Telegram, nearing 500 million users, to begin monetizing the app next year – TechCrunch

Instant messaging application Wire “Coming” to 500 million users and plans to launch a revenue-generating scheme to start the business from next year, its founder Pavel Durov said on Wednesday.

Durov said that he has personally controlled a seven-year-old business so far, but as a startup scales he is looking for ways to monetize the instant messaging service.

Service which 400 million active users topped April this year, Will offer its own advertising platform for public one-to-many channels – “one that is user-friendly, respects privacy and allows us to cover server and traffic costs,” he added in his Telegram Wrote on the channel.

“If we demonetize large public one-to-many channels through advertising platforms, the owners of these channels will receive free traffic proportionate to their size,” he wrote. Another approach is that Telegram can monetize its service with premium stickers with “additional expressive features”. “Artists making this new type of stickers will also get a share of the profits. We want millions of Telegram-based creators and small businesses to enrich the experience for all of our users. “

Some analysts expected Telegram to be able to monetize the platform through its blockchain token project. But after several delays and regulatory troubles, Telegram said in May that it was Decided to leave the project. For this project, Dubai-based Telegram raised $ 1.7 billion from investors in 2018. It had planned to distribute its tokens, called gram, after developing blockchain software. Telegram earlier this year offered to return $ 1.2 billion to investors.

“Telegram has a social networking dimension. Our largely public one-to-many channels can have millions of subscribers each and Twitter feeds are becoming more preferred. In many markets the owners of such channels show advertisements to make money, sometimes using third party advertising platforms. The ads they post look like regular messages, and are often intrusive. We will fix this by launching our own advertising platform for public-to-many channels, ”Durov wrote today.

All current features will remain free, said Durov, one of the biggest critics of Facebook-owned WhatsApp, noting that Telegram is committed to not offering ads in private one-to-one chats or group chats. They are a “bad idea”. “

“We are not going to sell the company like the founders of WhatsApp. Telegram needs a place in the world to remain independent, where users are respected and high quality service is ensured. “Telegram will start generating revenue, starting next year. We will do this according to our values ​​and promises made in the last 7 years. Thanks to our current scale, we will be able to do this in a non-intrusive manner. Most users will hardly notice any changes. “

On Wednesday, Telegram also introduced a new group voice chat feature in the app. The new voice chat feature, similar to Discord’s Always On Room, supports a few thousand participants.