Telegram overtakes WhatsApp in terms of traffic in Russia

Last year, Telegram bypassed WhatsApp for the first time in terms of user traffic in Russia. By 2023, the share of Telegram’s audience will exceed 60-80% of the total volume in the country, Vedomosti newspaper wrote, citing the assessment of mobile operators.

A representative of VimpelCom (Beeline brand) told the publication that in 2022, Telegram’s traffic volume exceeded WhatsApp and continues to grow. for the first two weeks of January [2023 г.] The growth rate was 68% year-on-year,” he specified.

agent VimpelCom also said that the traffic volume reflects not only the popularity of the service, but also how much content is transmitted through it – mainly video.

According to him, the traffic of the American messenger in Russia is stable: WhatsApp is “neither growing nor declining.”

An MTS spokesperson said that Telegram has an 80% share and is ahead of WhatsApp. A representative of Megafon said that in March 2022 Telegram became the traffic leader. according to him, In the last two weeks of December, part of the Russian messenger Of the total traffic was 61%, WhatsApp – 28%.

At the same time, Telegram still lags behind WhatsApp in terms of the number of users, said a Tele2 representative. However, it remains the fastest-growing messenger: over the year, its audience among Tele2 subscribers has grown by almost 50%.

In 2023, Telegram could overtake WhatsApp in terms of viewership in Russia, predicts Maria Saykina, chief analyst at the Russian Association for Electronic Communications (RAEC). According to Mediascope data, Telegram’s audience is growing 5 times faster than WhatsApp’s audience.

In March 2022, about a month after the war broke out in Ukraine, Meta, the owner of WhatsApp, was recognized as an extremist organization in Russia. The court ruled to immediately ban his activities in Russia. As mentioned, the decision was made that two of the company’s social networks – Facebook and Instagram and WhatsApp were not subject to restrictions.

Meta was accused of inciting violence against the Russian military. Earlier, the company changed its policy on moderating posts about the war in Ukraine: it unblocked users in some countries for inciting violence against Russians, the Russian military and political leaders of Russia and Belarus.

In addition, the prosecutor for the prosecution argued that users would not be held responsible for publications on social networks. Despite this, the blogger at the end of September Veronika Logova received a warning from the prosecutor’s office about the inadmissibility of using Instagram. The agency considered the use of social networks to be participation in extremist activities.

Meta was also recognized in October Organizations involved in terrorism.

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