After WhatsApp unveiled its new privacy rules, many users have decided to make the switch over to rival messaging apps Telegram and Signal. We take a closer look at the Telegram CEO Pavel Durov and the future of the platform.

Who is Pavel Durov?

Pavel Durov was born on 10 October 1984 in Leningrad, now St Petersburg, Russia and is 36 years old.

After learning to code in school, he founded Russia’s biggest social network Vkontakte when he was only 22. However, Durov refused to shut down political opposition blogs and left Russia after pressure from the government.

His new project, Telegram, launched in 2013. The messaging app gives users the ability to have one-to-one or group messages, as well as join a group through a URL.

For much of Telegram’s career, it has been Pavel Durov who has paid the expenses from his savings. However, he has just announced his plan to start scaling up the monetisation of the business.

The app will remain free but some users can pay to have added benefits. Telegram will also introduce their own ad platform for some public channels.

Pavel Durov’s net worth is estimated by Forbes to be about $3.4 billion.

Why are users switching to the Telegram app?

The New privacy rules set out by WhatsApp mean they have told their users that they must share their data with parent company Facebook.

The new rules state: “WhatsApp receives information from, and shares information with, the other Facebook Companies. We may use the information we receive from them, and they may use the information we share with them, to help operate.” 

This update will allow WhatsApp to be monetised and offer shopping options.

Since their initial announcement, WhatsApp have clarified what these rules will actually mean for users.

According to the BBC, Pavel Durov’s Telegram App received 6.5 million downloads during the week of 28 December and 11 million the week after that.

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