Telegram on Friday announced Sponsored Messages, a new advertising tool that will let users promote their channels and bots.
As Telegram explains, users will only see sponsored messages (read advertisements) in public channels that have more than 1000 subscribers. These promotional messages will have a 160 character limit and will be related to the topic of the channel in which they’re shown.
Telegram says it’s currently testing Sponsored Messages with a tiny section of the userbase, with the wider rollout coming in sometime later. Following the full launch, Telegram also plans to start sharing ad revenue with owners of public channels. Many admins of one-to-many channels already post ads in the form of messages. Telegram is hoping the new tool will offer those admins a more streamlined and less chaotic way to promote their channels and bots.
In December last year, Telegram CEO Pavel Durov revealed the company was planning to launch its own ad platform for public one-to-many channels.
“Sponsored messages on Telegram are displayed in large public one-to-many channels with 1000+ subscribers and are limited to 160 characters. Sponsored Messages are based solely on the topic of the public channels in which they are shown,” said Telegram CEO Pavel Durov in a blog post.
Telegram emphasizes that users won’t see sponsored messages in personal chats or groups. In addition, the company won’t mine or analyze user data to show targeted ads. Moreover, it promises not to track or profile users based on their interaction with sponsored messages or other activities nor allow external links in such messages.
Every user in a particular channel will see the same ad. However, the company will offer some tools to serve “precise and efficient ads.” For example, advertisers can choose the language and approximate topics of channels where they want to display ads. Advertisers can create sponsored messages using the Telegram Ad Platform.