Telegram launches new business features, ad-revenue sharing

Alex Omenye
Alex Omenye

Telegram is gearing up to challenge Meta’s WhatsApp and Messenger by introducing a slew of new features tailored for businesses, along with support for ad-revenue sharing.

Officially launched over the weekend following an earlier announcement, Telegram Business introduces several options aimed at enhancing business interactions.

These include a customizable start page, the ability to set business hours, preset replies, greeting and away messages, chatbots, chat tags, and more.

In addition, Telegram’s public channels with at least 1,000 subscribers can now earn 50% of the revenue generated from ads displayed within their channels. These features come shortly after Telegram founder Pavel Durov expressed his expectation of the app becoming profitable by 2025, with its user base now exceeding 900 million.

Telegram Business is a strategic move towards profitability and a potential future IPO, requiring users to subscribe to the paid Premium version for access. This offering is poised to boost Premium subscriptions, providing businesses with user-friendly tools and features without the need for coding knowledge.

Businesses utilizing Telegram Business can personalize greeting messages for first-time customer engagements, manage availability using away messages, and categorize chats with colored labels for better organization.

Moreover, they can create chat links for instant actions such as order tracking or table reservations and integrate Telegram bots to handle messages automatically.

The company plans to roll out more features for Telegram Business in future updates, including AI-powered chatbots for business users, as hinted by Durov. These initiatives introduce competition into a market predominantly dominated by Meta’s apps and Apple Messages for Businesses.

While access to Telegram’s business features requires a Premium subscription, there are no additional costs to enable these options. The company also generates revenue through Telegram Ads and recently launched ad revenue sharing using toncoin, a token on the TON blockchain. Telegram previously experimented with the TON blockchain for username auctions and launched a crypto wallet in global markets excluding the U.S.

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