After Pavel Durov has sold his share of VKontakte his latest project Telegram became even more popular. At the end of January its audience was growing by 100 000 users daily! I find it a good reason to tell you what the Telegram is if you still haven’t tried it.

It was launched in 2013 as a free mobile messager. Pavel Durov and his brother Nikolay Durov wanted to create something that was “really secure and fun at the same time”. The security side became a priority also because the society understood its importance after Edward Snowden published the information about NSA and PRISM in June.

“It made a lot of people really scared and concerned about the current situation,” Pavel said in his TechCrunch interview.

Telegram is based on a custom data protocol called MTProto. The app’s secret chats, a separate feature from its ordinary chats, use end-to-end encryption. They cannot be forwarded and can be set to self-destruct after a certain amount of time. One key difference between Telegram’s secret and ordinary chats is that secret chats are not stored in the app’s cloud, which means you can only access messages from their device of origin.

“The first thing that we wanted to make clear is that nobody has to trust anybody. We don’t take people’s trust for Telegram for granted,” says Pavel Durov.

Durov has had some problems with Russian legal authorities (and not once actually). So the lesson Telegram’s team learned from its experience with VK is to stay clear of Russia’s government. The app rents data centers and servers around the world, including in London, San Francisco, Singapore and Helsinki. If Telegram received requests from government or legal organizations, it would not be able to provide data for end-to-end encrypted chats anyway because the encryption keys are generated on each user’s device and not the server. Also Telegram’s founders say the app will remain non-profit because that enables them to avoid commercial and legal pressure.

In December 2013 Pavel announced a competition – he promised 200 000 dollars prize for anyone who would hack the protection of the Telegram and be able to read Pavel and Nikolays chat. After a couple of days one user found the vulnerability to generate keys for encryption, but he still couldn’t read the chat, so he got 100 000 dollars only.

Telegram declared as the fastest messenger as it uses servers that are based close to users, which significantly increases the speed of data transmission.

Telegram works with slow connection and also copes with the transfer of a large amount of data, you can send huge videos without any delays and create group chats for 100 contacts or more (WhatsApp limits group chats to 50 members).

Official description had awesome screenshots that must be seen also! (click it to watch in better quality)

telegram

By the way, Sasha Grey Inc. informed that ex-porn star and her authorized persons did not give consent for the use of her image in promoting of the Telegram. So the representative of Sasha Grey Inc. said that the company does not preclude filing lawsuits to developers of the messenger. Oops!