Telegram was founded by the Russian entrepreneur Pavel Durov. Its client-side code is open-source software but the source code for recent versions is not always immediately published, whereas its server-side code is closed-source and proprietary. The service also provides APIs to independent developers. In February 2016, Telegram stated that it had 100 million monthly active users, sending 15 billion messages per day. According to its CEO, as of April 2017, Telegram has more than 50% annual growth rate.
Telegram’s security model has received notable criticism by cryptography experts. They have argued that it is undermined by its use of a custom-designed encryption protocol that has not been proven reliable and secure, by storing all messages on their servers by default and by not enabling end-to-end encryption for messages by default. Pavel Durov has argued that this is because it helps to avoid third-party unsecure backups and to allow users to access messages and files from any device. Messages in Telegram are server-client encrypted by default, and the service provides end-to-end encryption for voice calls and optional end-to-end encrypted “secret” chats.
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