Despite the fact that Pavel Durov insistently asks not to be called a citizen of the Russian Federation, his brainchild – the Telegram messenger – is certainly, and, perhaps, unfortunately for Ukrainians, quite Russian for a number of objective and subjective reasons – in particular, because of servers in Russia, employees in Russia, money of Russian oligarchs and cooperation with the FSB. And although Pavel Durov himself actively denies all this, many studies conducted by cybersecurity specialists confirm these facts. By the way, they have been known to everyone for a long time, so it cannot but be surprising that Telegram contains many official channels of Ukrainian state institutions, up to the Defence Intelligence of Ukraine – the same Defence Intelligence of Ukraine, which periodically reminds of the danger of using Telegram.

In an interview with the Financial Times, Pavel Durov shared his ambitious plans for Telegram. According to him, the messenger now has 900 million users, and their number is constantly growing, and Mr. Durov himself is considering the possibility of going for an IPO (the first public sale of shares of a private company). Hundreds of millions of dollars appeared on Telegram after the introduction of advertising services and premium subscriptions two years ago, and already in 2024, at the latest in 2025, Pavel Durov hopes to reach profitability.

As “multiple global elections unfold” this year, Telegram, through the mouth of its owner, promises to improve its content moderation processes and “deploy AI-related mechanisms to address potential issues.” But “if they (users) don’t cross the red line, I don’t think we should control people in how they express their opinions. I believe in the competition of ideas. I believe that any idea should be a challenge… Otherwise, we can quickly degrade to authoritarianism.”

The main reason why Telegram started monetizing is the desire to “preserve independence”. And as part of this aspiration, Telegram is testing ads in certain regions, and it also plans to expand its offerings around the world this year and attract smaller advertisers who use automated systems. In addition, the company plans to share income with the owners of Telegram channels, introduce business accounts, and a new “social opening” feature that will help users meet or meet people nearby. Time will tell which of the announced changes will come to fruition, whether Telegram will be able to achieve a listing in the United States (inclusion of securities in the stock exchange list), and whether this will contribute to a real severance of ties with the Kremlin.

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