Russian Telegram boss ‘cancels’ birthday
Billionaire social media entrepreneur Pavel Durov has decided to “cancel” his 38th birthday, according to a post he made on Telegram, the platform he founded with his brother in 2013. “Due to the uneasy times in the world,” Durov will remain 37, he wrote, thanking his followers for their birthday wishes nevertheless.
He did not elaborate on the “uneasy times” comment, allowing his followers to fill in the blanks.
In 2006, Durov founded VKontakte (VK), which soon became the most popular social media network in Russia. He launched Telegram seven years later after complaining that all the other messaging apps on the market “suck,” and continues to use his channel on the platform to highlight security flaws in competitors such as WhatsApp. Telegram boasts over 700 million monthly users.
The social media entrepreneur left Russia in 2014, dodging government pressure to turn over VK user data on the leaders of the US-backed Euromaidan protests in Ukraine, and currently lives in Dubai, where he was said to be the wealthiest inhabitant of the United Arab Emirates as of 2021.
Durov celebrated his 37th birthday by posting a list of “3 undervalued and 7 overvalued things in life” to Telegram. The billionaire apparently cherishes sleep, nature, and solitude, while spurning big cities, fashion, real estate, and social media, among other things.