Durov stated that at the stage Telegram is at, project owners are usually faced with two options - either to sell the company or to start earning enough to make up for the cost.
So far, Durov had been managing the expenses on his own, because Telegram had been providing all features for free.
Telegram messenger: Telegram is set to get paid features next year! Telegram founder Russia’s Pavel Durov announced on Wednesday that the messenger is nearing about 500 active users. Taking to his channel on Telegram, Durov said that at this scale, projects usually require hundreds of millions of dollars to sustain. So far, Durov had been managing the expenses on his own, because Telegram had been providing all features for free. However, now, he said, that the messenger has reached a stage where it needs appropriate funding because it is about to reach millions of users.
Durov stated that at this point, project owners are usually faced with two options – either to sell the company or to start earning enough to make up for the cost.
He vehemently rejected the idea of selling Telegram, citing the example of WhatsApp, which was sold by its founders to social media giant Facebook. He also assured that the 8-year-old project would sustain for a long time, and keep on adding to the features it has already brought in, viz, encryption, simplicity, speed, functionality as well as the design.
He then announced that in order to continue the pace of growth, Telegram would start making revenue from 2021, which he assured would be done in a non-intrusive manner with most users not even noticing any changes. He also stated that features that are free currently, would continue to remain free, while some new features would be added for power users and business teams. These features, he said, would be in need of more resources, and therefore would be paid for by premium users, while the regular users would continue to enjoy Telegram for free “forever”.
Durov also assured that the parts of the messenger that are devoted to messaging, like one-to-one chats and groups, would remain free of ads, as he believes that communication between people should not be disrupted by any sorts of advertisements.
He also stated that Telegram, which offers public channels allowing one-to-many conversations with millions of subscribers, has seen these channels being used to display ads through which channel owners earn money. Sometimes, these ads are even displayed using third party platforms, he said, and they look like regular messages, becoming intrusive. To fix this, Telegram would be launching its own advertising platform for these channels, and this platform, Durov said, would be user-friendly as well as respectful of the users’ privacy. Moreover, it would allow the messenger to cover the cost of traffic as well as servers.
To further sell the point, he said that the paid feature would allow channel owners to get free traffic proportionate to their sizes. Moreover, he added that if Telegram were to launch premium stickers having more expressive features, artists making these stickers would also get a cut in the profit.
These measures, Durov asserted, would allow the messenger to bring more innovations while also adhering to the values that it has upheld over the years.