Telegram will start monetizing its app to keep the business operational

The popular cloud-based instant messaging app Telegram plans to monetize its app starting 2020 to keep the business operational, founder and CEO Pavel Durov said today on his Telegram channel.

In April 2020, Telegram reached 400 million monthly users, up from 300 million a year ago and it approaches 500 million users. The platform aims to monetize its user base by introducing its own ad platform for public one-to-many channels. Durov explains the ad platform as the “one that is user-friendly, respects privacy and allows us to cover the costs of server and traffic.”

Pavel Durov said “If we monetize large public one-to-many channels via the Ad Platform, the owners of these channels will receive free traffic in proportion to their size.” 

“Telegram has a social networking dimension. Our massive public one-to-many channels can have millions of subscribers each and are more like Twitter feeds. In many markets the owners of such channels display ads to earn money, sometimes using third-party ad platforms. The ads they post look like regular messages, and are often intrusive. We will fix this by introducing our own Ad Platform for public one-to-many channels,” Durov wrote today.

Telegram also considers monetizing its app through premium stickers with “additional expressive features,” Durov wrote. “The artists who make stickers of this new type will also get a part of the profit. We want millions of Telegram-based creators and small businesses to thrive, enriching the experience of all our users.”

The existing features will remain free, said Durov, adding that Telegram is committed to not introduce ads in private one-to-one chats or group chats because they are a “bad idea.”

“We are not going to sell the company like the founders of Whatsapp. The world needs Telegram to stay independent as a place where users are respected and high-quality service is ensured,” he said. 

“Telegram will begin to generate revenue, starting next year. We will do it in accordance with our values and the pledges we have made over the last 7 years. Thanks to our current scale, we will be able to do it in a non-intrusive way. Most users will hardly notice any change.”

Written by Sophie Blake


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