According to Pavel Durov, the founder of Telegram, this service is necessary for the whole world as an independent project, TASS news agency reports.
“I am not going to sell the company like the founders of WhatsApp did. The world needs Telegram as an independent project that respects the rights of users and provides high-quality services. As we have seen, this is impossible if the service is part of a large corporation,” Durov wrote in his Telegram channel.
He said that Telegram will start to activate the monetization of the service to cover the costs of its development, but will do this very gently. This step would also let Telegram continue to stay independent from large companies. As Telegram’s founder noted, the number of active users of the messenger is approaching 500 million.
To maintain proper work of Telegram, “at least several hundred million dollars” are needed. Durov used to pay all expenses on his own, but now, when the service became so big and still is growing, this is no longer an option, he said. Moreover, to make the project grow further, more funds are required.
“All Telegram’s services connected to messaging will remain ad-free. I believe that advertising in private and group chats is unacceptable. Communication between people should not be interrupted by ads,” Durov stated.
The messenger has worked since 2013 and was created by Pavel Durov, who was also the founder of VKontakte, Russia’s clone of Facebook. In April 2018 Russian Roskomnadzor started to block Telegram because the service refused to cooperate with FSB that tried to get Telegram’s encryption keys. However, the platform has always been available for users around the world, including Russia.
On June 18, Roskomnadzor in conjunction with the Prosecutor General’s Office announced the unblocking of Telegram. According to experts, this move of Russian authorities would allow Pavel Durov to take advantage of this and start the service’s monetization.
Durov is also a founder of Gram cryptocurrency. The value of all Grams is currently estimated at $29.5 billion.