Study Shows Telegram Channels Have Increased Numbers In Russia

Since back in April when a Russian court banned the messenger Telegram, the members of the crypto-related Telegram channels have increased in number. This was according to a study covering the top 50 Russian language group. During the summer, there was a decrease in the views of published posts but despite that, the readership of all examined groups has gone up by 21 percent, and 49 percent of those in the “Cryptocurrency” category.

A couple of months after Russian authorities begun a campaign against Telegram, the number of its Russian users interested in cryptocurrency has sky-rocketed. According to a new report coving the top 50 Russian language channels, the members of the crypto-related Telegram groups have increased by 49 percent since April when a ban on the popular messenger was officially imposed. The suppression on Telegram started when Russia’s telecom watchdog, Roskomnadzor, tried to restrict access to the platform by blocking its IP address. Nonetheless, the regulatory agency has been basically unsuccessful despite causing some interruptions in the service. Its efforts to block the app followed a decision issued by a district court in Moscow on April 13 that came in response to Telegram’s refusal to hand over its encryption keys to the Federal Security Service.

Though, the ban, the noise around it, and the difficulties Telegram are facing have had an adverse effect on some of its indicators. The survey done by the non-profit organization Rspectr found that the posts in the examined most popular Russian channels have been losing 11.2 percent of their views on average each month, from April through August, or 45 percent for the whole period. The growth of new subscriptions registered by the messenger has also decreased this summer – it’s been only 0.01% in the last month.

However, the readers of the leading channels have actually increased in number, the researchers point out – by 21% during the same period (4% monthly). The membership of a number of the top 50 groups continues to grow. The Russian audience is mostly interested in topics in the categories of “Cryptocurrency” and “Business/Economy”. The number of their readers has gone up by 49% (8.4% monthly) respectively. The study also notes that the number of subscribers to these groups has increased by 186% or 23.4% per month. The average reach of the posts in these groups rose by 28%.

The authors of the report have noted the steady decrease in the frequency of posting in the studied channels, probably related to lower user activity during the holiday season, which is likely to have caused the drop in the number of views as well. A positive trend has been detected in August when the average number of views of the posts in the “Cryptocurrency” category jumped by 13%.


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