Telegram success story

Last update: June 7, 2021


This article will be dedicated to Telegram messenger success story. It is interesting that Telegram wasn’t the first messenger on the mobile applications’ market, it appeared when Viber, What’sApp, Facebook Messenger were already presented on the market and had millions of users. How did Telegram manage to enter an extremely competitive environment and become a popular messenger? What is Telegram success story? Will find out in the article. 

In fact, there are 2 aspects telegram success is based on:

  1. Telegram’s founder Mr. Pavel Durov personal brand.
  2. Telegram’s security, which was proclaimed and is promoted actively by Pavel Durov, thanks to his strong personal brand.

Let’s have a look at both these aspects in detail.

What is Telegram

Just in case, Telegram is a messaging mobile application, developed for both iOS and Android platforms. Users can send text, audio, video messages, as well as stickers, images, documents. There are also such advanced chatting features as user’s status, sending-delivery-read status, share geolocation, user groups, chat’s document library, video calls etc. 

Also, Telegram developers proclaim that Telegram is a messaging app with a focus on speed and security – they say Telegram it’s super-fast, simple and free.

So, is Telegram just another messaging app? And, if so, how did it manage to become popular and gain about 500 million users? 

Telegram founder’s personality and personal brand

The first aspect we would like to mention is Mr. Pavel Durov’s – Telegram main founder and promoter – personal brand. As you may probably know, Pavel Durov is a founder of the VK (VKontankte) – a major social network in CIS countries, local analogue of Facebook, if it is possible to say. So, here in CIS countries Pavel Durov has a reputation of not just an IT businessman, but also, let’s say, innovative progressively-minded entrepreneur, author of innovative digital products. This reputation was formed thanks to his VK network development activities, blogging activities on VK platform, where he not too often posted some innovative thoughts, ideas and proposals. Russian segment of the internet community mostly liked Mr. Durov, supposing that developing VK social network, he benefits the development of Russian internet services and digital community development in general. Actually, when VK was sold to a large Russian IT holding Mail.ru Group, the digital community for the most part disliked this takeover. Even now when VK deploys updates with, for instance, paid subscriptions to music or ads before any video, the community says “VK used to be better with Durov”. 

Getting back to our topic, Pavel Durov used his personal brand of innovative entrepreneur to promote Telegram messenger. For example, in the years 2013-2014, when Telegram was launching, and also later there was a lot of news here in Russian media like “VK’s founder launches brand-new secured messenger app” (info in Russian). The news was practically the same in western media  – Reuters’s article about Russian Zuckerberg and his new messenger. We would also like to recommend this video about Mr. Durov, his story and story of Telegram success:

Telegram messenger’s security

The security of Telegram messenger is discussed a lot. The Telegram development team heavily promotes this aspect. Actually, the media is full of news and articles about how secured Telegram is in comparison with other messengers. By the way, not all of them confirm the level of Telegram’s security. Anyway, the Telegram development team made the application recognized as a secured messenger. Telegram developers proclaim that any individual, expert, developer can check the source code, messaging protocol, API; analyze, test it and be sure it is secured as proclaimed. Such a transparent approach works positively for Telegram’s brand, making it successful.

One more aspect we would like to mention is that at the beginning of 2010th there was a lot of news about leaks of personal data, spying on users and abusive use of users’ personal data on Internet in general and in socials, messengers in particular. Thus, there was a request for secured software solutions among users. Pavel Durov and his team detected this request and created a secured messenger to address it. And the strong personal brand of Pavel Durov was a great basis for promoting a secured messenger. 

A tip for any founder

What we can learn from Telegram’s success story is the importance of personal brand as well as right positioning of the product. Regarding Telegram, Pavel Durov, IT entrepreneur from Russia used his already developed recognition to promote his new product. Together with this, Telegram developers took advantage of the situation with the request for secured online services in front of multiple data leaks news.

Surely, building a personal brand is a long and hard trip. It is a continuous process, not a single effort. Large companies spend significant budgets on building a brand, however, simple steps are available even for small emerging companies or startups. There is a product development approach when any startup should become a media company first. Taking into account that promoting activities are usually costly, making and publishing content is free or cheap today. No matter what product, service or business you want to organize, start producing and publishing content about it as early as possible. Tell about your progress, plans, even failures. By the way, people are tired of success stories, failed stories are of high interest nowadays. For instance, if you open a restaurant, start blogging about the construction process or how repair is going, how you hire staff or agree with suppliers, what interior design do you plan and why etc. If you create some digital product, post regularly about the progress achieved, publish your development roadmap and ask for feedback, tell about your success and failures achieved, decision taken and so on. In other words, it is necessary to build an audience around your product even prior to any development.

Begin producing content around your product now as a part of your future success!