Chat app Telegram challenges Meta with the launch of new ‘Business’ features and revenue-sharing

Messaging app Telegram is getting ready to tackle Meta’s WhatsApp and Messenger with a brand new set of options geared toward companies in addition to assist for ad-revenue sharing. Formally launched this weekend after an earlier announcement, Telegram Enterprise introduces choices like a custom-made begin web page, plus the flexibility to set enterprise hours and use preset replies, greeting and away messages, chatbots, tags for chats, and extra.

In the meantime, Telegram’s public channels with not less than 1,000 subscribers can now generate 50% of the income from advertisements proven of their channels.

The options arrived simply a few weeks after Telegram founder Pavel Durov instructed the Monetary Occasions in an interview that he expected the app, which now has over 900 million customers, to become profitable by 2025.

Telegram Enterprise is clearly a part of that push, main as much as a future IPO, because it’s an providing that requires customers to subscribe to the paid Premium model to entry.

Telegram Premium is a bundle of upgraded options that value $4.99 per thirty days on iOS and Android and can be out there as a three-month, six-month or one-year plan. (Premium will be bought in-app, too, by way of the @PremiumBot on Android, Desktop and Mac. This comes at a reduced price, as Telegram doesn’t need to share a fee with the app shops.)

As of December 2022, Telegram Premium topped its first million subscribers. In January 2024, Durov introduced Premium had grown to 5 million subscribers, after reaching 4 million simply the month prior, indicating that subscriber progress is accelerating.

Telegram Enterprise will possible give Premium one other bump because it affords instruments and options that can be utilized by enterprise clients while not having to know find out how to code.

Picture Credit: Telegram

As an example, companies can select to show their hours of operation and site on a map, and greet clients with a custom-made begin web page for empty chats the place they will select the textual content and sticker customers see earlier than starting a dialog. Much like features available on WhatsApp, Telegram Enterprise will supply “fast replies,” that are shortcuts to preset messages that assist formatting, hyperlinks, media, stickers and information.

Picture Credit: Telegram

Companies may set their very own customized greeting messages for purchasers who have interaction with the corporate for the primary time, and so they can specify a interval after which the greeting could be proven once more. They will handle their availability utilizing away messages whereas the enterprise is closed or the proprietor is on trip.

Plus, the companies can categorize their chats utilizing coloured labels primarily based on what chat folders they’re in, like supply, declare, orders, VIP, suggestions, or any others that make sense for them.

Picture Credit: Telegram

As well as, companies can create hyperlinks to talk that may immediately open a Telegram chat with a request to take an motion like monitoring an order or reserving a desk, amongst different issues. Enterprise clients may add Telegram bots, together with these from different instruments or AI assistants, to reply messages on their behalf.

The corporate stated extra options will roll out to Telegram Enterprise in future updates.

Durov already hinted at what these could embrace, having instructed the FT earlier this month that Telegram goals to launch AI-powered chatbots for enterprise customers.

As an entire, the options might introduce competitors right into a market the place Meta’s apps like Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp have a maintain on enterprise communication. Even Apple has carved out only a small niche in this space, with its Apple Messages for Businesses, utilized by corporations like Shopify, Aramark, 4 Seasons, Harry & David, Delta, American Categorical, Dish, Uncover, Hilton, Lowe’s, Wells Fargo, West Elm, Kimpton Accommodations, Vodafone Germany, and others.

Although entry to Telegram’s new enterprise options requires a Premium subscription, there’s no extra value on prime of that to allow the brand new choices. (They are often discovered underneath Settings > Telegram Enterprise within the app.)

Past monetizing by Premium subscriptions, the corporate generates income by Telegram Adverts; it recently announced advert income sharing utilizing toncoin (a token on the TON blockchain). Now the corporate has began the revenue-sharing program, it stated on Sunday.

Beforehand, Telegram experimented with the TON blockchain to auction usernames and launched a crypto wallet in all markets outdoors the U.S.


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