For The First Time Ever, Telegram Becomes The Most Downloaded Messaging App In Russia, Overtakes WhatsApp

Instant messaging app Telegram has become the most downloaded instant messaging app in Russia thanks to the country’s restriction on Meta family of apps – Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, and Twitter.

This is the first time ever that Telegram is making such records, managing to take the crown off the globally recognized messenger WhatsApp. According to a statement from telecommunications company Megafon, in the first two weeks of this month, Telegram’s share of the total downloads of messaging apps soared from 48 percent to 63 percent. The statement also mentioned that Telegram has also taken the lead in the daily use of mobile data traffic.

WhatsApp, which held the biggest share of downloads, unfortunately fell from 48 percent to 32 percent. Additionally, Telegram downloads and traffic is taking the lead in 82 Russian regions with WhatsApp leading only in Karachay-Cherkessia, Dagestan and Chechnya. And this is expected to change in the coming weeks.

Telegram’s popularity continues to grow on the restriction of Meta apps. Roskomnadzor, Russia’s media regulator had blocked Facebook and Instagram as well as Twitter, in the country.

Following Russia’s attack on Ukraine, a handful of global companies have turned their backs on the country, either stopping their operations in Russia or restricting some of their services in the country.

Following the Russian-Ukraine, Telegram has become an important source of information dissemination amongst Russians. Russia’s Sputnik and Russia Today were removed from Google’s Play Store as well as Apple’s App Store and their YouTube channels were also blocked as part of sanctioning the country. Unlike many other platforms and companies, Telegram’s founder said the company does not plan to restrict its services in Russia.

Telegram’s downloads are expected to continue to increase if the war continues.

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