Telegram is launching Sponsored Messages – a tool that allows anyone to promote their channels and bots. Here is what you should know:
1. There will be no ads in chats on Telegram. If you use Telegram as the messenger that we launched in 2013 – you will never see a sponsored message. Sponsored messages can't appear in your chat list, private chats or groups.
2. User data will not be used to target ads. As with everything we do, our main priority is protecting the private data of our users. That's why unlike other apps we will not use your private data to display ads.
Sponsored messages on Telegram are shown only in large public one-to-many channels with 1000+ members – and are based solely on the topic of the public channels in which they are shown. This means that no user data is mined or analyzed to display them.
3. Sponsored messages will be unobtrusive. Official sponsored messages are limited to 160 characters of text – without media or external links. You may see a maximum of one sponsored message per channel – and only after you’ve finished reading any new posts.
4. We are fixing ads that are already here. Some admins of one-to-many channels on Telegram already post ads in the form of regular messages. We hope that Sponsored Messages will offer a more user-friendly and less chaotic way for people to promote their channels and bots.
Sponsored messages are currently in test mode and are not available to everyone. Once they are fully launched and allow Telegram to cover its basic costs (such as equipment and data centers that are used by channel admins to deliver their content to our hundreds of millions of users), we plan to start sharing ad revenue with the admins of the channels where Sponsored Messages are displayed – because it is fair.
5. With Telegram you're more ad-free than with WhatsApp. WhatsApp already shares user data with advertisers   – even though they don’t show ads themselves. On Telegram, however, advertisers will never get your private data. Besides, if you use Telegram the way you use WhatsApp, you will never see a single ad. Sponsored messages can only appear in channels, which are a unique social networking feature Telegram added several years after launch. If WhatsApp introduces a similar feature, they are likely to also display ads there, like their parent company already does on Instagram and Facebook.
Online ads should no longer be synonymous with the abuse of user privacy. We'd like to redefine how a tech company should operate by setting an example of a self-sustainable platform that respects its users and content creators.