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Telegram Unveils Business Account Option, Enhances Connectivity for Small Businesses

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Pavel Durov, the founder of Telegram, announced on Wednesday a new offering for users of the popular chat app: the ability to convert personal accounts into business accounts for a monthly fee. This move aims to cater to small cafe and shop owners, allowing them to list crucial information like location and opening hours directly on the platform.

Among the key features of these business accounts is the ability to organise chats using colour labels, utilise automatic greetings or away messages, and employ shortcuts for quick replies. Durov also revealed plans to introduce more business-oriented features, including integrating AI-powered chatbots for enhanced customer service, later this month.

In discussing the integration of chatbots, Durov emphasised their potential to revolutionise customer service automation for business accounts on Telegram. This innovation aligns with Telegram’s strategy to compete with WhatsApp Business, a platform that surpassed 200 million monthly active users last year.

While WhatsApp relies on revenue generated from the nature and frequency of chats, Telegram is taking a different approach by charging a subscription fee for access to its business features. This differentiation underscores Telegram’s commitment to providing value-added services for businesses.

Under Meta’s ownership, WhatsApp has also introduced various business-centric features, such as personalised customer messages and seamless e-commerce transactions.

In recent years, Telegram has focused on expanding its business offerings through initiatives like premium subscriptions, self-custodial crypto wallets, and auctions of premium usernames. With over 800 million users worldwide, the platform is set to launch its ad platform this month, complete with a revenue-sharing program for channels.

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