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Messaging app Telegram said on Thursday that ads on the platform will remain privacy-focused, without using user data to sell targeted ads unlike rival WhatsApp.
The Dubai-based app grew popular last month, crossing 500 million monthly active users in the first week of January , after users contemplated WhatsApp’s policy update . Telegram also became the most downloaded mobile app in the world last month .
Ads will be shown in one-to-many channels, which will help channel owners monetise, Telegram’s founder Pavel Durov said in a statement. Several content creators on Telegram monetise though selling promotional posts on the channels. However, privacy-conscious ads will help clear the clutter in the market where multiple third-party networks push intrusive ads, he noted.
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Ads in the channels will be based on the topic of the channel, and not targeted based on user data. “We believe that collecting private data from users to target ads the way WhatsApp-Facebook do is immoral,” Durov stated.
Durov said last year Telegram will make some users pay for premium features starting this year . Private and group chats will always remain ad-free and free of cost, he had said.
Users will also be able to opt of these ads, Durov said not revealing further details. The app is also working toward offering subscriptions and donations to channel owners.