Telegram will soon be rolling out paid subscriptions for users who don’t like seeing ads. Last week, the popular messaging platform announced that it will be displaying sponsored messages on the app in a bid to make the messenger a “break-even project”.
CEO Pavel Durov made the announcement of this subscription service on his Telegram channel but did not reveal any pricing and instead, teasing that it will be inexpensive. He also said that channel administrators will be able to disable the official ads for all users, but added that the company is assessing the “economic conditions” for this feature.
Moreover, Pavel said that advertisers will be able to place “invisible” ads on any channel, which would lead to a channel having no ads, though it’s still unclear how this would work. For now, Telegram says that sponsored messages will only appear in public channels with more than 1000 members and will not intrude into chats and private channels. Interestingly, Telegram said that they might share the advertising revenue with public channel owners once sponsored messages are able to cover the company’s basic costs.
The ads will be no more than 160 characters and Telegram assures that they will not practice data-tracking. To preserve user privacy while still making their ads precise, advertisers can choose specific channels to show their ads based on the main topic of those channels.
Telegram is a massive messaging platform with more than 500 million active users and a recent surge of 70 million more new accounts after the Facebook and WhatsApp outage. The company has mostly relied on investors and the billionaire CEO’s personal funds to keep afloat, but Pavel announced last year that they would finally be monetising the messenger to get revenue.