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Telegram Becomes the Second Most Downloaded App In The US

The past week has been an eventful one across many social media platforms largely due to the chaos going on in the United States.

President Donald Trump and his supporters were restricted from using many social platforms on grounds of insurrection and false information leading to the incitement of violence.

Facebook banned the first citizen of the United States with Twitter joining in the act. Google and Apple also removed Parler, a platform much high profile Trump supporters and allies use regularly from their app stores.

The tech giants involved explained that they had to swiftly take necessary actions to curb the menace happening in the States. These actions were, however, criticized by Telegram co-founder, Pavel Durov himself which may have been the major reason many pro-Trump people got excited about the app and migrated.

As of early Tuesday, Telegram is now the second most downloaded app in the US. According to The Telegraph, about 540,000 iPhone users installed the app between Wednesday and Sunday which is almost thrice the number of downloads received in the previous week. 

Telegram is second only to Signal, another messaging app deemed to be secure. Signal got its breakthrough because WhatsApp, its biggest competitor updated its privacy policy that imposes sharing of more information with its parent company, Facebook.

This development has raised privacy and data security concerns among tech enthusiasts around the world with WhatsApp insisting on its users accepting the policy or risk losing their accounts from February 8 when the policy will be made effective.

The migration of Trump supporters from Parler to Telegram was initiated when several posts on Parler urged users to do so before the app was taken offline on Monday.

The Telegraph reported that the son of the president, Donald Trump Jr. alongside Sidney Powell, a former attorney have been frequent users of Telegram.

Telegram, which was co-founded by Pavel Durov, a Russian-born entrepreneur has been popular among many Russian-speaking countries and Iran since its launch in 2013 with a reported number of active users ranging from 400 to 500 million.

Many tech enthusiasts have criticized Telegram for being a sort of “den” for deadly groups like terrorists, child abusers, neo-Nazis, and extremely conservative activists who could not find a place on mainstream platforms. 

Since 2018, the Russian government has unsuccessfully tried to block Telegram for refusing to share details of users’ online communications data to security agencies. However, in 2020, the Russian government let Telegram off the hook.

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