Telegram, a messaging app that launched two and half years ago, is growing fast! As per the figures revealed by Pavel Durov, CEO of Telegram, at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, the app now has more than 100 million active users compared to 62 million reported in May 2015, with 350,000 new users signing up each day and 15 billion messages delivered daily.

The growth of Telegram has been 100% organic with zero marketing budget: the messaging service has grown through recommendations from users, friends, family and colleagues. (See also: Why Are Startups Going International?)

While the growth figures are impressive, it’s still much behind the Facebook-owned WhatsApp messaging platform. WhatsApp, which is seven years-old, recently crossed the 1 billion monthly active user mark with 42 billion messages sent per day as revealed by Jan Koum, CEO and co-founder, WhatsApp on his Facebook page.

What’s Telegram?

Telegram is a messaging app which can be used simultaneously on different devices (phones, tablets or computers) as the messages sync seamlessly across these gadgets. Telegram facilitates sending of not just messages, photos and videos but even files of any type, be it a doc, zip or mp3. Users can create groups of up to 1,000 people or even channels for broadcasting to unlimited audiences. Telegram describes it as a message which is “like SMS and email combined and can take care of all your personal or business messaging needs.” (See also: Chat Wars: Business Models of WhatsApp Vs Skype.)

Telegram is well suited for business users and small teams who need file sharing options among big groups. Telegram supports replies, mentions and hashtags. For those who love sharing pictures, the messaging service provides a photo editor and an open sticker platform. Since Telegram is cloud-based, it takes “nearly zero space” on a user’s phone. Additionally, Telegram provides two layers of secure encryption, one is the server-client encryption which is used for private and group chats in Cloud Chats, the other is the option of Secret Chats which uses an additional layer of client-client encryption. Telegram’s Secret Chats uses end-to-end encryption and even supports ‘self-destructing” messages, a user can even lock the app with an additional passcode.

The Bottom Line

While Telegram is loaded with multiple features (cloud based, encryption, file sharing, and more), its USP remains in its simplicity and ease of usage. The messaging platform is slowly gaining ground but has a long way to go before it can come closer to the highly popular and established messaging service like WhatsApp. However, its growth is commendable given the short time frame since its launch with no marketing strategy in place.

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