Telegram Inches Closer to 500 Million Users, Plans to Begin Monetizing the App


Telegram has become a very popular messaging app as consumers move to feature-rich and privacy-focused chat apps.

The messaging app has a ton of features when compared to its rivals like WhatsApp. You get to take advantage of its  2GB max file limit, Scheduled Messages, Profile Videos, softening skin option on media editor, improved People Nearby section, Mini Thumbnails, Filtering New Chats From Non-Contacts, Group Stats, Android extras (revamped music player, improved message input bar, cropping and rotating videos), multiple accounts on Telegram Desktop and More Animated Emojis.

In April this year, the app boasted having 400 millon users. Telegram says that 1.5 million users signed up every day so they are inching closer to having 500 million users by the end of the year.

It’s worth noting the app has been running for free thanks to its founder, Pavel Durov’s savings.

He is now planning to monetize the app as more users sign up.

In a post he wrote on his Telegram channel, he says that they’ll introduce its own ad platform for public one-to-many channels. He adds that the platform will be user friendly, respect privacy of its users so as to allow the app to cover server and traffic costs.

He continued to say that owners of the public one-to-many channels will receive free traffic  in proportion to their size.

Telegram could also offer premium stickers to monetize the app which will offer additional expressive features.

Pavel says that a part of the profit will be given to the artists who create the new stickers.

“We want millions of Telegram-based creators and small businesses to thrive, enriching the experience of all our users,’ he wrote.

Telegram was hoping to use its blockchain platform Telegram Open Network(TON) to monetize the app but thanks to a lengthy battle with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), they decided to abandon it as the regulatory body made it impossible to continue with this project.

It’s worth noting that the rest of Telegram’s features will remain as they are not planning to introduce ads in private one-to-one chats or group chats. Pavel says that they are a bad idea.

“We are not going to sell the company like the founders of WhatsApp. The world needs Telegram to stay independent as a place where users are respected and high-quality service is ensured,” he wrote taking a jab at Brian Acton and Jan Koum(WhatsApp founders) who sold the app to Facebook for $16 billion in February 2014.

“Telegram will begin to generate revenue, starting next year. We will do it in accordance with our values and the pledges we have made over the last 7 years. Thanks to our current scale, we will be able to do it in a non-intrusive way. Most users will hardly notice any change,” reads the post.

Elsewhere, the Telegram app got a new update that brought voice chats. You will now be able to convert any Telegram group to voice chat room.

The Voice Chats will co-exist with existing text and media-based communication and members of the group chat will be able to quickly jump in an out of the conversation.

Groups with an active voice chat will show a special bar at the top with a join button that lets its members take part in the voice chat with a single tap.

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