Telegram founder reveals success secret, makes startling claims about WhatsApp

First Published Jan 10, 2021, 5:12 PM IST

Telegram founder Pavel Durov has lashed out at Facebook-owned WhatsApp for spending millions in misinformation campaign and 'covert marketing' to defame his application.

<p>In a Telegram post, Durov said that millions of people were outraged by the latest change in WhatsApp terms, which now say users must feed all their private data to Facebook's ad engine.&nbsp;</p>

<p>Durov claimed that WhatsApp's latest policy had further antagonised users and triggered an exodus of sorts from the latter's application.&nbsp;<br />
&nbsp;</p>

<p>Claiming that Facebook had an entire department devoted to figuring out why Telegram is so popular, the Telegram founder said he was happy to "save Facebook tens of millions of dollars". He said he was giving away his "secret for free" and that's to respect users.&nbsp;<br />
&nbsp;</p>

<p>Durov also sought to dispel three myths surrounding the application that are being circulated through bots on social media.</p>

In a Telegram post, Durov said that millions of people were outraged by the latest change in WhatsApp terms, which now say users must feed all their private data to Facebook's ad engine. 

Durov claimed that WhatsApp's latest policy had further antagonised users and triggered an exodus of sorts from the latter's application. 
 

Claiming that Facebook had an entire department devoted to figuring out why Telegram is so popular, the Telegram founder said he was happy to "save Facebook tens of millions of dollars". He said he was giving away his "secret for free" and that's to respect users. 
 

Durov also sought to dispel three myths surrounding the application that are being circulated through bots on social media.

<p><strong>Myth 1: 'Telegram's code is not open-source'.&nbsp;</strong><br />
&nbsp;</p>

<p>Durov said, "In reality, all Telegram client apps have been open-source since 2013. Our encryption and API are fully documented and have been reviewed by security experts thousands of times. Moreover, Telegram is the only messaging app in the world that has verifiable builds both for iOS and Android."&nbsp;<br />
&nbsp;</p>

<p>"As for WhatsApp, they intentionally obfuscate their code, making it impossible to verify their encryption and privacy," he added.</p>

Myth 1: 'Telegram's code is not open-source'. 
 

Durov said, "In reality, all Telegram client apps have been open-source since 2013. Our encryption and API are fully documented and have been reviewed by security experts thousands of times. Moreover, Telegram is the only messaging app in the world that has verifiable builds both for iOS and Android." 
 

"As for WhatsApp, they intentionally obfuscate their code, making it impossible to verify their encryption and privacy," he added.

<p><strong>Myth 2: 'Telegram is Russian'</strong><br />
&nbsp;</p>

<p>Durov said, "Telegram has no servers or offices in Russia and was blocked there from 2018 to 2020. Telegram is still blocked in some authoritarian countries such as Iran, while WhatsApp and other "supposedly secure" apps have never had any issue in these places."<br />
&nbsp;</p>

<p><strong>Myth 3: 'Telegram is not encrypted'</strong><br />
&nbsp;</p>

<p>Durov clarified, "Every chat on Telegram has been encrypted since launch. We have Secret Chats that are end-to-end and Cloud Chats that also offer real-time secure and distributed cloud storage."&nbsp;</p>

Myth 2: 'Telegram is Russian'
 

Durov said, "Telegram has no servers or offices in Russia and was blocked there from 2018 to 2020. Telegram is still blocked in some authoritarian countries such as Iran, while WhatsApp and other "supposedly secure" apps have never had any issue in these places."
 

Myth 3: 'Telegram is not encrypted'
 

Durov clarified, "Every chat on Telegram has been encrypted since launch. We have Secret Chats that are end-to-end and Cloud Chats that also offer real-time secure and distributed cloud storage." 

<p>"WhatsApp, on the other hand, had zero encryption for a few years and then adopted an encryption protocol funded by the US Government. Even if we assume that the WhatsApp encryption is solid, it is invalidated via multiple backdoors and reliance on backups," he claimed.<br />
&nbsp;</p>

<p>Claiming that propaganda against Telegram wasn't bearing fruit, Durov said that "judging by the half a billion people using the app, it was evident that that "people are smart enough to choose what is best for them".</p>

"WhatsApp, on the other hand, had zero encryption for a few years and then adopted an encryption protocol funded by the US Government. Even if we assume that the WhatsApp encryption is solid, it is invalidated via multiple backdoors and reliance on backups," he claimed.
 

Claiming that propaganda against Telegram wasn't bearing fruit, Durov said that "judging by the half a billion people using the app, it was evident that that "people are smart enough to choose what is best for them".