Who created Telegram: Application Founder, Launch Date & Story, Development

История Telegram: от мессенджера к криптовалюте и облигациям Feed

When did Telegram appear?

The idea of ​​creating a messenger came to Pavel Durov in 2011, when Russian special forces appeared at his door and Durov wanted to create a platform on which users could correspond without fear that their personal data would reach the authorities.
In the same year, Pavel Durov began to bring the idea to life. It took 2 years to develop the first prototype. In 2013, Telegram appeared in the iTunes Store. Here’s what it looked like:

History of Telegram: from messenger to cryptocurrency and bonds

The first users liked the messenger – it worked faster than WhatsApp. Pavel realized that people like Telegram, so he had to develop it on Android as well. To do this, he announced the Durov Android Challenge with a prize fund of 2 million, so Durov wanted to attract IT specialists to work on the Telegram client for Android.
Back in mid-2013, Telegram was available for both iOS and Android. And in October, the desktop version was released.

The convenience of the messenger, its security and compatibility with various devices and operating systems began to pay off. In November 2014, Telegram receives its first million installs.

About the creators of Telegram

Yes, yes, this is not a typo, Pavel Durov is not the only one who had a hand in creating the messenger, although he was the first to come up with such an idea. But first about the main thing.

Telegram - who came up with the history of events

The idea to create a messenger protected from anyone’s interference and free from “wiretapping” came to Pavel in 2011. Initially, Durov just wanted to freely communicate with his brother, but the idea turned into a big project.

Then Pavel and Nikolai Durov worked on the creation of the Telegram mobile application with the support of qualified Digital Fortress employees and other specialists.

By the way, Digital Fortress also belongs to Pavel Durov.

Many of those who were behind the creation of the program are now working on it, constantly updating and improving it. The MTProto protocol, which underlies the encryption and popularity of the messenger, was created and implemented by Pavel’s brother Nikolai. Telegram also runs another E2E technology that encrypts messages in secret chats.

As for the financing of the project, it fell entirely on the shoulders of Pavel Durov. Every messenger user knows that it does not contain paid features. And, despite rising costs due to the influx of new users, the developers say that Telegram will still be free.

High school

In high school, Pavel Durov was enrolled in the experimental class of the Academic Gymnasium of St. Petersburg University. In addition to studying 4 foreign languages, all subjects were presented in the gymnasium in an increased volume.


Pavel Durov became a computer hooligan who could not be appeased by the efforts of the entire teaching staff. After writing a certificate with excellent marks, he graduated from the gym in 2001.


Pavel Durov entered the philological faculty of St. Petersburg State University. Here he launched an active activity, organizing events that would expand the communicative possibilities of a disparate student team. Durov created the spbgu.ru forum, which allowed students of all faculties to publish information about themselves, blog, create groups and choose friends. To draw attention to his idea, Pavel organized contests. Durov created an electronic library of abstracts at the university durov.com.


Studying was easy for Pavel. Received scholarships from the Government of the Russian Federation, the President of the Russian Federation. Student Durov became a three-time winner of the Potanin Prize.

Short story

Above, we looked at how the idea of ​​​​creating the Telegram application came about and who created the messenger. No less interesting is the history of the development of the project. The first users of the program were smartphone owners who got access to the iOS version of the messenger on August 14, 2013.

Who created Telegram: application founder, launch date and history, development

Note that Pavel created a project that immediately interested users and received tens of thousands of downloads on the first day. Eight days later, Telegram appeared, available for the Android operating system. Both programs worked under the MTProto protocol. As noted, it was created by Pavel’s brother Nikolai. In November 2013, third-party programs for Windows and Mac with limited functionality were released, and a web version appeared. At the end of the year, the app had about a million installs.


Judging by the information about Telegram from the Wiki, in 2014 the project continued to develop, several versions appeared. So, in January, Zhukov and his team created an unofficial Webogram application (web version of the messenger).

In the summer, the Telegram HD program appeared, available for iPhone and iPad, published in the AppStore. The new version supports high-quality photos and videos, the ability to send animated GIFs has been added. Alias ​​support became available on October 15, allowing you to contact other members without being tied to a phone number.


In 2013, when Telegram appeared, Pavel did not even count on such a success for the application. The communication program was gaining popularity, so its functionality needed to be expanded. Durov and his team created a code to support stickers. At first, the program had only 14 images, but this did not upset users. Telegram clients could add stickers and change them themselves. The images were free of charge.


In 2016, Telegram owner Pavel Durov announced that he had a staggering 100 million users. More than 15 billion text messages are sent daily. This was another confirmation of the correctness of the chosen direction and the reliability of the program.

Who created Telegram: application founder, launch date and history, development

In the same year, the head of Google created a headquarters for the future purchase of the messenger. About $1 billion was expected to be allocated for the deal. But things did not go further than intentions and the Cart remained with the previous owner.

In May, the ability to edit posts was added. Users were given the opportunity to make changes. For example, a person created and sent an SMS, and then made changes to the text. You have two days to complete these steps. On November 22, the Telegraph blogging platform appeared. Its purpose is to post reviews, add photos and codes.


Many important events took place in 2017. Then, in January, Pavel Durov and his team created an option to delete messages after they’ve been sent. In this scenario, the recipient cannot see the message.

In March, a message appeared about FSB access to Telegram data, but the creator himself called this statement a lie, since hacking the system and reading other people’s messages is actually excluded. After a person has created and sent a message, he will not be able to read it.

Who created Telegram: application founder, launch date and history, development

Other events in 2017:

  • May 16 – refusal to provide information to civil servants;
  • September 27 – FSB request for information with access to the application;
  • October 11 – the appearance of an updated version in Russian, a change in appearance, the appearance of other languages.
  • May 15 – the appearance of calls in the application;
  • May 19 – Removal of built-in HTML5 games;
  • June 28 – registration of Telegram in the register of information distributors;


In 2018, there was an active struggle between Telegram and the government of the Russian Federation. With his statement, Pavel created a precedent when the Russian security forces were unable to control other users. On March 20, the Russian military ruled that the FSB’s request for decryption keys was legitimate. Only 15 days were allotted for the data transfer.

Who created Telegram: application founder, launch date and history, development

The app crashed on March 29th. Many users could not exchange messages. According to Durov, who created the program, the reason was a power outage in one of the data centers.

On July 26, Telegram Passport appeared, a service that allows you to store personal data in the cloud. Pavel and his team created an algorithm that excludes the access of the messenger and unauthorized persons to this information.

Who created Telegram: application founder, launch date and history, development

On August 28, the company’s lawyers decided to transfer suspected users of intellectual property in terrorist activities to law enforcement agencies. The main condition is the existence of a court decision.


In 2019, the development of Telegram continued. So, on March 24, an option appeared that allows you to delete a message from yourself and your interlocutor, and from October 7, support for applications for XP and Vista has been discontinued.

Who created Telegram: application founder, launch date and history, development
Who created Telegram: application founder, launch date and history, development
Who created Telegram: application founder, launch date and history, development


Official Telegram statistics are published irregularly. According to the service, in October 2013, 100 thousand people actively used the messenger, by February 2016 their number had increased to 100 million. On March 22, 2018, Pavel Durov announced that the number of Telegram users had exceeded 200 million.

According to SimilarWeb analysis, 18.24% of messenger users who installed the application on personal computers are in Russia, 7.01% in Brazil, 5.75% in Ukraine, 4.46% in Italy, 4.81% in Iran . In 2016, Pavel Durov stated that the share of Russia in his users is 2%.

Telegram evolution

Five years later, Telegram’s interface was pretty much the same as it was on launch day.

The old version of the operating system with an authentic design of 2013 is not much different from Telegram 2018.

Durov has always been a supporter of minimalism. For this, he was often criticized, but it turned out that this is exactly what users need.

The design has not been updated, but new features have been added.

Within the first few months of launch, the web version of Telegram appeared, secret chats were launched, support for gifs and aliases was added.

Over the next two years, we developed stickers, connected the telegra.ph blogging platform, introduced post editing, channel search, post saving, and other intuitive features.

The application has become more functional, but at the same time easy to use.

Now in Telegram they are focused on the development and implementation of new services in the messenger without weighing down the interface.

Telegram audience

In less than a month since its release, the messenger has grown to 100,000 registrations per day. A significant part of the audience comes from the Middle East.

In three months, Telegram has been installed more than a million times around the world. But in Russia, the messenger did not even make it into the top 100 in 2013.

Then it became clear that Telegram would focus on the global market and would be able to avoid conflict with VKontakte due to the geographical separation of interests.

The situation on VKontakte was already tense.

By the end of 2014, Telegram had about 50 million registered users.

WhatsApp crashed in February, and within hours, almost two million new users signed up for Telegram.

Early 2016: The messenger has passed the milestone of 100 million users. Not a bad result for a small team project?

And in 2018, Telegram already has 200 million users with a registration rate of 600,000 per day.

There are no official statistics on the distribution of the audience, but several facts are known: half of Iran is in Telegram, the audience of the Russian Federation is less than 10%, many South Koreans switched to Telegram due to state control.

The ups and downs of Telegram

Initially, it was difficult for Pavel Durov to attract a large audience to the new unknown messenger, but soon people became convinced from their own experience that Telegram has its own originality, which is why it is so appreciated. Increasing the size of the created accounts every day, the developers still did not suspect what would happen next.

It all started in October 2017, when, according to a Telegram court decision, he had to pay a fine of 800,000 rubles to Roskomnadzor. In connection with the receipt by Pavel Durov of a refusal from federal services to transfer information about 6 messenger users accused of a terrorist attack. The director of the company said that the keys do not exist at all. The fight lasted for about six months, as a result, the FSB managed to block the telegram on the territory of the Russian Federation.

Despite this, Durov did not give up and continued to fight injustice. Of course, some were in favor of blocking, but the majority supported user privacy. Based on today’s events, we can say that Telegram “came out of the water.” Russians can exchange personal information freely and securely using proxy servers and VPN (VPN) applications. You can also do without downloading and connecting by running on your device

First bugs and key features

Durov was worried about the messenger’s safety. He wanted to test the possibility of a hack and in December 2013 promised $200,000 for a full transcript of his Telegram correspondence. But no one succeeded.
On December 22, a study on the security of the messenger appeared on Habré, the author of which discovered an error when using secret chats. Durov paid $100,000 to find him, and a team of messengers fixed the security breach.
Telegram has grown rapidly. For a couple of years, the main “chips” appeared:

History of Telegram: from messenger to cryptocurrency and bonds

The beginning of the conflict with the authorities and blocking in Russia

In May 2017, Telegram management stated that it would not cooperate with the Russian authorities. But soon Durov agreed to register the messenger in the register of information dissemination organizers at the request of Roskomnadzor. Durov explained this by saying that the Russian authorities only need information about the company, and not the personal data of users.
The authorities did not stop there: now they needed user data. In September 2017, the FSB asked the Telegram management to make concessions. This time, the messenger team officially refused to cooperate and provide the keys to decrypt the correspondence.
The reaction was quick: the court imposed a fine of 800 thousand euros on the company, Pavel Durov then said that he considered the FSB instructions to be contrary to the Constitution of the Russian Federation and was looking for lawyers who could appeal this decision.
In 2018, the Telegram team wanted to appeal against the court decision. But in March of the same year, the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation recognized the obligation of the FSB to provide keys for decrypting correspondence in Telegram as legal.

The company continued to hang on and did not provide any data. And on April 13, the court blocked Telegram on the territory of the Russian Federation. Roskomnadzor has been appointed head of the block. In an attempt to block Telegram, Roskomnadzor interrupted the work of other services: Google, Yandex, and the Citymobil taxi service. And the messenger itself works for most users, changing addresses and adding internal support for proxy servers.

On January 4, 2019, Durov closes the Telegram Messenger LLP company, in respect of which the FSB demands were sent.
Although the messenger actually worked without interruptions and workarounds, it was only officially unlocked on June 18, 2020.

Cryptocurrency development Telegram

In the same year, when the war with the Russian authorities began, Pavel Durov announced the start of work on his own cryptocurrency. He and his team wanted to create a reliable currency called Gram, which could be traded and bought for various goods and services, including on Telegram.
It took money. To do this, the Durov team conducts an ICO – this is the attraction of investments to create a cryptocurrency. In return, investors received tokens with the right to trade them with Gram in the future. At the preliminary stage, it was possible to raise $850 million from 81 investors. Telegram promised to launch the Gram cryptocurrency by October 31, 2019.
In September 2019, the first version of the TON system appeared, which is necessary for the functioning of the Gram cryptocurrency.

Gram Cryptocurrency Failure

Telegram started having problems with the launch of the cryptocurrency. In October 2019, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed a lawsuit against the developers of TON and Gram for violation of the cryptocurrency. Telegram offered investors to delay the launch until April 30, 2020 or receive a return of approximately 77% of the investment. Most investors agreed to wait.

Work resumed. On November 4, 2019, Telegram began testing the Gram cryptocurrency. The official apps are designed for Windows, macOS and Linux only. Each user can download the source code and create their own applications.

New difficulties soon arose. The SEC asked for $1.7 billion in investment spending. First, Telegram was ordered to disclose financial data, which made it possible to hide information subject to foreign privacy laws. Documents had to be filed with the SEC no later than February 26, 2020.

The SEC also noted that Telegram management used the tokens as securities. The American court also agreed with this opinion. As a result, Telegram distributed the titles illegally.

History of Telegram: from messenger to cryptocurrency and bonds

Cryptocurrency gram has come to an end. On May 12, 2020, Durov officially closed the TON project. In this regard, he said that 96% of the world’s inhabitants depend on the United States in terms of finance and technology.

Issuing bonds to cover debt

Due to the bankruptcy of the cryptocurrency, Telegram found itself in debt. I had to return the depositors’ money, and the messenger itself works at the expense of Pavel Durov’s personal money, which cannot last forever. Analysts analyzed the state of the business and noted that the ability of Telegram to continue to work is in question:

  • The loss in 2018 was $172.7 million, in 2019 it was $150.9 million.
  • Debts exceeded existing assets (by USD 418 million – USD 245 million).

To cover debts and improve the financial situation, Telegram management announced the issuance of convertible bonds. These are bonds that can be exchanged for shares of the messenger after it goes public. Potential investors were informed about Telegram monetization methods:

  • Advertising in Telegram channels
  • Premium stickers on a dedicated marketplace
  • Games whose profits will be shared with developers
  • Short videos – stories in the messenger with ad integrations

As a result, Arab funds Mubadala and Abu Dhabi Catalyst Partners became the largest investors. They invested 150 million dollars, later it turned out that part of the money invested in the Mubadala fund was indeed invested by the Russian Direct Investment Fund.

Application Modernization

Initially, Telegram developers introduced the usual standard version of instant messaging. iPhone users were the first to try Durov’s product. Other versions of the Android and PC apps have subsequently been released.

As of December 2013, there were about 2 million users. Let’s see how Telegram has evolved and what important updates have been released:

  • 2016 Editing messages in private chats, groups, supergroups. Added Telegraph service for convenient management of your Telegram channel (you can attach files and other information).
  • 2018. Installing proxy servers.
  • 2017. Deleting messages. Calls via Telegram Desktop.
  • Stickers 2015 is a feature that allows you to create your own set of stickers and use other people’s sets.

Transmission security

Introducing his messenger in August 2013, Pavel Durov stated that his product is “faster and more secure” than other services of this type, and that “messages via Telegram cannot be intercepted.” This is achieved through “secret chats” as well as using cloud storage to deliver messages with a lower level of encryption. Durov still does not disclose the exact addresses of the usual servers used for the messenger, and refuses to provide correspondence and user data to special services.

According to the rules of Telegram, it is impossible to block private and group chats in it, the administration, in principle, does not have access to them. At the same time, Telegram accepts requests for violation of the law from international intelligence agencies and blocks transmission channels, automatic publication tools (bots) and virtual sticker sets (stickers) used to communicate in accordance with them.

Telegram use by terrorists

In 2014, after the announcement of the creation of the Islamic State (IS) terrorist organization banned in the Russian Federation in Syria and Iraq, its militants began to centrally use Telegram as a means of coordinating actions and propaganda. In July 2015, accused of supporting terrorism, Durov said: “Our right to privacy in communication and personal space is much more important than some marginal threats from politicians who want to intimidate us with the possibility of a terrorist threat, it won’t even get closed.”

Immediately after the terrorist attack in Paris on November 13, 2015 (then 130 people died), there were reports in the media that IS militants used Telegram to prepare it. Although it soon became clear that the terrorists were removed via simple SMS, Telgram began to systematically remove IS-related thematic channels and bots. Then, in May 2017, Telegram announced the removal of 3,942 of these “audiences” and bots.

On June 26, 2017, the FSB issued a press release stating that the terrorist attack in the St. Petersburg metro on April 3, 2017 was prepared with the help of Telegram.

Countries where Telegram is blocked

As of April 2018, Telegram has been blocked in China (since 2015). On December 30, 2017, after a series of anti-government demonstrations, Telegram was blocked in Iran, but the block was lifted on January 13. Individual service interruptions were reported by users in Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Indonesia, and Bahrain.

Who owns Telegram now

Telegram is officially owned by two companies registered in Belize and the Virgin Islands. One of the offices is registered in the UAE, and most of the data is distributed around the world, making it difficult for intelligence agencies to access information. Durov’s fortune today is estimated at more than $900 million.

How to contact Telegram support

Telegram technical support is needed in case of problems or questions: you lost your SIM card, forgot your login details, etc. There are several ways to get help:

  • On social networks (Twitter, VK).
  • Thanks to bot support.
  • Using the official site.

Summing up

Pavel Durov started by creating a closed social network for graduates of elite universities, which has become the most popular social network in the CIS.

After the social network was “squeezed”, he founded the most secure messenger, which is now known to a wide range of users.

Telegram has not stopped developing and continues to not only gain popularity and improve.

Telegram is launching its own blockchain platform that has raised almost $2 billion from investors.

Telegram is copied by competitors: WhatsApp introduced chats, VKontakte introduced the function of editing and deleting messages.

Over the past five years, the messenger has not only become more popular and functional, but also launches a global platform for communication, money transfers and business. A worthy result, Telegram.

Rate article
Add a comment