October 29, 2021

Telegram will get paid features and ads with channels

Among the messaging applications available, few are as innovative as Telegram. This application was born 7 years ago, and since then it has been very active implementing all kinds of new features. Sometimes long before their rivals, and sometimes better.

An application that since its initial launch has remained completely free and without ads. This could change soon, according to the statements of its founder.

Should we be concerned about the future of Telegram? We explain what you should know.

The future of Telegram will be free and independent, but this has a price

If there is something that fascinates us about Telegram, it is its orientation. Since its founding, the project was created non-profit, financed almost entirely by Pavel Durov, founder of Telegram and a public figure whose opinions are usually in the spotlight.

Pavel Durov, founder of Telegram.

Telegram has been funded by its founder since its inception, but from now on it will seek income to remain independent and sustainable.The platform has  500 million active users per month , and current costs are  several hundred million dollars a year , according to Pavel.

Who will pay for the growth? is a question that Durov receives often. In a project of this caliber the solution is usually to make it financially self-sufficient, or to sell the company so that someone else will bear the costs (and monetize it as they see fit). Durov  does not think about selling , but he does have plans to make the platform sustainable with income from the users themselves, and he has summarized his plans in 7 points that we summarize below.

  1. Telegram will be independent:  Durov’s typical taunt towards WhatsApp, saying that it will not be like its founders. That Telegram is necessary in the world we live in and all the paraphernalia that Durov likes to tell so much.
  2. Telegram is here to stay for a long time:  Encryption, simplicity, design, speed and more to come (more hype).
  3. To make 1 and 2 possible, Telegram will start earning revenue from next year . The intention is to do it according to its principles, and thanks to its user volume they  hope that it is not an intrusive experience.
  4. Everything that is free today will still be free: It was the least we expected and anything else would have been disappointing.
  5. About the ads:  From Telegram they consider that advertising in individual and group chats is a bad idea and they will have an experience without ads (at least if they manage to make it sustainable).
  6. But advertisements on the channels are:  Telegram channels are a social component and will integrate their own platform that helps generate profits and respects the privacy of users.
    • Our main question here is whether they will advertise on channels with fake news, piracy or illegal content. Will there begin to be control over the channels now that there will be advertisers involved?
  7. Share benefits with the community:  In Telegram they consider that if the platform is going to make money, it should be shared with the users who contribute to the benefits. An example is in channel advertising, where owners will be able to receive advertising revenue from their own channels. They have also discussed the possibility of creating premium sticker packs for which the artists who have created them can earn money.
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    • This point is very interesting, because it creates a more competitive platform, and money in the end always attracts more money.
    • On monetization , advertising is the only way they have concrete plans, while adding paid premium features seems to be in the air without having many concrete ideas.

The decision, although it may disenchant more than one,  seems right and correct to us . Although Durov’s obsession with keeping Telegram a free entity has always been kept safe, being maintained by a single person’s funds always poses a risk. What if Durov goes broke or something happens to him?

If we want Telegram to be truly free and independent, that its financing depends solely on Durov is a risk.

That Telegram is sustainable by itself is the best way they could take to avoid that from one day to the next it could disappear for any reason. For Durov, that’s the way of Telegram, and as the Mandalorian, let’s hope he does his best.