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Users shouldn’t worry about ads on Telegram, says founder Pavel Durov

The Telegram Messenger LLP app on a smartphone arranged in Hastings on Hudson, New York, U.S., on Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021. Big tech's decision to ban the Parler app and block former U.S. President Donald Trump is stoking support for alternative social networking sites and apps that bill themselves as promoting free speech and privacy. Photographer: Tiffany Hagler-Geard/Bloomberg The Telegram Messenger LLP app on a smartphone arranged in Hastings on Hudson, New York, U.S., on Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021. Big tech's decision to ban the Parler app and block former U.S. President Donald Trump is stoking support for alternative social networking sites and apps that bill themselves as promoting free speech and privacy. Photographer: Tiffany Hagler-Geard/Bloomberg
The Telegram Messenger LLP app on a smartphone arranged in Hastings on Hudson, New York, U.S., on Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021. Big tech's decision to ban the Parler app and block former U.S. President Donald Trump is stoking support for alternative social networking sites and apps that bill themselves as promoting free speech and privacy. Photographer: Tiffany Hagler-Geard/Bloomberg (Bloomberg)

The Telegram founder clarified that if Telegram did end up introducing ads in one-to-many-channels, they would be contextual, that is based on the topic of the channel, not targeted based on any user data.

Telegram founder Pavel Durov revealing the roadmap for the coming year had talked about the possibility of monetising the platform. At the time, Durov had said that communication between people would remain free from advertising of any sort. Now, the Telegram has issued more clarification in this regard.

In a blog post titled “Why users shouldn’t worry about ads on Telegram” on his Telegram channel, Durvov explained how the company planned to approach the entire issue of monetisation and how Telegram users shouldn’t worry about having ads in their private chats. He gave three reasons for that.

Firstly, Durov in the blog post said, “There will be no ads in chats on Telegram. Users who rely on Telegram as a messaging app, not a social network, will never see ads. Private chats and group chats are and will always be ad-free.”

He also said that ads were being considered only in large one-to-many channels that do not exist in any other messaging app. “So users ditching older apps for Telegram won’t increase the number of ads in their lives,” he added.

Secondly, he assured the Telegram users that they will not be used to target ads, which is what happens in case of other social media platforms like Facebook. “We believe that collecting private data from users to target ads the way WhatsApp-Facebook do is immoral. We like the approach of privacy-conscious services like DuckDuckGo: monetizing services without collecting information about users,” he said.

Lastly, the Telegram founder said that the messaging platform was also fixing ads that are already present on the platform. “In most markets, content creators on Telegram already monetize their content by selling promotional posts in their channels. This is a chaotic market with multiple third-party ad networks pushing intrusive ads that create a negative user experience. We want to fix this situation by offering a privacy-conscious alternative for channel owners,” he added.

He also said that users will be able to opt-out of ads. “Our end goal is to establish a new class of content creators – one that is financially sustainable and free to choose the strategy that is best for their subscribers,” he said.

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