introduced.


  • Telegram launched Telegram Passport and enabled sticker search.
  • In March Telegram hit 200 million users.


  • In January, the maximum size for supergroups increased from 10,000 to 200,000 members.
  • In June, Telegram added the People Nearby feature and launched Telegram Premium.


  • In March Channel stats were introduced.
  • By April, the app hit 400 million users and had a 20,000+ sticker directory.
  • Profile videos, 2GB file uploads, and group stats were introduced
  • In August, video calls were launched in celebration of Telegram’s 7th Anniversary.
  • In December, voice chats were added.


  • In January, over 100 million new users had signed on since December 2020. 
  • Telegram introduced a feature allowing users to import old messages from apps like WhatsApp and Line.
  • In another major update, added group video calls and Telegram updated the maximum number of viewers on a group video call from 30 up to 1000 [7].


  • In March Telegram introduced Download Manager and live streaming with other apps.
  • In June, Telegram hit 700 million users and Premium was launched. 
  • Collectible usernames were launched in November, while No SIM sign-ups were added in December.


  • Telegram added the much-requested Stories feature for Premium users, all subscribers and channels [8] between July and September. 
  • The app hit over 800 million users and celebrated its 10th birthday on the 14th of August. 
  • In September, Telegram launched a global self-custodial crypto wallet [9] excluding the US.
  • In November, Nakamoto Games integrated with Telegram [10] to launch a super app.
  • Multiple reports emerged about cybercriminals using the app as an extension of the dark web and democratizing cybercrime.


  • In January, Telegram added 10 new features including upgraded saved messages, one-time voice and video messages, detailed read receipts, updated search, and more. 

Telegram Growth Statistics

Between 2014 and 2023 Telegram’s global monthly active user count increased by an impressive 2186%

According to Statista [11], monthly active users increased from 35 million in March 2014 to 800 million in July 2023.

telegram users

During the same period, Telegram also experienced a massive increase in expenses from 11 million in 2013 [12] to an estimated 595 million in 2023.

The biggest jump in expenses occurred between 2019 and 2022 when expenses jumped from 190 million to 540 million. 

By December 2023, Telegram had 4 million premium subscribers [13], representing a growth rate of 300% year-over-year.

By December 2022, Telegram Premium had amassed over 1 million [14] subscribers. This milestone was dubbed one of the most successful examples of a social media subscription ever launched.

In October 2022, DataReportal [15] reported that Telegram had added over 200 million monthly active users over 18 months, taking its total to 700 million MAU.

In an equally impressive feat, GWI found that males between the ages of 16 and 24 were more likely to use Telegram. The research found that 52.7% of male users globally (excluding mainland China) had used Telegram in the past month, compared to 47.3% who had used TikTok.

In 2021, Telegram hit over 500 million active users [16].

Downloads hit a peak of nearly 95 million [17] per month in January 2021. The influx of users was due to concerns about changes to WhatsApp’s privacy policy and heavy moderation on Facebook and Twitter. In that same year, the Telegram messenger app hit a milestone of 1.3 billion cumulative downloads [18].

telegram data

In 2016, two and a half years after its launch, Telegram reported that over 15 billion messages [19] were delivered daily.

The platform also reached 100 million monthly active users [20] and over 350,000 new sign-ups daily on a zero marketing budget.

Telegram Funding Statistics

Between 2013 and 2016, Telegram was funded by founder/ CEO Parel Durov. Durov bankrolled Telegram using the $400 million he received from selling his stake in VK. 

Realizing the need for more funding to support the growing platform, Pavel and his brother  Nikolai Durov launched the Telegram Open Network (TON), a blockchain platform featuring its own cryptocurrency, Gram. 

The project was successful, securing over $1.7 billion from 2.9 billion tokens sold. 

However, 2 weeks before its launch in 2019, the US Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) filed a lawsuit against Telegram, stating that Gram was a security and placed a temporary ban on the sale of tokens.

In June 2020, Telegram agreed to pay back over $1.2 billion raised from investors through its initial coin offering (ICO) in 2018. 

The company also agreed to pay a civil penalty of $18.5 million to settle charges brought by the SEC.

In 2021, Telegram raised over $1 billion [21] by selling 5-year pre-IPO convertible bonds to investors.

Investors included Mubadala and Abu Dhabi Catalyst Partners who joined the round of funding with a $150 million investment. According to Parel Durov, the funding was to allow Telegram to expand and implement a monetization strategy, all while sticking to its values and remaining independent.

In July 2023, Telegram raised $210 million [22] through bond sales.

Among the investors was Telegram’s very own founder and CEO Pavel Durov. 

Telegram Revenue Statistics

Telegram has a sustainable monetization model that allows the app to meet its development costs while protecting user privacy. While regular users have access to all features for free, forever, business or power users who require extra features can sign up for Telegram Premium. Telegram also has its own ad Platform for large public one-to-many channels to help cover the costs of servers and traffic. 

As of 2023, Telegram generated $68.8 million [23] in revenue, an increase of 52.9% from $45 million in 2022 and 632% from only $9.4 million in 2021.

Telegram’s revenue skyrocketed after 2021 in response to the company’s monetization efforts, which include Telegram Premium and the Telegram Ad platform. According to Telegram’s CEO, the company generates most of its revenue from Ads.

Telegram messenger

In July 2023, Telegram’s monthly in-app revenue from the Apple App Store was $2.4 million [24], and over $588,000 from the Google Play store.

In June 2022, Telegram launched its freemium model with paid subscriptions. In total, estimates suggest that Telegram’s in-app revenue between June and December 2022 increased 6x from $250,000 to $1.5 million.

Between June 2022 and July 2023, Telegram made an impressive $14 million in revenue [25] from the App Store alone.

A substantial portion of this revenue was from Russia [26] (over $2.5 million) while Ukraine ($1.55 million) and the US($1.52 million followed closely behind in their contribution to revenue.

Telegram Feature Statistics 

telegram features

Telegram is a cloud-based mobile and desktop messaging app that prioritizes privacy, security, and speed. It has robust, free core features such as:

  • Seamless sync across all devices
  • File sharing of any type up to 2GB
  • Encrypted, self-destructing messages
  • End-to-end encrypted voice and video calls
  • Secret Chats
  • Stories, Stickers, and Animated Emoji
  • Bots and Automation
  • Channels and Groups
  • Payments

Telegram groups are designed for personal or professional use and can support up to 200,000 members. Key group features include:

  • Cross-platform availability
  • Instant search
  • Replies, mentions and hashtags
  • Moderation tools
  • File sharing up to 2 GB
  • Custom tools through Bot API and Inline Bots
telegram groups

Telegram Channels
Telegram channels are designed to broadcast messages to large audiences. Key channel features include:

  • Private and public channels
  • Unlimited subscribers
  • Channel administrators
  • Entire message history
  • Message view counter

Telegram API 
Telegram’s API and code is open, allowing developers to create their own Telegram apps, build Bots, or integrate specialized services and tools.

Telegram Passport
Telegram Passport is a unified authorization method [27] for services that require personal identification. 

  • Allows users to upload their documents once and then instantly share their information with any services that require ID. 
  • User information is securely stored in the Telegram cloud via end-to-end encryption, ensuring that only users themselves have access to their data. 
  • The first electronic payment system to support registration and verification using Telegram Passport is
telegram passport

Telegram’s premium offering is optional and gives users access to additional exclusive features such as:

  • Doubled limits
  • 4GB file uploads
  • No ads
  • Faster download speeds 
  • Premium badges and stickers 
  • Real-time chat and channel translation
  • Emoji statuses
telegram limits

Telegram Bot Statistics

Telegram’s free bot platform, which allows developers to create simple chatbots and mini apps, hosts more than 10 million bots [28].

Bots are small apps that run entirely in the app and allow users to:

  • Replace entire websites through flexible interfaces built with Javascript.
  • Receive payments from over 200 countries through more than 20 integrated payment providers.
  • Create custom tools for tasks like converting files and managing chats.
  • Integrate with other popular services like Gmail, Github, YouTube, and more.
  • Create and host single or multiplayer games.
  • Build social networks, and connect users based on shared interests. 

In December 2023, Telegram’s 10th update of the year included the largest bot update [29] in Telegram’s history.

The update added dozens of new features such as the ability to:

  • React to messages
  • Manage reactions, links, and quotes
  • Send replies to other chats
  • Get information about giveaways and boosts

Telegram Channel Statistics

Telegram Tips, an official Telegram channel, was the most subscribed to channel with over 8.92 million followers as of May 2023.

According to Statista, other popular channels on Telegram as of May 2023, based on the number of subscribers, included:

  • Telegram News - 6.32 million followers.
  • ProxyMTProto - 6.11 million followers.
  • zz_s5 - 5.89 million followers.
  • ip_a6 - 4.93 million followers
  • Pryamoy Efir - 4.64 million followers.
telegram channels stats

A 2023 survey by TGStat found that around 36% of Telegram channel administrators [30] started their channels a year before the study.

The same study also found that:

  • 27% ran their channels for more than one year.
  • 26% ran their channels for more than two years.
  • 11% ran their channels for more than five years.

As of 2023, 70% of channel administrators [31] on Telegram made money through advertising placements.

In addition, 40% of administrators generated income through selling their own goods and services. 15% made their income through partner programs.

Followed by over 85% of Telegram app users [32], the most popular channels on Telegram were news channels in 2023.

In second and third place were entertainment and educational channels which were followed by 62% and 58% of app users, respectively. 

  • Political channels were followed by 50% of app users.
  • News from ‘own industry’ was followed by 48% of app users.
  • Personal channels of friends were followed by 45% of app users.
  • Channels on special military operations were followed by 36% of app users.

Telegram Username Statistics 

As of February 14, 2024, the top Telegram username on auction [33] for over 63,000 TON or ~$139,860 on Fragment was @ tech, followed by @internet for 26,250 TON or ~$58,275.

Since October 2022, Telegram has allowed users to buy and sell usernames on Fragment, an auction platform that uses a cryptocurrency called Toncoin/TON (a blockchain technology initially developed by Telegram) for payments. 

As of August 2023, the most expensive Telegram username sold on Fragment was @news. It was sold for 994,000 Toncoin or $2.42 million (as per the exchange rate on December 16, 2022).

Other usernames that were sold at equally impressive amounts of over 500,000 TON throughout November 2022 include:

  • @auto - 900,000 TON
  • @bank - 850,000 TON
  • @avia - 800,000 TON
  • @chat - 700,000 TON
  • @king - 675,000 TON
  • @fifa - 600,000 TON

In an August 29, 2022 post made by Parel Durov on his Telegram channel, it was stated that up to 70% of all Telegram usernames at the time had been reserved in inactive channels by cybersquatters from Iran. 

This came in response to Telegram withdrawing all public addresses linked to channels that were empty or inactive for a year. The CEO went on to assure followers that 99% of these addresses would be reintroduced into public use, with algorithmic and geolocation limitations for a more equitable username system.

Telegram Ad Platform Statistics

One-to-many channels, where over 500 billion views are generated every month [34] give advertisers the reach they need to serve precise ads while respecting user privacy. 

  • Telegram’s ad platform allows advertisers to create sponsored messages in public one to many channels with over 1000 subscribers. 
  • Sponsored messages are limited to 160 characters and are based solely on the topic of the public channels they’re displayed in.
  • The minimum CPM for a sponsored message is €2 or $2.14 ( as of February 2024).

Around 50% of small businesses [35] worldwide that paid for advertising on Telegram had a monthly budget of up to 25k Russian rubles (approximately $270) as of 2023.

Additionally, around 20% of large businesses planned for a monthly budget between 101-250k Russian rubles ($1,100 - $2,700).

telegram advertising budget

As reported by Statista [36], a 2022 study by TGStat, around 41% of channel administrators on Telegram made up to five thousand 5k Russian rubles per month (around $54 as of 14 February 2024 ) from ads on their Telegram channels. 

Meanwhile, 2.1% earned over 1 million Russian rubles or over $10,000. 


  • Over 15% earned 6-15k Russian rubles. 
  • 10.4% earned 16-30k Russian rubles.
  • 5.6% earned 31-45 Russian rubles.
  • 4.8% earned 46-60k Russian rubles.
  • 5.5% earned 61-90k Russian rubles.
  • 5.6% earned 91-150k Russian rubles.

Telegram User Statistics

As of January 2024, Telegram had over 800 million monthly active users. Additionally, these monthly active users (MAU) accounted for 8.7% of the global population.

This marks a slight decrease from 2023 when monthly active users accounted for 9.9% of the total population. [37]

As of October 2023, WeAreSocial found that 58% of Telegram users were male while 42% were female.

Data suggests that the gender gap on the app is getting smaller. For example, in 2019, 33% of Telegram’s users [38] were women. By 2021 this had increased to 39%.

As of 2023, 30% of Telegram users fell within the 25 to 34 age group.

This age group is the largest, followed by users:

  • 35 to 44 - 24%
  • 45 and above - 22%
  • 18 to 24 - 19%
  • 17 and below - 6%

At 21%, the majority of Telegram users were employed in the IT and internet sector in 2023.

Following closely behind were users in the following fields:

  • Marketing and PR - 12%
  • Production - 7%
  • Trade - 7%
  • Education - 7%
  • Media - 5%
  • Services sector - 5%
  • Finance - 4%
telegram overview

In the same year, a survey found that 62% of Telegram users had received a higher education. 

These users formed the majority, followed by users:

  • With or getting a Masters Degree - 9%
  • With incomplete higher education -7%
  • Studying at school - 6%
  • With a secondary education - 4%

25% of Telegram users subscribed to over 50 channels in 2023.


  • 22% subscribed to 26-50 channels.
  • 19% subscribed to 16-25 channels.
  • 15% subscribed to 11-15 channels.
  • 12% subscribed to 6-10 channels.
  • 6% subscribed to 1-5 channels.

As of 2022, users in India [39] accounted for the most Telegram app downloads at 104.4 million. 

This was followed by Russian users who downloaded the app 34.4 million times. In third place was Indonesia with over 27 million downloads. 

Other users include those from:

  • The US - 26.8 million downloads.
  • Brazil - 21.9 million downloads.
  • Egypt - 14.85 million downloads.

Telegram Engagement Statistics

January 2024 research by DataReportal [40] found that among Telegram active users:

  • 85.2% also used WhatsApp.
  • 83.7% also used Instagram.
  • 82% also used YouTube.
  • 77.9% also used Facebook.
  • 55.6% also used X (formerly Twitter).
social media overlap

Additionally, as of January 2024, 2.4% of active social media users aged 16-64 said that Telegram was their favorite social media platform.

This makes the platform the 8th most favored social media platform behind:

  • Instagram - Favored by 16.5% 
  • WhatsApp - Favored by 16.1%
  • Facebook - Favored by 12.8%
  • WeChat - Favored by 12.8%
  • TikTok - Favored by 7.4%
  • Douyin - Favored by 6.6%
  • X (Twitter) - Favored by 3.2%

Android app users opened their Telegram app 38.6% of the time between April and June 2023.

The same report also found that:

  • The average time spent per month on Telegram by Android app users was 3 hours and 50 minutes. 
  • Active users on Telegram’s Android app opened an average of 167 sessions each month.
  • The average session duration for each user was around 1 minute and 22 seconds.

According to 2022 research by the Pew Research Center, 27% of US adults [41] said they had heard of Telegram. 

Additionally, 2% said they used the app for news. A greater share used more established platforms such as Facebook (31%), YouTube (25%) and Twitter (14%).

In addition, among the 2% that regularly got news on Telegram:

  • 75% said they expected the news and information to be accurate while 24% expected the opposite.
  • Around 68% said the news helped them understand current events, while 11% felt it made them more confused about current events.
  • 54% said they were satisfied with the experience while 10% said they were dissatisfied. The rest were neutral.

In 2020, the highest selling product categories [42] on Telegram worldwide were goods from China, where sales exceeded $12 million.

This was followed by:

  • Digital equipment - $5.5 million
  • Consumer loans - $3.1 million
  • Apparel and Shoes - $2.1 million 
  • Sport - $863,000

Telegram Market Statistics

Telegram competes against giants such as Meta (WhatsApp and Messenger) and Tencent (WeChat) in the lucrative social media market worth over $231 billion [43] in 2023. 

As of February 10, 2024, Telegram is #6 in the social networking category [44] on the App store.

According to Sensor Tower, the instant messaging app has a 4-star rating, determined through over 184,000 reviews. Similarly, on the Playstore, where the app ranks 6th in the top free in communication category, Telegram has been downloaded over 1 billion times [45] with a 4-star rating across over 624,000 reviews. 

On Capterra, a leading business review site, Telegram had a 4.7 star rating [46] as of February 10, 2024.

Over 6244 customers reviewed Telegram favorably, citing the following as its top characteristics:

  • Ease of use - 4.7 stars
  • Customer Service - 4.3 stars
  • Features - 4.6 stars
  • Value for Money - 4.7 stars

Overall, on the platform, Telegram is ahead of top team communication software alternatives like Microsoft Teams (4.5 stars), Google Chat (4.5 stars) and Skype (4.3 stars)

As of January 2024, Telegram ranked 8th on DataReportal’s list of the world’s largest social media platforms. 

With over 800 million active users, it falls behind:

  • Facebook - 3 billion users
  • YouTube - 2.49 billion users
  • WhatsApp - 2 billion users
  • Instagram - 2 billion users
  • TikTok -1.562 billion users
  • WeChat - 1.336 billion users
  • Facebook Messenger - 979 million users
top app rankings

According to 6sense, Telegram held the top spot with a market share of 37.68% in the instant messaging category in 2023.

Following closely behind are Telegram’s three main competitors in the category:

  • - market share of 20.72%
  • Flok - market share of 16.77%
  • Chatra - market share of 4.60%

According to’s State of Mobile Report 2024 [47], Telegram:

  • Ranked #6 in terms of global downloads among apps like TikTok(#1) and CapCut(#5).
  • Ranked #6 in terms of monthly active users.

In WeareSocial’s 2023 October Statshot, Telegram is ranked #7 in the ‘Downloads’ category.

Telegram Privacy and Security Statistics

According to Telegram’s Press info page [48], everything sent on the platform is securely encrypted. Telegram is also committed to protecting user privacy and human rights and continues to play a major role in pro-democracy movements around the world. 

2022 Research by the Pew Research Centre [49] identified Telegram as one of seven alternative social media sites that identify as free-speech advocates.

The other sites included BitChute, Gab, Getter, Parler, Rumble, and Truth Social. Similar to these platforms, Telegram still moderates user content by removing posts, suspending or banning accounts found to be offensive, or spreading misinformation. 

Other key security features include:

  • Site/Group level moderation including where group/channel admins can moderate content.
  • User-level moderation where users can block, mute, and report accounts or posts.
social media data stats

The same research also found that Telegram offers the following privacy protections to users:

  • Not selling or sharing user data.
  • The ability to modify privacy settings.
  • No targeted third-party ads.
  • Encrypted messages.
  • Full access and control of their posts and who can comment on them.
  • The ability to make their profile hidden.

While Telegram has an active LinkedIn profile with over 37,000 followers (as of February 2024), it has a “No LinkedIn” policy.

For security purposes, the company reiterates that accounts claiming to be past or present employees never worked at Telegram.

To date, no way to break Telegram’s encryption has been found.

Telegram has an ongoing bug bounty program [50] that rewards those who can find flaws in its security between $500 and $100,000 or more depending on the severity of the issue discovered.

Telegram Cyber Crime Statistics

Due to its emphasis on privacy and security, Telegram has attracted cybercriminal communities. These threat actors take advantage of the platform for:

  • Malware and ransomware distribution.
  • Phishing Kits and Scams.
  • Botnet and Ddos Services.
  • The sale and distribution of stolen data.
  • Social engineering attacks.
  • Technical support for end-to-end malicious campaigns.

In recent years, prominent media outlets have reported on the rise of scams, malware, phishing, and other cyber crimes being facilitated through Telegram. 

Some notable events include:

  • In a 2024 report, Guardio Labs [51] reported that Telegram was a ‘Scammer’s Paradise’ due to the availability of phishing scam kits for as little as $230.
  • Between 2022 and 2023, a scam that lured people to Telegram to divulge sensitive information using fake ads stole over $6.5 million [52] from victims.
  • In 2022, Singapore Police [53] found that Telegram had been used in 6% of ecommerce scams and that scammers used Telegram to contact victims in 36.1% of all cases.
  • In 2021, Check Point [54] found that Telegram had been used in more than 130 malware cyber attacks between January and March alone.

Telegram Fun Facts

  • To date, Telegram hasn't spent a dime on advertising.
  • The only significant vulnerability to ever be found In Telegram’s MTProto protocol was fixed during the app’s very first bug bounty contest. The researcher who discovered the bug received a bounty of $100,000.

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What is the difference between WhatsApp and Telegram?
The difference between WhatsApp and Telegram is that WhatsApp is primarily a messaging app while Telegram is a ‘super app’ offering messaging, payments, a crypto wallet, APIs, Bots, and Gaming. It also has more robust channel, group, file-sharing, and customization capabilities.

Which is safer, WhatsApp or Telegram?
Both platforms offer encrypted messaging, however, Telegram tracks less of your personal data and there is no risk of data sharing with advertisers (as is the concern with WhatsApp and Meta). So, it is generally considered ‘safer’ than WhatsApp for those with privacy concerns.