Telegram has grown to nearly 500 million users, and according to founder Pawel Durow this needs “a few hundred million dollars” to keep running.
Till now Durow has been meeting costs from his own pocket, but this is about to change in 2021.
The company is also looking to add ads to some part of the app, but importantly promises that the messaging parts of the app will remain ad-free. Ads will mainly be shown in large one-to-many channels, but there may be some revenue share with those channels, and other tools and promotion in turn. Telegram says it will be creating its own ad platform which respects the privacy of users.
Durov notes the alternative was to sell the company, like WhatsApp did, which would almost certainly compromise the private messaging app.
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