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.) Although Telegram’s finest privateness characteristic, end-to-end encryption, shouldn’t be turned on by default, person privateness on an open platform was the Durovs’ focus from the start. Particularly, 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 informed TechCrunch in October 2013. “We’re definitely 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 firms 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 have the ability to invite everybody to evaluate the messaging algorithm that we use on Telegram and examine the supply code of the app,” he mentioned. “We will earn belief from them, that end-to-end encryption is one thing that may be executed on the consumer aspect. This manner, any particular person can test that the app does precisely what it claims to and does not ship info to different sources or does the rest that’s insecure.”
However what began as a safe messaging app become 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 an alternative of a social media platform that additionally included direct messaging.