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Telegram's new users represent ‘largest digital migration in history,’ founder says

The messenger's users include Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, Turkish President Recep Tayyip, French President Emmanuel Macron, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky as well as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

MOSCOW, January 14. /TASS/. The mass migration of users to the Telegram Internet messenger marks "the largest digital migration in human history," Telegram founder Pavel Durov said Thursday.

"We may be witnessing the largest digital migration in human history. Following this global phenomenon, two presidents started their Telegram channels: the President of Brazil Jair Bolsonaro and the President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan," he wrote on his channel.

He recalled that a number of other world leaders, including French President Emmanuel Macron and Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, as well as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, already registered in the messenger, too.

"We are honored that political leaders, as well as numerous public organizations, rely on Telegram to combat misinformation and spread awareness about important issues in their societies," Durov pointed out.

The Telegram founder underscored that the messenger does not implement opaque algorithms that decide whether a user will see the content they subscribed for.

"As a result, Telegram channels are the only direct way for opinion leaders to reliably connect with their audiences," he added.

On Tuesday, Durov announced that the number of Telegram users exceeded 500 million, with 25 million joining over the previous three days alone. This happened amid scandals over the updated WhatsApp user agreement, which provides for exchange of data with Facebook, as well as the ban of US President Donald Trump in social media following the Capitol events. On Wednesday, Telegram marked the @trump channel, allegedly belonging to the US president, as a fake. The White House did not comment on the status of the channel.