Telegram, a messaging app with a focus on speed and security, is seeing 12 billion messages sent daily, a significant increase from 1 billion in February and 2 billion in May, founder Pavel Durov revealed.

TechCrunch noted that there has not been any increase in monthly active users, which has remained around the 60 million mark since May, meaning the figures reveal a dramatic increase in engagement by existing users.

“People who installed Telegram as a back-up application started to use it as their primary messaging app. And that’s why we see this huge increase in user activity,” explained Durov at TechCrunch Disrupt SF 2015.

Telegram enables users’ messages to sync seamlessly across all their devices, and allows them to share unlimited number of files of up to 1.5 GB as well as create groups for up to 200 people, which is useful for business users and small work teams.

It also supports animated gif search and has a photo editor and an open sticker platform.

“If you have WhatsApp on your phone and your battery’s low and your phone goes dead, suddenly you can’t get access to your messages. It’s over. It’s not cross device,” Durov further elaborated at the event.

Telegram clearly thinks of WhatsApp (which hit 900 million monthly active user earlier this month) as its main competitor.

Its website states it is different from WhatsApp because it is cloud-based and heavily encrypted, adding that thanks to a multi-data centre infrastructure and encryption, it is faster and more secure than mass market messengers like WhatsApp and Line.

Telegram supports two layers of secure encryption: server-client encryption is used in cloud chats (private and group chats), while ‘secret chats’ uses an additional layer of client-client encryption.