Telegram to monetise the platform starting next year, says founder Pavel Durov
Monetisation plan includes charging business team owners or power users for select features.
“We're not going to sell the company like the founders of WhatsApp.” Telegram founder Pavel Durov on late Wednesday published a blog post, laying out the company's roadmap for 2021. The plan mostly focuses on ways to keep up with the growth and monetise the service, which has been available for free to all users.
Highlighting that Telegram is nearing 500 million users, Durov said that he had been taking care of the company's expenses from his pocket.
“However, with its current growth Telegram is on track to reach billions of users and to require appropriate funding. When a tech project reaches this scale, typically there are two options – start earning money to cover the costs, or sell the company,” he said.
Taking a jibe at WhatsApp, Durov said that the company will not be sold. But in order to keep the platform running, Telegram will begin to focus on generating revenue starting next year. The efforts include making business teams or power users pay for select features while all the features that are currently free will remain free. Durov also ruled out the possibility of showing ads in the one-on-one chats.
“All parts of Telegram devoted to messaging will remain ad-free. We think that displaying ads in private 1-to-1 chats or group chats is a bad idea. Communication between people should be free of advertising of any sort,” he commented.
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Telegram is also looking to build its own Ad Platform public one-to-many channels. The focus will be keeping the interface user-friendly and non-intrusive to offset the costs of servers and traffic.
“For example, If we monetise large public one-to-many channels via the Ad Platform, the owners of these channels will receive free traffic in proportion to their size. Or, if Telegram introduces premium stickers with additional expressive features, 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,” he said.
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