Telegram founder Pavel Durov on January 9 slammed Facebook, which owns WhatsApp, asking the company to "respect" its users.
"I hear Facebook has an entire department devoted to figuring out why Telegram is so popular. Imagine dozens of employees working on just that full-time," Durov said in a post on his Telegram channel.
"I am happy to save Facebook tens of millions of dollars and give away our secret for free: respect your users," he said.
Telegram saw nearly 2.2 million downloads in two days, Reuters reported on January 8, citing data from Sensor Tower.
Durov said Telegram has around 500 million users, claiming it has turned into "a major problem" for WhatsApp.
He also accused WhatsApp of covert marketing, stating that "Wikipedia editors have recently exposed multiple paid bots adding biased information into the WhatsApp Wikipedia article".
Durov also sought to address some "myths" related to Telegram, after witnessing inaccurate information about the platform on social media. He clarified that the platform's code is open source and that chats are encrypted.
"In reality, all Telegram client apps have been open source since 2013. Our encryption and API are fully documented and have been reviewed by security experts thousands of times," the Telegram founder said.
Durov, who is Russian, said Telegram does not have servers or offices in the country, and was blocked there from 2018 to 2020.He also said Telegram "doesn't spend any money" on marketing, unlike Facebook.