In the past, Telegram has attempted to earn money by creating a cryptocurrency operation, but the idea failed. Now, the firm is relying on an age-old idea to get some cash in the bank: ads.
Over the weekend, the app’s founder, Pavel Durov, said that the firm will now allow ads on its platform in a limited capacity. Thankfully, you won’t see any ads in your private chats or channels:
Telegram will not show promotional messages in your chat list, private conversations or groups. Advertising will affect only large channels – services where there is already advertising, and the support of which leads to the greatest costs on the part of Telegram.
This shouldn’t come as a surprise: Durov said last year that to keep up with the platform’s growth, it needs funds, and ads are one of the ways to get there.
If you hate ads, don’t worry. The company said it’s working on a subscription option that’ll let you pay to turn off all ads. However, there’s no mention of how much you’ll need to pay for it as of now.
What’s in it for marketers?
Advertising to a large audience of more than 500 million people sounds tempting. But there are a few rules that you need to keep in mind.
First, you can only serve ads on public channels or groups that have more than 1,000 subscribers. While Telegram didn’t mention how many such channels exist, it said users generate more than “500 billion views in one-to-many channels.” That sounds like a good amount of impressions.
Second, you might need some money in hand to start advertising on the platform. How much? Just €2 million ($2.13 million).
Telegram’s terms state that you’ll need to make an advance payment of €2 million to start publishing ads — out of which, €1 million is a refundable deposit. You can read more about it here.
Finally, if you’re an advertiser, Telegram won’t provide personalized data profiles of its users. So you can’t target individuals with specific ads. However, you can select language, topics, and target channels as parameters for your ads. So, if you’re a cryptocurrency wallet addressing a specific audience, you’ll need to zone in on channels related to the topic.
As a user, I’m not too irked with the idea of ads on Telegram as it’s not everywhere, and I’ll have an option in the future to pay for a subscription to turn them off. For advertisers, the monetary restrictions might put off some small agencies and advertisers in the beginning. Hopefully, Telegram will lower this limit to allow more folks to participate.
You can read more about Telegram’s ad platform here.