Telegram Challenges Meta With Business Features, Ad Revenue Sharing

The messaging app known as Telegram is challenging Meta’s control over app-based business communication by launching a new suite of business features, such as quick replies, automated messages, custom start pages and chatbot support, alongside new ad-revenue sharing opportunities.

Users can now turn their account into a business account and access the app’s new features designed to help them attract and communicate with new customers. Users can display their hours of operation and show their location on a map, showcase info about products and services on customizable start pages with branded artwork, send preset messages and greeting messages for first-time users and include links to reserve a table or track an order.

Businesses can also make use of chatbots that will process and answer customer inquiries automatically.

Telegram's business features are free for users with a $4.99 per month Premium account. The new features could act as an incentive for more small business owners to subscribe. In the past two years, Premium has grown by over 4 million subscribers, with Telegram founder Pavel Durov stating Premium had over 5 million subscribers in January 2024.



Two weeks ago, Durov told the Financial Times that Telegram has hit 900 million total users and should become profitable by 2025. Durov also hinted at a possible IPO.

Along with introducing business features to Premium, the messaging app is also stoking revenue growth via its advertising offerings. Telegram announced that channel owners with at least 1,000 subscribers can now receive 50% of the revenue from ads displayed in their channels.

The company says that they are using “Toncoins” -- a token on the TON blockchain -- which channel owners are able to withdraw with no fees, or choose to reinvest them into more Telegram ads, collectible usernames or Premium giveaways.

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