How Does Telegram Make Money?

Telegram, with over 700 million active users, is one of the world’s most popular messaging apps. 

The app prides itself on its privacy focus. Apart from being end-to-end encrypted, it also doesn’t share data with third parties. 

Telegram was founded in 2013 by brothers Pavel and Nikolai Durov who previously started VKontakte, Russia’s local version of Facebook. 

The Russian government eventually forced the brothers to sell the company and flee the country, which they have been a vocal critic of ever since.

Nikolai and Pavel used the $260 million they made from the sale to start Telegram, which remains completely free to use. 

Telegram has also been subject to various controversies such as enabling terrorist groups to organize themselves or the sharing of copyrighted material. 

For the longest time, Telegram was supported by the Durov’s personal funds and the $2.7 billion it raised in venture capital. 

But how does Telegram, which began monetizing its platform in the end of 2021, currently make money? 


Sponsored messages on Telegram are displayed in large public channels and based solely on the topic of the public channels in which they are shown.

Telegram sells a monthly subscription that grants users access to multiple benefits including animated profile pictures or faster downloads. 


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