In the first week of January, Telegram surpassed 500 million monthly active users. After that it kept growing: 25 million new users joined Telegram in the last 72 hours alone. These new users came from across the globe \u2013 38% from Asia, 27% from Europe, 21% from Latin America and 8% from MENA.\n\nThis is a significant increase compared to last year, when 1.5M new users signed up every day. We've had surges of downloads before, throughout our 7-year history of protecting user privacy. But this time is different.\n\nPeople no longer want to exchange their privacy for free services. They no longer want to be held hostage by tech monopolies that seem to think they can get away with anything as long as their apps have a critical mass of users.\n\nWith half a billion active users and accelerating growth, Telegram has become the largest refuge for those seeking a communication platform committed to privacy and security. We take this responsibility very seriously. We won\u2019t let you down.\n\nThose of you who have used Telegram for the last several years know we\u2019ve been consistent both when it comes to defending private data and to improving our apps. For those of you who just joined and are wondering what Telegram stands for, I\u2019d like to quote my post from 2018:\n\nYou \u2013 our users \u2013 have been and will always be our only priority. Unlike other popular apps, Telegram doesn\u2019t have shareholders or advertisers to report to. We don\u2019t do deals with marketers, data miners or government agencies. Since the day we launched in August 2013 we haven\u2019t disclosed a single byte of our users' private data to third parties.\n\nWe operate this way because we don\u2019t regard Telegram as an organization or an app. For us, Telegram is an idea; it is the idea that everyone on this planet has a right to be free.