The Telegram announced that it was closing to 500 million active users. To keep the service of this scale operational, the company announced plans to monetize through the public channel of co-founder Pavel Durov on Telegram.
Durov outlined a double plan to monetize the service starting next year. The first part of this will be the presentation of premium features for business or advanced users. While all existing features will remain free, the service will introduce some new features aimed at meeting the needs of a more demanding user base.
Durov’s post in the community
The second part will feature ads on public channels. These channels are like mass open group chats run by an individual or a group of people and allow anyone to join. Over the years, the popularity of these groups has really risen sharply, and users treat them as modern forums or as an alternative to a service like Discord.
Telegram will show ads in these groups using its own ad network, which will also get rid of any ads that group owners can currently manually post by posting. The ads will be integrated into the app and will have a better interface, instead of being disguised as posts.
As for private one-on-one group chats, they will be left without ads.
In his post, Durov also assured users that Telegram would remain an independent company. The steps they take with monetization will help the company stay afloat and avoid having to sell it to make money. Durov also downplayed his words, also pointing to WhatsApp as an example of how things can go wrong when platform owners give a profit over user privacy.
The company has also released a major update on mobile platforms that adds support for voice chat groups. Unlike voice calls, voice chats are like an open voice channel where people can enter and exit as they please, and those who can continue a conversation or just listen to others. You can continue to use the rest of the app while voice chat is open in the background. On Android, a floating widget will appear on the screen when voice chat is active and can be reduced to a chat bubble.
The feature will also be available on the Telegram client for the desktop on Windows and macOS.
The update brings other improvements, such as faster loading of labels that are displayed and outlined before loading, SD card memory on Android to move their Telegram files from internal memory to external storage, new animations of applications on Android, the ability to announce messages using Siri on iOS, the ability to edit photos on Android after you’ve submitted them, and finally, more animated emojis.
Application updates are now active on mobile platforms. More details on the monetization aspect will be revealed in the future.
Source 1 (Telegram required) • Source 2