Happy Solstice Telegram now has over 700 million
Happy Solstice! ☀️

🎉 Telegram now has over 700 million monthly users.

With the latest update, we have also launched the Premium subscription on most devices.

The beauty of Telegram Premium is that if just 2,5-3% of our users sign up for this subscription, Telegram will cover its costs, supported purely by its users. This will herald a new, user-centric era in the history of social media services.

Thank you for loving Telegram! We ❤️ you back.
Telegram Web provides an extraordinary experience on desktops
Telegram Web provides an extraordinary experience on desktops, but it also works great on mobile devices. It is prevented, however, from reaching native-app-level quality on iOS, because Apple limits web developers in terms of what they can do on iPhones and iPads.

In April, the developer of Telegram Web shared a 10-point list of issues in the iOS Safari browser that Apple has been unwilling to fix or improve for years (check it here for technical details). Other developers have even complained that Apple's Safari is killing the web.

We suspect that Apple may be intentionally crippling its web apps to force its users to download more native apps where Apple is able to charge its 30% commission (I wrote about why it is harmful here).

Fortunately, regulators have started to realise what is going on. This week, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), a UK regulator, concluded:

"Apple bans alternatives to its own browser engine on its mobile devices; a restriction that is unique to Apple. The CMA is concerned this severely limits the potential for rival browsers to differentiate themselves from Safari (for example, on features such as speed and functionality) and limits Apple’s incentives to invest in its browser engine.

This restriction also seriously inhibits the capability of web apps – apps that run on a browser rather than having to be individually downloaded – depriving consumers and businesses of the full benefits of this innovative technology."

I think it's an accurate summary and hope that regulatory action will follow soon. It's sad that, more than ten years after Steve Job's death, a company that once revolutionized mobile web turned into its most significant roadblock.
The media often calls me a billionaire but
The media often calls me a billionaire, but, unlike most billionaires, I don't own jets, yachts, cars or houses.

Creating things always seemed to me a more rewarding activity than engaging in consumption.
The world is on the brink of a
The world is on the brink of a global food crisis. Hundreds of millions of people are facing starvation.

To help those in need, last month the UAE ran the successful 1 Billion Meals initiative – a fundraising campaign aimed at providing a billion meals for the most vulnerable people in 50 countries.

Hundreds of donors participated. The founder of the campaign, Sheikh Mohammed, donated 400 million meals, and I contributed a modest 12 million. Hopefully, many more people can join the initiative in the following years and we can collectively achieve the Zero Hunger goal set by the UN.
In 2022 Telegram is again among the top
In 2022, Telegram is again among the top 5 most downloaded apps in the world (just like in 2021). Of these top 5 most popular apps, Telegram is the only one that doesn't spend billions on marketing to buy downloads. In a way, we are the only app that is on the list purely because it is genuinely loved by the people❤️‍🔥
Telegram shipped another historic update this past weekend
Telegram shipped another historic update this past weekend. In addition to features that redefine the boundaries of what a messaging app can do (never before have bots been so powerful or notification options so flexible), we introduced half a dozen other improvements. Among them is support for more languages in message translations (to turn on the Translate button, head to Settings > Languages).

We recognize that Telegram has become the main source of information from Ukraine, and we hope that the tools we provide can help inform more people and save more lives. To ease the work of journalists around the world, all public channel posts in Ukrainian now always offer the translate button by default.
It seems that we had an issue with
It seems that we had an issue with emails going between our telegram.org corporate addresses and the Brazilian Supreme Court. As a result of this miscommunication, the Court ruled to ban Telegram for being unresponsive.

On behalf of our team, I apologize to the Brazilian Supreme Court for our negligence. We definitely could have done a better job.

We complied with an earlier court decision in late February and responded with a suggestion to send future takedown requests to a dedicated email address. Unfortunately, our response must have been lost, because the Court used the old general-purpose email address in further attempts to reach us. As a result, we missed its decision in early March that contained a follow-up takedown request. Luckily, we have now found and processed it, delivering another report to the Court today.

Because tens of millions of Brazilians rely on Telegram to communicate with family, friends and colleagues, I ask the Court to consider delaying its ruling for a few days at its discretion to allow us to remedy the situation by appointing a representative in Brazil and setting up a framework to react to future pressing issues like this in an expedited manner.

The last 3 weeks have been unprecedented for the world and for Telegram. Our content moderation team was flooded with requests from multiple parties. However, I am certain that once a reliable channel of communication is established, we'll be able to efficiently process takedown requests for public channels that are illegal in Brazil.
If you follow my posts you know that
If you follow my posts, you know that on my Mom's side, I trace my family line from Kyiv. Her maiden name is Ukrainian (Ivanenko), and to this day we have many relatives living in Ukraine. That's why this tragic conflict is personal both to me and Telegram.

Some people wondered if Telegram is somehow less secure for Ukrainians, because I once lived in Russia. Let me tell these people how my career in Russia ended.

Nine years ago I was the CEO of VK, which was the largest social network in Russia and Ukraine. In 2013, the Russian security agency, FSB, demanded that I provide them the private data of the Ukrainian users of VK who were protesting against a pro-Russian President.

I refused to comply with these demands, because it would have meant a betrayal of our Ukrainian users. After that, I was fired from the company I founded and was forced to leave Russia.

I lost my company and my home, but would do it again – without hesitation. I smile with pride when I read my VK post from April 2014, which shows the scanned orders from the FSB and my trademark response to them – a dog in a hoodie.

When I defied their demands, the stakes were high for me personally. I was still living in Russia, and my team and my old company were also based in that country.

Many years have passed since then. Many things changed: I no longer live in Russia, no longer have any companies or employees there. But one thing remains the same – I stand for our users no matter what. Their right to privacy is sacred. Now – more than ever.
Every few decades there is a drastic change
Every few decades there is a drastic change in how we view important societal and scientific problems. What used to be a ridiculous idea yesterday can become the predominant opinion today, only to turn into an obsolete notion tomorrow.

In the history of human beliefs, change is the only constant. Most people living in 1921 shared views that today are considered quaint at best, and dangerous at worst. The chances that our present-day convictions will remain relevant by 2121 are slim.

In fact, we won't even have to wait 100 years, as the speed of change is accelerating. A good example is how quickly humanity changed its mind over the origins of Covid.

Just a year ago, the idea that the virus originated from a Wuhan Lab was dismissed as a conspiracy theory. Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms blocked posts promoting the lab leak theory. Today, however, this theory is on its way to becoming the mainstream scientific view of how the virus originated.

Such instances make combating fake news and misinformation particularly challenging. They can also fundamentally undermine people's trust in the neutrality of social media platforms, and jeopardize future efforts to fight misinformation.

Telegram never blocked posts discussing the lab leak theory, because we didn't think it's our role to decide for our users what they should believe. At the same time, we felt that our users had the right to be informed about Covid by official sources that reflected scientific consensus. That's why we worked with 19 governments to help them reach out to every Telegram user in their countries with up-to-date information on the pandemic.

Today we call upon more governments to join the Telegram anti-Covid initiative to make sure more people around the world get access critical knowledge that can save lives.

In my 20 years of managing discussion platforms, I noticed that conspiracy theories only strengthen each time their content is removed by moderators. Instead of putting an end to wrong ideas, censorship often makes it harder to fight them. That’s why spreading the truth will always be a more efficient strategy than engaging in censorship.
The phones of 50 000 individuals including human
The phones of 50,000 individuals, including human rights activists and journalists, have been targeted by surveillance tools that were used by numerous governments. These tools can hack any iOS and Android phone, and there is no way to protect your device from it. It doesn't matter which apps you use, because the system is breached on a deeper level.

According to the Snowden revelations from 2013, both Apple and Google are part of the global surveillance program that implies that these companies have to, among other things, implement backdoors into their mobile operating systems. These backdoors, usually disguised as security bugs, allow US agencies to access information on any smartphone in the world.

The problem with such backdoors is that they are never exclusive to just one party. Anybody can exploit them. So if a US security agency can hack an iOS or Android phone, any other organization that uncovers these backdoors can do the same. Unsurprisingly, this is exactly what has been taking place: an Israeli company called NSO Group has been selling access to the spying tools that allowed third parties to hack tens of thousands of phones.

Since at least 2018, I have been aware that one of my phone numbers was included in a list of potential targets of such surveillance tools (although a source from the NSO Group denies it). Personally, I wasn't worried: since 2011, when I was still living in Russia, I’ve got used to assuming that all my phones were compromised. Anyone who gains access to my private data will be utterly disappointed – they will have to go through thousands of concept designs for Telegram features and millions of messages related to our product development process. They won't find any important information there.

However, these surveillance tools are also used against people far more prominent than me. For example, they were employed to spy on 14 heads of state. The existence of backdoors in crucial infrastructure and software creates a huge challenge for humanity. That's why I have been calling upon the governments of the world to start acting against the Apple-Google duopoly in the smartphone market and to force them to open their closed ecosystems and allow for more competition.

So far, even though the current market monopolization increases costs and violates privacy and freedom of speech of billions, government officials have been very slow to act. I hope the news that they themselves have been targeted by these surveillance tools will prompt politicians to change their minds.

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