The rise of Telegram is one of the most exciting things in the mobile app environment in recent years.
Slowly but surely, it is becoming the world’s mega app, probably based on China’s successful WeChat, and the first to be chained neither by Beijing regulation nor by the Silicon Valley ideological curve. .
Far from being just a messaging app, Telegram is gradually moving into other areas of life and clearly has the ambition to become the default platform for many or all individual and professional needs.
Just yesterday (April 28), the company released another major update that shows a desire to delve deeper into e-commerce and digital payments, which could eventually generate significant revenue.
Telegram introduces 2.0 payments
With Payments 2.0, Telegram allows merchants to accept payments through several approved gateways, including the hugely popular Stripe, which effectively covers more than 200 jurisdictions worldwide (i.e., worldwide).
The feature was previously available through robots, which was a bit awkward. You had to create a separate bot with which customers would communicate, but payments can now be used directly across all chats, channels, and groups.
This is a great increase in functionality, as it allows sales directly during communication with followers.
If you want, you can create your own simple e-commerce store in Telegram, displaying products and allowing customers to purchase them directly in the app, on both mobile and desktop devices.
Business owners can now track Telegram, communicate directly with fans, present their products, and offer direct payment, all in one app..
As a result, Telegram can effectively replace direct marketing tools (such as email), live chats, social media accounts, customer service, and e-commerce storefronts. You don’t even need a commission for your services – the only fees you’ll pay are set by your payment processor.
But of course, it’s still not as robust as a stand-alone store. Customizations are limited and will not work very well for very large stores, as it would be difficult to display dozens or hundreds of products.
But department stores don’t need these features anyway. It is the small vendors who will benefit the most, especially because the app and its features are completely free.
In short, Telegram is now a platform where you can:
- Share content and links with followers.
- Organize groups where fans can interact with each other.
- Contact them using the automatic app notifications they see on their phones.
- Provide customer support.
- Show off your products and services.
- Sell them, send invoices and collect payments directly from the app via your preferred gateway, anywhere in the world.
How to start using the new features
I know you may want to give it a try, but the tech part isn’t that simple for lay people and will require a bit of work.
However, I have advanced to simplify it in a short list of steps you need to take (unfortunately, help may be needed):
- You will first need to create your own Telegram bot, which takes care of all the payment mechanics. Do it by going to the It looks like Bot and following the instructions in the Telegram app.
- With the same tool, you select your payment gateway (with which you already have an account) and just type the necessary commands into BotFather.
- This is where you become a technician. To add products to Telegram, you will need a developer to write you a bot or use an existing one. prepared by someone else. This can also be presented as a complement to your website, if you have one, for example running Woocommerce. This way, your products could be imported into Telegram automatically.
Unfortunately, there is currently no easy tool for creating Telegram robots; but it may change over time, given how quickly the app continues to add features.
In short, as a trader, your profits are immense:
- Save on marketing / CRM expenses, as you can interact directly with fans / customers for free.
- Save on customer support solutions: Using Telegram to manage inquiries is also free.
- Save on hosting costs, as your store and your entire community could reside entirely or primarily in Telegram.
- Save on payment processing costs, as e-commerce service providers (like Shopify) or donation services (like Patreon) usually add a commission on top of what payment gateways charge.
Companies of all sizes will find something useful on the platform.
Purchasing features will work as a charm for all small business owners and creators of all kinds (bloggers, artists, YouTubers, podcasters, etc.) can use it to collect donations, sell fan teams, premium access to content , etc. turned on.
If you really wanted to, you could create an entire business just in Telegram and never leave the app.
And mind you, this is just one part of the update you have he also added useful new features such as scheduled voice chats, which is great for both meeting planners and popular figures who invite fans to tune in to a live show.
As if that wasn’t enough, Pavel Durov has done it announced that the next update, which will arrive in May, will add new robust video features to Telegram calls, effectively taking on Zoom and other teleconferencing apps that have experienced increasing popularity during the pandemic.
The most amazing thing about all these developments is that there really isn’t anyone willing to compete with Telegram for these features.
Will the other messaging apps follow?
Unlike Chinese WeChat developers, Westerners tend to group too many features into one product. And because WeChat is unlikely to be a competitor outside of Asia, given global distrust of Chinese apps, Telegram is really the only candidate right now.
WhatsApp or Signal could take on the challenge, but the second is just a messaging app and the first is owned by Facebook, which is unlikely to use it to cannibalize its own business by adding features that already pay millions of companies. on its main platform.
It would also require a review of your privacy, allowing users to at least hide their phone numbers before someone is willing to interact with strangers.
Telegram offers the best of all worlds: enough security, privacy, and corporate independence to trust, enough simplicity to make extensive use of, and enough robustness to be a true competitor to existing, often expensive, solutions.
It is becoming Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp and Zoom, and is also engaged in e-commerce.
And the best part is that it’s still just the beginning, as new features are added every few months. As such, it makes sense to start investing your time on the platform right now.
Featured Image Credit: Dado Ruvic via Reuters