Telegram to launch Sponsored Messages for promoting bots and channels: Privacy, user data safety and everything to know

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November 20, 2021 4:35 PM

If you remember, a few months ago, Durov had said that they were instead looking at options that would help the platform generate more revenues.

Sponsored Messages will also have a restriction of 160 characters of text without media or external links.

Telegram: Sponsored Messages are set to be launched on Telegram! On Thursday, Telegram Founder and CEO Pavel Durov announced that Sponsored Messages are being added on the messaging platform to allow anyone to promote their bots and channels. While the feature is being tested at the moment, the announcement means that the feature’s inclusion in the app is imminent. The Sponsored Messages would be visible in Telegram’s public channels having upwards of 1,000 subscribers. If you remember, a few months ago, Durov had said that they do not wish to compromise the platform by selling it to a tech giant, in a pretty open dig at WhatsApp, and had said that they were instead looking at options that would help the platform generate more revenues. Well, this seems to be one of them.

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Basically, with this, anyone would be able to pay and promote their bots or channels on other public channels having a large number of subscribers. The next question, then, of course is what the owner of the other public channels get in exchange for having a sponsored message broadcast to their subscribers? Well, Telegram has said that once the feature has been rolled out, the payment received from the feature would first be used to cover the basic costs for the infrastructure. After that, the ad revenue will be shared by the platform with the admins of the channels in which sponsored messages are displayed.

However, you don’t need to worry because chat lists, private chats or groups will not get these Sponsored Messages. Chats in Telegram will also not get ads, the CEO has confirmed. “

The company will also not be showing Sponsored Messages on the basis of user data, which means that this will not be like the targeted ads model of Meta (or formerly, Facebook). Then how will Telegram ensure that the right people receive the Sponsored Messages? “Sponsored messages on Telegram are shown only in large public one-to-many channels with 1000+ members – and are based solely on the topic of the public channels in which they are shown. This means that no user data is mined or analyzed to display them,” Durov wrote in his public channel on Telegram.

Moreover, the Sponsored Messages will also have a restriction of 160 characters of text without media or external links. The number of Sponsored Messages in a channel has been capped at one and that message will only show up after the user has finished reading any new posts that the channel may have.

He also openly targeted Meta’s tendencies to manipulate user data for ads, and added that if WhatsApp were to make a similar move, it would misuse user data and violate their privacy to target the ads. On the other hand, Telegram, he repeatedly emphasised, would keep user privacy intact and not compromise or misuse user data in any way to make this feature work.

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