Telegram was first launched as a very free, cross-platform messaging service in 2013 by Nikolai and Pavel Durov, a pair of brothers who had been finest recognized for launching the Russian social media platform VK. (They fled Russia in 2014 after VK was taken over by the Kremlin.) Though Telegram’s finest privateness characteristic, end-to-end encryption, is just not turned on by default, person privateness on an open platform was the Durovs’ focus from the start. Specifically, they had been impressed by the then-recent revelations about authorities spying from NSA contractor turned whistleblower Edward Snowden.
“It made lots of people actually scared and anxious concerning the present scenario,” Pavel advised TechCrunch in October 2013. “We’re actually amongst many, many individuals who began to consider methods to repair the issue.”
Pavel added that he was conscious about how a lot belief in communications corporations had been misplaced in 2013, so Telegram wanted to earn it from potential customers, with the platform’s open API being step one. “[We] will be capable of invite everybody to evaluate the messaging algorithm that we use on Telegram and examine the supply code of the app,” he stated. “We will earn belief from them, that end-to-end encryption is one thing that may be completed on the shopper facet. This manner, any particular person can verify that the app does precisely what it claims to and does not ship info to different sources or does anything that’s insecure.”
However what began as a safe messaging app was one thing extra in August 2014, when Telegram launched “broadcast lists,” which morphed into “Channels” a 12 months later. This turned Telegram into, successfully, an inverse of the likes of Fb, Twitter, and Instagram: A messaging platform with a public social ingredient added on as a substitute of a social media platform that additionally included direct messaging.