Messaging app Telegram to start serving adverts in 2021


Encrypted messaging app Telegram has nearly 500m users, but it needs to start making money. Now the company has revealed part of its plans: advertising.

Founder Pavel Durov announced that the ads will NOT appear in people’s private conversations however. “We think that displaying ads in private one-to-one chats or group chats is a bad idea,” he said, according to Engadget. “Communication between people should be free of advertising of any sort.” Instead, the ads will appear in public ‘one-to-many’ channels, with Durov promising that they will be unintrusive, and the system used to serve them will not impact users’ privacy.

The news will be read with interest by music rightsholders and bodies, because Telegram has been on their radar for some time over its use for sharing music illegally.

In October, the RIAA added Telegram to its ‘notorious markets’ list, then in December the European Commission included the app on its ‘Counterfeit and Piracy Watch List’ for the first time. If Telegram’s new ads appear in channels associated with piracy, it will be a legal headache for the company.

Written by: Stuart Dredge