Du Rove's Channel
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Thoughts from the CEO / Founder / Product Manager of Telegram.
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Thanks for the birthday wishes. However, I decided to cancel turning 38 due to the uneasy times in the world 😭

So I am
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As promised, we've launched the ability to buy Telegram usernames on a dedicated platform – Fragment. Auctions for the most valuable usernames are already live, so make sure to check it out. In a few days, we will also introduce the ability for users to sell their existing usernames on Fragment.

For the first time in the history of social media, a fair, transparent market for usernames is established. Finally people will have ownership over their social media addresses, secured in the immutable ledger of a decentralized blockchain network.

This is just the beginning, and yet an important milestone – the power has started to shift into users' hands.
Some content creators started using third-party payment bots to sell access to individual posts in their Telegram channels. This way, content creators could receive close to 100% of whatever their subscribers paid, which was great.

Unfortunately, we received word from Apple that they were not happy with content creators monetizing their efforts without paying a 30% tax to Apple. Since Apple has complete control over its ecosystem, we had no alternative but to disable such paid posts on iOS devices.

This is just another example of how a trillion-dollar monopoly abuses its market dominance at the expense of millions of users who are trying to monetize their own content. I hope that the regulators in the EU, India and elsewhere start taking action before Apple destroys more dreams and crushes more entrepreneurs with a tax that is higher than any government-levied VAT.

In the meantime, we at Telegram shall work to offer creators powerful and easy-to-use tools to monetize their content – outside of Apple's restrictive ecosystem.
👨‍💻 We prepared some Halloween surprises for you, but it seems someone doesn’t want us to celebrate. Telegram's latest update has been stuck in Apple Review for more than a week, and we have not been informed about the current reason for the delay ⛔️

Apple claims they review apps within 24 hours, but, in our experience, it takes at least 7-10 days for any meaningful product update to reach the App Store. My friends who run smaller apps tell me it's even worse for them, as they have to wait more than a month just to ship bug fixes to their Apple users 😵‍💫

However, positive change is coming. Tomorrow, a new set of laws called the Digital Markets Act will come into force in the European Union. This regulation should put an end to the abuse of market power by gatekeepers like Apple and Google.

We, the developers, should start relying on the DMA to defend ourselves and our users. If you are an app developer who faces issues with the App Store or Google Play, let me know about it at [email protected] from your company e-mail address with the word "DMA" in the title. It will be up to Apple to decide if they want to spend their resources on improving their processes — or on fines.

Happy Halloween! 🥳
Time to fight some demons 😈
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I feel particularly excited about today’s Telegram update. It adds topics to large groups, transforming these linear chats into slick mobile-friendly versions of good old Internet Forums.

Ironically, the very first popular internet service I built around 20 years ago was also an Internet Forum – a message board for students of my university, which eventually grew into the biggest student portal in the region.

16 years ago I again incorporated forums into the Communities section of VK, a social network I founded. Since VK was the most popular communication platform in Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and other countries, tens of millions of people used the forum feature there.

I feel nostalgic about those times: I had yet to learn the skill of hiring engineers and designers back then, so I programmed and designed everything on my own, working 20 hours per day.

Today I am fortunate to have the best coding team in the world to recreate the forum experience for hundreds of millions across all platforms in a more modern, fast and accessible form. Telegram will now support organized conversations where thousands of people can concurrently discuss different subjects in the same group.

Topics today come packed with lots of features – including the ability to close and pin topics, flexible notification options and lots of fun animated emoji to be used as topic icons. But this is just the start. Taking advantage of the two-week delay caused by Apple’s review, we have begun to expand these new threaded groups into something even more powerful.
The blockchain industry was built on the promise of decentralization, but ended up being concentrated in the hands of a few who began to abuse their power. As a result, a lot of people lost their money when FTX, one of the largest exchanges, went bankrupt.

The solution is clear: blockchain-based projects should go back to their roots – decentralization. Cryptocurrency users should switch to trustless transactions and self-hosted wallets that don't rely on any single third party.

We, developers, should steer the blockchain industry away from centralization by building fast and easy-to-use decentralized applications for the masses. Such projects are finally feasible today.

It took only 5 weeks and 5 people including myself to put together Fragment – a fully decentralized auction platform. We were able to do this because Fragment is based on The Open Network, or TON – a blockchain platform that is fast and efficient enough to host popular applications (unlike Ethereum, which unfortunately remains outdated and expensive even after its recent tweaks).

Fragment has been an amazing success, with 50 million USD worth of usernames sold there in less than a month. This week, Fragment will expand beyond usernames.

Telegram's next step is to build a set of decentralized tools, including non-custodial wallets and decentralized exchanges for millions of people to securely trade and store cryptocurrencies. This way we can fix the wrongs caused by the excessive centralization, which let down hundreds of thousands of cryptocurrency users.

The time when the inefficiencies of legacy platforms justified centralization should be long gone. With technologies like TON reaching their potential, the blockchain industry should be finally able to deliver on its core mission – giving the power back to the people.
It has been a year since Telegram started its monetization, but the results have already exceeded our expectations.

Unlike other apps, we took a privacy-conscious approach to ads: we decided that no personal data should be used for targeting and that promoted messages should only be shown in public one-to-many channels. Despite that, our ads have significantly outperformed the market and put Telegram on a steady path towards financial sustainability.

Telegram Premium, which we introduced just 5 months ago, quickly surpassed 1 million subscribers and has become one of the most successful examples of a social media subscription plan ever launched. While it still represents just a fraction of Telegram’s overall revenue, Telegram Premium is growing steadily every day, and one day may even rival our ads.

The future looks exciting. The additional monetization strategies I discussed in my previous posts are already bearing fruit, and the features we are working on now will set the foundation for further financial growth for Telegram in 2023.

Thanks to successful monetization, Telegram will be able to pay for the servers, traffic and wages necessary to keep building new features and supporting existing ones. While some other apps consider their users a tool to maximize revenue, we consider revenue a tool to maximize value for our users.
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2022 has been a successful year for Telegram. Telegram reached 700 million active users and solidified its position as one of the top 5 most downloaded mobile apps in the world.

This year was also the first year of monetization for Telegram. The results exceeded our expectations and have allowed us to lay the financial foundation for future growth.

In 2022, we shipped dozens of new features, which changed how messaging apps work and how billions communicate. We shall relentlessly continue on that trajectory in 2023.

At Telegram, we are lucky to be able to do what we love. I wish everyone the ability to follow their passion in the New Year 💫
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🏆 In the last 5 years, Telegram surpassed Facebook Messenger to become the most popular cloud-based messaging app. Telegram is now second only to WhatsApp and is closing the gap year by year. No wonder our competitors are concerned! 🔥
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Happy April Fool's day! 🤡

Be careful with this day though! Exactly a year ago my assistant jokingly suggested that since I became a French citizen, I should add a blank space in my last name and become a “Du Rov”. Laughing out loud, we filled out a form to “frenchify” my name, which after a few additional touches became “Paul du Rove”.

While we soon forgot about that form, the application actually got approved and the passport reissued 🙈

Thinking about that day, I’m grateful that my assistant’s creativity didn’t extend to my Emirati passport. Otherwise you would be reading this post in “Al Dur’s Channel”.
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Telegram's mission is to preserve privacy and freedom of speech around the world.

In cases where local laws go against this mission or impose technologically unfeasible requirements, we sometimes have to leave such markets. In the past, countries like China, Iran and Russia have banned Telegram due to our principled stance on the matter of human rights. Such events, while unfortunate, are still preferable to the betrayal of our users and the beliefs we were founded on.

In Brazil, a court requested data that is technologically impossible for us to obtain. We are appealing the decision and are looking forward to the final resolution. No matter the cost, we will stand up for our users in Brazil and their right to private communication.
Last week we launched a feature that adds an entire new dimension to Telegram. It allows users to share entire collections of chats, or chat folders. These folders can contain anything – work groups, communities or even curated news feeds.

The possibilities are endless. The organizer of the folder can set up different access levels, selecting which of the invitees will see which chats. Those who accept that invite can select which specific chats they want to be visible in the folder or in their Main Chat list. One can even have the same chat included in multiple different chats folders at once.

With Chat Folders, the power to organize chat lists is in the hands of each user. Thanks to their unique democratic structure and flexibility, Chat Folders can reshape how Telegram works. And, since most of our innovations are later picked up by the rest of the industry, this feature can eventually redefine how humans communicate.
We at Telegram have been very lucky to be able to define the messaging trends for the past decade.

Just imagine: a compact team of 30 people has been responsible for creating the majority of the features you now see in modern messaging apps. Our competitors have developed a habit of copying our designs, without any alteration, to the point where it's become a running joke in the community (my favorite recent meme is this one).

We take this imitation as a compliment — it shows we're leading the way. While our competitors try to catch up, we will keep implementing top-quality features. My next post is about one of them.
For years, our users have been asking us to implement Stories in Telegram. More than half of all feature requests that we receive are related to Stories.

Initially, we were against this since Stories are already everywhere. However, Telegram wouldn't be Telegram if we didn't listen to our users and didn't innovate on existing formats.

So we will be launching Stories soon – in the Telegram way:

- Privacy. You will be able to define who can see each of your stories with granular precision: Everyone, only your contacts (with exceptions), a few selected contacts, or a list of Close Friends.
- Compact UI. Stories will be placed in an expandable section at the top of your chat list, which makes them easily accessible without taking away valuable space.
- Flexibility. It will be easy to hide Stories posted by any contact, moving them to the 'Hidden' list in your Contacts section instead of the main screen.
- Captions. In addition to making use of dozens of powerful photo and video-editing tools, you will be able to provide captions for your stories to add more context or links and tag other people.
- Dual Camera Support. Building on the success of Telegram's Video Messages, we're adding the option to post photos and videos taken by the front and the rear cameras simultaneously.
- Optional Ephemerality. You'll be able to choose when a story expires – in 6, 12, 24, or 48 hours – or permanently display stories on your profile page, with individual privacy settings for each.
- More suprises! 🤩

The ability to save your stories to the profile page will make Telegram profiles more informative and colorful. You will not only be able to explore more content from your closest contacts, but finally discover more information about users you connect with in groups or channel comments.

Speaking of channels, they will benefit from more exposure and subscribers: once we launch the ability to repost messages from channels to stories, going viral on Telegram will become a lot easier.

Overall, following our internal tests of Stories, even the skeptics on our team started to appreciate this feature. We can no longer imagine Telegram without it.

Stories are in their last testing phase and will become available in early July. This will herald a new era on Telegram, where it will become even more fun and social than it currently is.

Check out a preview of Telegram Stories in the next post.
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Every day, over 2.5 million new users sign up for Telegram, and earlier this year we’ve surpassed 800 million monthly active users. We are happy and grateful, even though this massive growth also means higher expenses on storage and traffic to serve our users.

Luckily, Telegram is super efficient when it comes to expenses and we had a great start with monetization last year. While not yet profitable (which would be impossible to reach on just the second year of monetization), Telegram is closer to profitability in absolute numbers than its competitors such as Twitter and Snap.

To fund Telegram’s continued growth until we reach the break-even point, this week we issued around $270 million worth of Telegram bonds as a tap of our existing bonds. Once again we've been lucky to have the participation of well-known funds with stellar reputations.

I personally bought about a quarter of the new Telegram bonds, investing tens of millions into Telegram’s growth. This comes in addition to the hundreds of millions I spent over the last 10 years to keep Telegram operational.

Some people suggested I should have instead bought a house or a jet. But I prefer to stay focused on my work, without “owning” anything (well, apart from Telegram, some Bitcoin and some Toncoin).

Hundreds of millions of people signed up for Telegram because they wanted an independent messaging platform that would put its users first. It is my responsibility – and my life’s work – to keep delivering this platform.
🥳 Today Telegram turns 10 years old.

In just a decade, Telegram gained over 800 million active users purely thanks to word of mouth. Through numerous updates and improvements over the years, Telegram has redefined what a modern messaging experience should be like.

The next step for Telegram is to go beyond messaging and spearhead innovation in social media in general. We should use our popularity to change the lives of billions for better, to inspire and uplift people on our planet.

Today’s gradual roll-out of stories for all users marks the beginning of this new stage in the history of Telegram. While this past decade was exciting, the next 10 years will be the time when Telegram reaches its true potential. 🥳
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🎈 This is what Telegram for iOS would look like today if its design hadn't evolved since its launch on the 14th of August, 2013! 🚩🚩1️⃣0️⃣🚩🚩
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Jokes aside, this is what Telegram beta looked like in late 2012. Note the ability to add photos in profile pages (with geotags and reactions!), which is similar to the stories posts we are launching now. Although they weren’t included in the final version 10 years ago, stories have been part of the plan all along!
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