Telegram vs WhatsApp: where is more traffic?

Publication date: 24 Jan 2023

Mobile operators working in Russia have calculated the traffic volumes in messengers for 2022. As a result, it turned out that at the end of last year, Telegram overtook WhatsApp for the first time in terms of user traffic: its share exceeded 60-80%.

Telegram became the fastest-growing messenger, with its audience among Tele2 subscribers increasing by nearly 50% over the year. Telegram’s traffic share is now about 75% of the total volume and exceeds WhatsApp’s indicators by 4-5 times.

Among Megafon customers, Telegram has retained the lead in terms of traffic since March 2022. In December 2022, its share of total messenger traffic was 61%, while WhatsApp had 28%.

Telegram’s share in MTS is now around 80%, and it overtakes WhatsApp in terms of user activity, though WhatsApp still leads in terms of numbers.

It is possible that in 2023 Telegram will surpass WhatsApp in the number of users in Russia as well. According to Mediascope, Telegram’s audience is growing five times faster than WhatsApp’s. As the research company clarified, Telegram consumption time continues to increase vigorously across all age groups. In October 2022, Russians aged 12 to 24 spent 31 minutes a day on this resource, the age group from 25 to 34 years old – 17 minutes. Users spend a third of their time on Telegram reading feeds.

The main reasons for Telegram’s growing popularity: there are more and more channels with full-fledged media content. Furthermore, the messenger is constantly evolving and new posting formats and advertising settings are appearing.  For example, a new automated platform, Nativity, has just been launched.

Meanwhile, on 21 January 2023, Roskomnadzor recognized Telegram as a foreign messenger. That means that as of 1 March, the messenger will prohibit any transfer of payment information (e.g., subscription payments, donation processing, partially sending any supporting bank documents). This would probably have a negative impact on Telegram’s growth in 2023.


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