Growth Teardown: Telegram

We’re starting something new on this blog: breaking down a product to better understand its growth. This means both finding out what they do well and suggesting ways that they can improve.

We just launched a guide to growth, and breaking down different apps is a natural extension: from theory & tactics to practical ideas for a specific app.

We’re channeling our inner, where Samuel Hulick breaks down the onboarding for new products. Samuel is a friend of YesGraph — check out our interview with him here.

Our first review is of Telegram, a very popular messaging app. If you like this and want it for your own app, get in touch at

Check out the embedded slideshare below, or the raw pdf here. We also recorded a voice-over video so you can just sit back and listen. You’ll want to go full screen and take notes.

If you have any feedback on the format on content, email me:

To get future teardowns as soon as they come out, subscribe here.

  • Alex Dagil

    Great read – just wanted to give some feedback on this slide, based on what I’m doing:

    1) I make the link in the text redirect to a Smarturl which redirects correctly based on what device you’re on. That way it possible to track who clicks on it, redirect to different onboarding pages or whatever you fancy.

    2) Regarding the channel, we use individual links. This lets us find out which channel the downloads came from and allows for us doing split tests with different invite text in the app.

    • Ivan Kirigin

      Sounds right! Got a link to your app?

      • Alex Dagil

        Sure 🙂 Try and have the sound on during the invitation of friends in the last step of the signup. We tried to gamify it, by recording a track with 17 instruments where one is added for each friend you select.

        • Ivan Kirigin

          That is one of the kookiest apps I’ve ever tried, and I’ve tried quite a few ;-P

          • Alex Dagil

            Hope thats a good thing 😉 Let me know if you have some feedback 🙂

          • Alex Dagil

            I was going for something different as the social media app is flooded with apps. So the idea was to create something that stood out.

            Also I thought it was interesting to explore how sound could be used in a new way. So we hid a lot of sound Easter eggs around the app.

            For example when you invite to gaming we use the unreal “kill ladder” or if you hold on the emoji buttons for a while we play some songs that reference the categories.

            Soon we’re launching what we call The Randomizer – it’s the craziest thing I’ve ever done. Gonna be tons of fun ?