back to article Telegram eyes IPO as user numbers close in on 1 billion

Telegram's CEO has begun discussing an initial public offering (IPO) as the messaging platform's user count nears the billion mark. Speaking to the UK's Financial Times, Telegram boss Pavel Durov expressed hope the company might become profitable in 2024 or 2025, meaning listing its shares would be a distinct possibility in …

  1. heyrick Silver badge

    It's all downhill once the bankers turn up

    Minimal advertising? Privacy respecting? Nope, screw everything in the quest for shareholder profits...

    1. cyberdemon Silver badge
      Big Brother

      Re: It's all downhill once the bankers turn up

      How exactly does Telegram fund its operations, never mind turn a profit?

      I assume by selling data out of both ends of its end-to-end encrypted app

      1. jmch Silver badge

        Re: It's all downhill once the bankers turn up

        "How exactly does Telegram fund its operations, never mind turn a profit?"

        The article mentions premium user subscriptions and some sort of limited ads that are channel-only. You can be sure once the bankers turn up there will be a push to find ways to profit. However they should be pretty aware that their popularity really took off with WhatsApp privacy invasions, they will (or should be) well aware that any privacy abuses will see punters flood away even faster than they left WhatsApp (because the privacy-unconscious would have stayed with WhatsApp)

      2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

        Re: It's all downhill once the bankers turn up

        For most of the time Durov was happy to pay for development and hosting out of his own pocket. It wasn't until the number of users spiked that hosting started getting, ahem, "webspensive", and he started looking for ways to cover some of the costs.

        Telegram has two things that make it really attractive for many users outside the mainstream: it's very hard to block; and it scales really well. This is why it's so popular in Russia and Ukraine. There is also very little censorship, which can have positives and negatives, but groups generally manage to administer things pretty well. The API is also very interesting for developers, in fact, it's what other services might have looked like if they weren't interesting mainly in monetising their users. It's based in the UAE which keeps it out of the arms of many governments, but we'd be naive to think the UAE is magnificently impartial: it isn't and happy to fund freedom fighters / terrorists.

        An IPO could be the deathknell for the system if it then becomes all about making money but the capital could also be used to guarantee costs.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: It's all downhill once the bankers turn up

        other than burning money while slowly inflating the value so they can float, some of their expense (but not much, I suspect) is offset by ad money, which has grown significantly on telegram. BUt all that might become a house of cards if/when telegram's blocked in Russia, as it's their key user base, for now. It will be interesting how the Kremlin wants to have the cake and eat it, on one hand Durov is a semi-vocal opponent living filthy-rich life in the corrupt West (aren't we all?) and he allows all kind of 'anti-Russian' content, on the other hand, telegram's become a big medium to pump their propaganda as more and more people stop watching what some call, "zombie-box" And it's a serious problem if you want to control / shape the views of your minions / plebs and don't have a medium under your full control (rutube has proven no substitute to youtube in Russia, despite serious 'investment' in that project). But back to the topic, yes, telegram will become more and more infested with ads, as has already happened with all other platforms, twitter, netflix, youtube, etc.

        btw, it will be interesting to see if the so-called humanity, is moving away from the 'free for ad-spam' model to the 'pay for less ad spam'. I'm sure there's hope (and much hard work) in certain quarters to turn this corner and then - bonus!

    2. cookieMonster Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: It's all downhill once the bankers turn up

      I seem to recall someone here defining the term as a wunch of bankers.

    3. trevorde Silver badge

      Re: It's all downhill once the bankers turn up

      Enshittification of the platform

    4. DS999 Silver badge

      Re: It's all downhill once the bankers turn up

      Having money makes them a target for the EU's "competition" laws, but if they are making no money the EU won't have any leverage over them like they do against other tech companies.

      But hey if I was a founder and could cash into the tune of billions you bet I'd do so. If I felt that strongly about providing a platform like Telegram I'd use a piece of my loot to create a perpetual endowment for a totally non profit successor that would be better than one forced to earn its way through "sponsored advertising". The road to hell is paved with sponsors, because you have to take their wishes into account in your decision making, rather than making the best decision for the platform.

      1. Benegesserict Cumbersomberbatch Silver badge
        Headmaster

        Re: It's all downhill once the bankers turn up

        If you had been a founder, who would the actual founders have been?

      2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

        Re: It's all downhill once the bankers turn up

        As long as they have revenue, there is leverage: fines are increasingly being based on revenue rather than income/profits which companies love to hide in "double Dutch Irish sandwiches" and other such wheezes.

  2. xyz Silver badge

    I hate the little animated doo-das...

    But botfather is the nads (except for the name) and much simpler to code against than WhatsApp.

  3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    1 Billion? 1 in 8 of the world's population including infants? Is that credible? If not either there are a lot of people with more than one account or a lot of bots.

    1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

      Many folks might have it installed on their phone but don't actually use it much (or even at all).

    2. jmch Silver badge

      There's over 5 billion smartphone users in the world, and messaging is a core function. I would think that a huge percentage of those 5 billion had one or more of Whatsapp, FB Messenger, Signal or Telegram installed

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      A lot of wankbots spamming me with Crypto scams.

      Telegraph … delete along with Signal.

  4. chivo243 Silver badge
    WTF?

    Encryption? yeah we’ve heard of it. I heard it called

    Encryption by policy in an article I read a few weeks ago. Not encryption via protocol.

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/zakdoffman/2024/02/02/apple-iphone-google-pixel-and-samsung-galaxy-telegram-app-warning/amp/

    I’ll stick with Signal where you can now use a handle instead of your phone number too!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Encryption? yeah we’ve heard of it. I heard it called

      I'll stick with Threema. They've been smart to not go the free route and they do have other revenue streams so they don't have to succumb to the advertising idea.

      If someone wants to talk to me and is too green to pony up the puny amount they charge for the private version then frankly, I'm not interested.

      That tiny amount acts as a tremendous BS filter - absolutely worth it.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Encryption? yeah we’ve heard of it. I heard it called

      this article from forbes is poor, starting with the clickbait title (Yes, Telegram Is A Very Serious Threat To Your Phone) and then, basically, a long fart, to summarise:

      a) bad people use it b) small screen c) "some rather dubious features (that) make it less secure than is commonly believed"

      Essentially, there's only one valid (and significant) point: 'it still does not offer default end-to-end encryption.'

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Turning a profit?

    Ah well... that is something that Troth Social will ever do. Anyone who invests in that SPAC will take a huge haircut if old donny gets

    his way.

    Their proposed float will apparently make Trump a cool $3B [1] provided he can get over another lawsuit from the people he's trying to stiff merely because they ain't family but came up with the idea of the site.

    That would allow him to pay the New York State fraud verdict and then have enough in the legal fund kitty to pay his lawyers for all the other cases that are piling up.

    Donald J Trump will go down in history as the most litigious person in US history and also the one who lost the majority of cases that he filed and almost all those filed against him.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Turning a profit?

      I think he will also go down as the person who paid the least out of his own pocket doing so.

      It amuses me that he pretty much drained the coffers of the moronic party that still supports him.

      1. DS999 Silver badge

        Re: Turning a profit?

        Amazing they are handing over the checkbook of the RNC to his dim bulb daughter in law. That's going to starve down ballot congressional and state races of funding, especially since several state party organizations (especially in Michigan) are in open warfare over who should lead and how deeply they should put their tongues up Trump's ass. Heck the state legislature in Florida proposed using taxpayer funds to pay for Trump's legal bills, until DeSantis in an uncharacteristic moment of sanity nixed the idea!

        I wonder if (hopefully WHEN) he loses in November whether they will keep funding him or they will finally realize he's a loser who got lucky once in 2016, but has been a drag on the party ever since. Anywhere with less than 60% republican majority tends to reject his hand picked MAGA candidates because independents find them awful. They will be running even more of those this fall, and they'll be handicapped by lack of funding and voter blowback against Roe being overturned. But if they get creamed they deserve it for hitching their wagon to a traitorous rapist POS criminal like Trump.

        1. Benegesserict Cumbersomberbatch Silver badge
          Coat

          Re: Turning a profit?

          If De Santis finds out about his Orangeness being a drag, Mango Largo might be looking for a new owner.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Turning a profit?

            Given that De Santis seems to find reality a drag I wouldn't hold my breath..

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