Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec. 26
By Umid Niayesh- Trend:
At least 22 million Iranians have registered at Telegram, a mobile social networks application. Some 15 million of them are active users, Abolhassan Firouzabadi, Secretary of Iran's Supreme Council of Cyberspace, said.
He said that some 50 percent of Iranians spend more than an hour per day in social networks, Iran's Mehr news agency reported Dec. 26.
Over 23 million of Iran's 78 million people are smart phone users, Firouzabadi said, adding that the number of smart phone users is forecasted to reach 40 million.
He further expressed regret for time and cost spent away by Iranians in cyberspace for entertainment.
The use of social network sites on mobile phones has recently become more popular in Iran.
Telegram, a messaging and content sharing app, has become popular in recent months among Iranians, who use it to communicate with each other and also share materials like pornography and political satire. Many of Iran's state-run news agencies have also embraced the platform, using it to advertise their stories.
Although several Iranian officials including Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif use verified Twitter and Facebook accounts, the popular social networks remain banned in Iran.
Iran's Culture Minister Ali Jannati earlier said that 9.5 million Iranians use the social app Viber and 4 million to 4.5 million use Facebook. Most Iranian web users have found ways to evade the state censors and get access to all sites via proxy tunnels and channels.
Following the 2009 post-election disputes in Iran, Tehran banned several social media platform including Video sharing service YouTube, Facebook and twitter.