Instant messaging platform Telegram on Friday announced Sponsored Messages, a new tool that will let users promote their channels and bots. Telegram explains that users will only see sponsored messages in public channels that have more than 100 subscribers. Sponsored Messages will have a 160 character limit and will be related to the topic of the channel in which they are shown. Telegram says that it is currently testing the feature with a small section of its userbase, with the wider rollout coming sometime later.
Telegram said that it plans to share the revenue with owners of public channels. Many admins of one-to-many channels already post ads in the form of messages. The new tool will offer admins a more streamlined way to promote their channels and bots. In December last year, Telegram CEO Pavel Durov said that the company was planning to launch its own ad platform for public one-to-many channels.
Telegram says that users won’t see sponsored messages in personal chats or groups. In addition, the company won’t analyze user data to show targeted ads. It also promises to not track or profile users based on their interaction with sponsored messages or other activities.
Every user in a particular channel will see the same ad. However, the company will offer some tools to serve “precise and efficient ads.” This means that advertisers can choose the language and approximate topics of channels where they want to display ads.