Business Model of Telegram | How does Telegram make money

Pratyusha Srivastava Pratyusha Srivastava
Jul 25, 2021 5 min read
Business Model of Telegram | How does Telegram make money

Telegram is an amazingly open and free source software that offers tons of facilities such as cloud-based instant messaging, end-to-end encryption, and many others. Telegram offers its users dozens of interesting features. They can create their sticker sets as well as create bots. The users can create or join different channels that provide tons of fascinating content for users to subscribe to.

โ€Œโ€ŒTelegram does not believe in selling ads for promotion because the personal data shared with advertisers could go against its ethos. That's why the entire funding for Telegram comes directly from Pavel Durov.

In case of increasing the revenue number, Telegram would begin users' donations funding or the freemium model. Telegram was never meant to gain profit, it runs on "Gaining Profit will never be Telegram's end goal."

โ€Œโ€ŒTelegram is a company that operates in fair secrecy and prioritizes its affirmation towards freedom from any pressure that could come from the market or any other nationally assigned restrictions. Telegram has gained immense popularity among its customers in many countries across the globe. With this, Telegram holds around 500 million active users per month. Telegram works with a distinctive business model which we would discuss in this article. Let's get started!

About Telegram
Where does Telegram operate?
Key Features of Telegram
Target Audience of Telegram
Business Model of Telegram
What is unique about the Business Model of Telegram
How does Telegram make money?

About Telegram

โ€Œโ€ŒThe very popular open-source messaging application, Telegram provides various facilities to its customers including file sharing, VoIP, end-to-end encryption on video calls, and many others. Telegram was founded in August 2013 by Nikolai Durov and Pavel Durov. The company is headquartered in London, United Kingdom, and in Dubai, UAE by operational means.

โ€Œโ€ŒIn fact, Telegram is the highest preferred messaging application in Uzbekistan and Iran. Today, Telegram has over 500 million active users but by the time of 2022, the company aims to take the users over one billion.

As of 2020, Telegram reached around 540 million downloads among which 500 million are from Android devices. Telegram is an open-source application but its server comes as closed source. More than 15 billion messages are sent through Telegram every day.

Where does Telegram operate?

โ€Œโ€ŒTelegram provides its server distributed to five data centers located in various regions, to minimize the data load of the company. The operational centers are established in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Meanwhile, the legal center is established in London, United Kingdom.

Key Features of Telegram

โ€Œโ€ŒTelegram offers tons of features to make messaging convenient for users. Some of the features are-

  • Lock Chat, where you can lock any of your chats with a password.
  • Self-destructing Media, where you can put a timer on any of your media and it will be destroyed after that specific time.
  • Two-step verification, where you can protect your account with two steps of verification from being hacked.
  • Delete sender's messages, where you can delete any message or chat from both sides (receiver and sender).

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Target Audience of Telegram

โ€Œโ€ŒTelegram offers dozens of features and user preferences. The messaging application is specially designed for people above the age of 16 years, with no parental controls overhead. It targets the youth with many end-to-end encrypted features.

Telegram users over time
Telegram users over time

Business Model of Telegram

โ€Œโ€ŒTelegram's business model is entirely based on users' convenience and features. The company was founded in 2013 but it hasn't generated much revenue. In 2018, through an Initial Coin Offering Telegram raised more than $1.7 billion. But later in 2019, the SEC stopped this plan and announced it unlawful.

After this, the co-founder Durov kept the company up with the money he earned from selling the VK stake he owned.

โ€Œโ€ŒBut lately, Telegram has experienced immense growth because of this, the company monetized the service. In 2020, Durov announced on his public Telegram channel stating that they will be monetizing Telegram's services.

โ€Œโ€ŒTelegram would not be charging any cost from the users, nor would show any ads in private or group chats. That's why Telegram is looking forward to other methods to gain enough revenue.

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What is unique about the Business Model of Telegram

โ€Œโ€ŒTelegram runs on a very smooth business model and the most unique thing about it is that Telegram wasn't made to gain profit. The messaging application Telegram was founded to make messaging handy for users with many fascinating features. It has a whole bunch of features that make it absolutely unique from the other applications.

These features are,

  • Telegram offers the feature of editing after sending the text. You can also delete them from both sides at your convenience.
  • You can access your messages anytime from any device through the availability of cross-platform.
  • Options of replying, hashtags, and mentioning to make your chatting more fruitful.
  • Feature to mute any group so that you don't get unnecessary notifications.
  • Feature to pin any message and that message will be displayed at the top of the chat screen.
  • Share any file with a maximum size of 1.5 GB and more.

How does Telegram make money?

โ€Œโ€ŒTelegram does not make any profit from its application and services. As of 2020, there is zero revenue made. The founders believe in providing the facility of fast and secure messaging absolutely free.

โ€Œโ€ŒAlthough the company does have backup plans in case of urgent money. Telegram would look for non-essential paid options to generate money. Telegram prioritizes its customers the most and provides them with the best features for free. Telegram usually makes money from funding from its founders.


โ€Œโ€ŒThrough this, we got the clear image that Telegram does not generate money, especially not from its users and services. We discussed the business model of Telegram briefly with the statistics. The founders believe in serving its users more than generating billions of dollars.

Telegram is a prominent application that has grown immensely in the last few years. There's a lot to talk about when it comes to Telegram. For now, we outcast our best knowledge regarding its business model. Stay tuned for more updates!


How does Telegram make money?

Telegram is a free app that runs on donatiopns and fudning

Who is the founder of Telegram?

Pavel Durov and Nikolai Durov founed telegram in 2013.

Is Telegram is an Indian app?

No, Telegram is created by Germany-based tech organization - Durov Software Industry.

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