In the past two years, Telegram has been experiencing an unbelievable traction in Iran to the point that people are making serious money on this platform. But is it true that Iranian Telegram channels have generated $23.3M in revenue?
Telegram has become the main app for texting in the past two years in Iran. Before Telegram entered the country, people were using Viber, Line, WeChat and other messaging apps until the government blocked some of them due to security issues and immoral activities that were taking place on these platforms.
With “super groups” and channel features, Telegram has obtained some social media aspects which have widely been welcomed by Iranian users. The hot to-go-to entertainment hub has 100,000 channels from jokes and prank videos to cultural and music content. With this wave, many companies started to create their channels on Telegram. From news outlets to famous brands, even boutiques have created their own brand channels. Many people started creating channels on a subject that they like, and started creating content for it. You can imagine the potential these channels have. Companies could use these grass root channels to advertise their own channels. This wave created a market for Telegram channels and many middleman businesses and advertising networks started to gather comprehensive and crowded channels and monetized them. Another feature that added value to Telegram is Bots. Bots are simply Telegram accounts operated by software – not people – and they’ll often have AI features. They can do anything – teach, play, search, broadcast, remind, connect, integrate with other services, or even pass commands to the Internet of Things. Right now many companies are using Bots for their gamification, targeted offers and profiling their customers in the country.
As you can see Telegram is not a simple messaging app in Iran and is basically a platform with social media functionality. When a channel posts a content, people would send these posts to supergroups where tons of people are gathered to see the posts related to their interest. Basically channels would publish content, then people would forward the posts to their friends, family, business group or any group with a topic of their interest. This way, you can share pictures, texts, clips or any type of content based on your topic of interest into groups, channels (if you have a channel) or contacts. To reflect how much Telegram is dominant in Iran, it’s enough to say that Telegram currently consumes 40% of Iran’s internet bandwidth. According to a recent news, Iranians have created 100K channels in Telegram and they are creating 1.2M posts per day for these channels.
How Are People Making Money on Telegram?
When there are only a limited number of unblocked social media platforms where businesses could advertise, this is where Telegram enters the game organically. In channels where the functionality is only broadcasting, if you are creating a good content you can become a publisher for advertisers. Commercialized channels normally have 15 to 20 non-ad posts per day and in between, they have 5 to 8 ads per day. These channels would charge the advertisers based on their number of members, reputation and line of work, such as the news channels which some of them belong to the news agencies and news outlets. The list below are the top ten channels on Telegram based on the number of members, which all of them are Iranian. It’s no surprise since most of the Telegram users are Iranians. One of these channels has over 2M members and in total they have more than 12M members. These channels would charge the advertisers $70 to $125 on average for posting an ad for only two hours, and then they would remove it. But the prices could vary based on the timing of the ad. Here are the top 10 channels of Telegram:
- 1. @Hanista_Channel:
- Hanista Developer Group has released a few apps, and the main one is Mobogram which is a customized Telegram app with extra features. This channel has over 2.1M members.
- 2. @Akhbarefori:
- This channel provides its members with the latest news and has over 1.4M members.
- 3. @Gizmiztel:
- This is one of those channels that provides you with all sorts of entertainment such as jokes, clips, tricks and anything that you consider interesting. Gizmitel has over 1.35M members.
- 4. @Niazcom_ir:
- This is a channel which shows you tricks and solutions to solve the ordinary day to day problems. This channel has over 1.3M members.
- 5. @Khabare_vije100:
- Again this channel is also dedicated to the latest news. This channel has over 1.2M members.
- 6. @Akharinkhabar:
- Same as the channel above but with 1M members. This channel has an app for Android as well.
- 7. @Parsinehnews:
- Covering the latest news on Telegram is a big deal in Iran. This channel also belongs to the category of news and has over 1M members.
- 8. @Tebebooali:
- The channel name is associated with Avicenna or Ibn-Sīnā a Persian polymath who is regarded as one of the most significant thinkers and writers of the Islamic Golden Age. This channel focuses on healthcare by giving tips on diet and healthy food. Tebebooali has over 950K members.
- 9. @Bahseazad:
- This channel focuses on movies, superstars and fun videos and has over 807K members.
- 10. @khooroosjangi:
- This channel also falls into the entertainment category with lots of jokes, GIFs and funny clips. Khooroosjangi has over 803K members.
We haven’t answered the main question of how much people are making from Telegram channels, and if the revenue generated is really $23.3M?
Without getting into detail we had this report from TgChans.com from August:
As you can see we have raw data and information on Telegram channels. There are some points in this figure, the first one is that since Persian and Arabic have nearly the same alphabet (except for four letters), it has counted many Iranian channels as Arabic one. The second point is that this data is from August and since then the number of channels has increased. You can see this clearly from the number of channels with more than 1M members which are 3, but right now there 7 channels with more than 1M members. With doing some fieldwork we came up with a growth rate to come up with numbers in the table bellow:
As you can see with simple calculations we came up with market revenue estimation of Farsi Telegram Channel.
TechRasa has published a white paper on Iran advertising technology or simply AdTech. The white paper is available for free to get a good grasp of Telegram channel’s revenue and the AdTech landscape in Iran. Iran AdTech Overview whitepaper is sponsored by Adro AdExchange, Iran’s first AdExchange opening Iran’s online advertising landscape to the world.
We should mention that the price of Dollar has increased since we published the white paper, that’s why the numbers are higher in the white paper in comparison to the table above.
Informing post. Telegram roams the Iranian IM market for now. I wish more information could be found online about their funding source of telegram itself as well.