Telegram issues $1 billion to $1.5 billion of convertible bonds, with the promise of 10% discounted equity if the company goes public. Messenger has a scheduled debt payment of about $700 million by the end of April, to its creditors, Wall Street Journal reports. With the rising expenses, Telegram needs to attract advertisers to generate revenues to cover rising equipment and bandwidth expenses due to users’ growth.

  • The company plans to start selling ads in public Telegram channels as soon as this year and offering other premium services for businesses and users. The social media platform is on a trajectory towards one billion users active each month by the end of 2022, up from roughly 550 million today. Despite their surging popularity, messaging apps such as Telegram are facing uncertainties over their business models.
  • Telegram spokesperson said the social media’s ad strategy is likely to focus initially on Asia, Eastern Europe, and the Middle East. 
  • Telegram faces the challenging task of convincing advertisers that its audience is broad, with perceptions that many users flocked to the app after being banned from other platforms.
  • Telegram owner Pavel Durov would also need to satisfy that the app can rein in threats of violence and coordination of illicit activities.