Telegram closes in on 500mn users; Eyes monetization next year

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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With the impressive 500 million user mark at sight, the cross-platform instant messaging app Telegram, known for its security is all set to introduce monetization on the platform. 

Sharing the platform’s future plans on his Telegram channel, the service’s Founder Mr. Pavel Durov stated that the instant messaging app will start generating revenue starting next year but will not charge the current free features on the service.

“We will add some new features for business teams or power users. Some of these features will require more resources and will be paid for by these premium users. Regular users will be able to keep enjoying Telegram — for free, forever,” Mr. Durov commented.

While Telegram looks forward to introducing an ad platform for public one-to-many channels, the portions dedicated to messaging is expected to remain out-of-bounds for now.

“We think that displaying ads in private 1-to-1 chats or group chats is a bad idea,” the Telegram Founder observed.

Sharing his view on treating the service as a social media platform with features such as one-to-many channels of communication Mr. Durov stated that “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 — one that is user-friendly, respects privacy and allows us to cover the costs of servers and traffic,” the Telegram official added.

Taking a jab at Facebook and its acquisition of WhatsApp, the founder remarked that he is “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,” Mr. Durov observed.

Telegram’s move to monetize the platform comes after it decided to abandon a blockchain token project due to regulatory hurdles.