Adfree messaging app Telegram is snapping at the heels of Twitter and WhatsApp

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Ad-free messaging app Telegram is snapping at the heels of Twitter and WhatsApp

Pavel Durov and his brother launched Telegram in 2012 (Picture: Getty Images)

Encrypted messaging app Telegram has today announced it has 100million monthly active users just 18 months after it launched.

Brothers Nikolai and Pavel Durov created Telegram in 2012 as a research project. The pair said they wanted to create something really ‘secure and fun at the same time’ in the wake of Edward’s Snowdens revelations about the NSA and PRISM.

Now, just two-and-a-half years after it launched, the Durov brothers told the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona the app has 100million monthly users, 350,000 new users each day and 15billion daily messages, all of which are secure and sent using an encrypted system.

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Telegram has been criticised for apparently facilitating terrorist communication

But Telegram has come under fire.

Critics say the app actively facilitates and hides terrorist communication.

‘Privacy, ultimately, is more important than our fear of bad things happening, like terrorism,’ Pavel Durov told Mike Butcher, of TechCrunch.

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