Telegram Business is here

  • Telegram has launched a business mode, similar to WhatsApp Business.
  • However, you will have to pay a R90 per month subscription to use the new features that come with it.
  • These include automated greeting messages, displaying business location and opening hours, custom replies and more.

One of the world’s most popular chat platforms, especially in Eastern regions of Europe, Telegram has finally launched a Business mode, similar to WhatsApp Business. This was confirmed in an announcement by the founder of the app Pavel Durov on Wednesday. The app has more than 800 million users worldwide.

Unlike WhatsApp Business, Telegram Business doesn’t require a different app and can be accessed on the same original Telegram, but it requires a paid subscription to transform your personal Telegram account into a Telegram Business account.

It is now available in South Africa as well and can be purchased for R90 per month, or at the current special annual price of R719.99 – which translates to R60 per month. Users who already have Telegram Premium are being treated to early access to Telegram Business features, but this is “temporary” according to the app.

According to TechCrunch, transferring to a Business account will allow users to list information such as business locations and opening hours. You will also be able to organise chats with colour labels, create automatic greeting messages or away messages and your own shortcut for quick replies.

Durov explained that Telegram will launch more business features later this month, including a way to integrate AI-powered chatbots for customer service. Something that is already possible on WhatsApp.

“Telegram Business accounts will behtxt whats a able to seamlessly add chatbots as their invisible secretaries to respond to all or certain chats. With AI, these chatbots can bring customer service automation to an entirely new level,” said Durov.

In recent years the independent Telegram has been hard at work attempting to compete with Meta-owned WhatsApp, the leader in chat platforms worldwide with over 2 billion users. Telegram’s attempts have been out of the box, with the launch of Premium Subscriptions, access to a crypto wallet, and auctioning Premium Usernames.

The app allows for more customisation of the UI as compared to WhatsApp, similar to bootleg WhatsApp clone GBWhatsApp. Telegram is also planning to launch an ad platform in March, that will allow owners of Telegram channels to make money by recruiting users. To start, channel owners will make 50 percent of all revenue on adverts shown on their channels.

Noted for its extreme encryption and self-deleting messages, Telegram is favoured among deep internet residents and fringe groups. Often information is shared on the platform that would not be allowed on other platforms, such as WhatsApp and Facebook.

While South Africans prefer WhatsApp as their daily chat app, Telegram is the eighth most popular social media app in the country, above Pinterest and below LinkedIn.

[Image – Photo by Christian Wiediger on Unsplash]


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