Telegram’s Genius Business Strategy
by Sugam Pratap Singh, BMS’24
In January 2021, Telegram became the most downloaded app globally, welcomed 70 million new users in just one day in October, and was declared the fastest-growing app in December.
In 2019, Telegram released an update to help the protesters in Hong Kong and prevent mainland Chinese and Hong Kong authorities from discovering their identities in the app’s large group chats.
Due to surveillance drives in South Korea, South Koreans felt the need to shift towards encrypted messaging apps like Telegram, and within a week, 1.5 million South Koreans onboarded on Telegram. After the coup, Myanmar people have started using Telegram because it is perceived as more secure than Meta platforms.
So, why are people using Telegram? What makes Telegram unique from its competitors? How does Telegram make money?
Telegram is a cloud-based, open-source messaging application with seamless sync and shares unlimited photos, videos, and files. Telegram was launched in 2013 by Pavel Durov and his brother Nikolai. Telegram hasn’t spent a single penny on advertisements.
The idea behind Telegram’s Creation
When Nikolai and Pavel Durov lost their company VK to the Russian government and found themselves in conflict with their home country, they realized they had no safe means of communication. VK was a popular social media app in Russia, even more popular than Facebook. When the Russian government took hold of it, Pavel and Nikolai left the country in a self-imposed exile. They created Telegram as a protected channel for communication that Russian security would not track, trace, and decipher.
How Telegram makes money
Telegram offers fast and secure messaging that is also 100% free, and Pavel Durov (Founder) financed Telegram throughout most of its history. But directly financing is not a sustainable option because when a tech project reaches this scale, typically there are two options – start earning money to cover the costs or sell the company.
So to make it sustainable Telegram team is planning to add some new paid features for premium users. Regular users will be able to keep enjoying Telegram (free forever).
Some of the one-to-many channels of Telegram have millions of subscribers, so there is a social networking potential.
The whole community will benefit if Telegram starts earning money. Telegram is also planning to introduce premium stickers features, so in that case, artists who made that new type will get a part of the profit.
Telegram offers cloud storage where users can store photos, videos and documents. These are stored as heavily encrypted, so only you can access these files from all your devices. The maximum size of a file is 2GB, and it is free for every telegram user.
Editing after sending the text
As the name suggests, users can edit text even after sending the text.
Telegram offers a ‘Schedule Message’ feature, so users can schedule their messages to automatically send the message at a specified time in the future.
(Tip – Scheduling also works as ‘Saved Messages’ chat, turning your planned posts into reminders)
Chat Folders allow users to organize chats and segregate their work-based and personal messages.
Animated Stickers Library
Telegram has thousands of expressive stickers made by professional artists in the sticker panel – including long-time favorites and the latest trending packs.
The one who creates the group/channel is called the owner. Then the owner adds admin with specific sets of privileges to run the community. Admins can see recent actions taken in the group and Group owners can set custom titles for admins.
It helps developers to create new bots and change existing bots settings. Some famous bots like Rose, Natalie, Calsi, Dropmailbot,etc. offer features to get work done easily.
(cliche tech- advertisements be like)
“Want to create your own bot but don’t know where to start;
BotFather got you covered, within just a few simple steps,
You can create your own bot on Telegram,
Click here to learn more”
Telegram offers detailed channel statistics for channels and supergroups. It can be accessed by anyone(if group owner allowed) in the group and helps owners/telegram-based businesses to know about their subscribers; here is a guide to know about more channel statistics.
Telegram allows pinning multiple messages, forwarding without downloading, inbuilt download manager, hide text with spoiler formatting, anonymous posting in public groups and a lot more.
I’ve been using Telegram for two years. Initially, I joined Telegram for coaching purposes, but later I found out a large community of students who all are preparing for similar entrance exams. I made some close friends there, though I never met them personally(except one). Telegram is helping so many students like me connect with such communities.
During the pandemic, Telegram channels were made to book vaccine slots.
In my opinion, Telegram succeeded even in the presence of giants like Meta because Telegram’s team listened to the feedback and kept improving the user experience. They are constantly adding missing features and trying to expand their boundaries. Pavel Durov shares every success and failure of Telegram, innovations, personal life, and his learnings in his blogs that connect users. He has built a solid personal brand by actively promoting Telegram’s security. His transparent approach to telegram security positively benefited Telegram’s brand building and success. In a report, Durov has proven that Telegram sticks to its promise of keeping its user data private.
With this vision Telegram team is building the future of Telegram and the future of messaging apps!