Well, that was quick: from a little-known app for the moderately paranoid, encrypted messaging app Telegram has rapidly grown into a mainstream service for the masses, judging by the huge growth in messaging activity over the last few months.
According to the Telegram blog, the app has seen the volume of messages sent every day jump from 1 billion in December to over 10 billion currently. For comparison, Facebook’s various platforms, including WhatsApp, handle 45 billion messages per day.
Last month, Telegram unveiled new digital media integrations that allow users to play and share media from services like YouTube or Vimeo without having to leave the app. It also introduced search functions for messages within chats.
Telegram was founded two years ago by Nikolai and Pavel Durov, the brothers who previously founded VKontakte, the most popular social network in Russia.
Last year, Pavel Durov made headlines when he fled Russia after being forced out as the social network’s CEO; Durov had reportedly refused to share personal information about users with the Russian government.
Durov founded Telegram to address the security concerns raised by this controversy, as well as other revelations of spying by the NSA and other U.S. government agencies.
Last week, Twitter announced that it is removing the 140-character limit for direct messages, allowing users to send text including up to 10,000 characters across Twitter’s mobile apps, desktop apps, and Web platform. The expanded messaging capability also applies to third-party apps based on the Twitter platform.