After two years of trying to block the Telegram messenger in June 2020, Federal Service for Supervision in the Sphere of Telecom, Information Technologies and Mass Communications (Roskomnadzor) announced the removal of access restrictions. How the unlocking of the messenger affected his audience was revealed by the digital agency “Interium”, having analyzed the posts reviews and the subscribers number over the past months.
During forced self-isolation, the average number of views rose fivefold and the number of subscribers increased on average by 20%. Thus, quarantine stimulated mainly existing subscribers to demonstrate greater interest in the content of the channels.
After the removal of the “non-working days regime”, views on channels decreased on average by 16.5%, and the number of subscribers continued to grow (36% on average than it was during quarantine). Probably, during a forced rest, users are somewhat tired of social networks.
Experts also argue that it was the Telegram unlocking that had a little effect on the channels. Views continued to decline, although not so considerably (decline rate is around 1%), but the growth of subscribers has seriously slowed down. On average, the audience of channels increased by 3% compared to the previous period, and about a third even lost a part of subscribers.
“When blocking, Telegram did a good job of informing and clearly and uncomplicatedly explained how to access the messenger. We can say that it was thanks to the Telegram blocking that the majority of Russian users learned what a proxy server and vpn were, and also started using them, ”said Vasily Ovchinnikov, Advisor to the Director General of the Russian Internet Technologies Development Fund.
Thus, the technical features of access to Telegram did not affect the audience. The channels were already able to collect almost all of their readers, and the unlock did not give a significant boost to their popularity (everyone who wanted to was there already).
In July 2020, Roskomnadzor also unblocked the service for publishing Telegraph articles. Telegram launched the service at the end of 2016. Telegraph allows to anonymously create notes with text, photos and videos. Materials created in Telegraph can immediately be opened using the Instant View preview function straight into the messenger.