The Iranian government is creating more incentives for Iranian messaging apps and social media platforms. Non-Iranian messaging apps also get government support if they place servers in the country.
Just a few weeks ago the government revised some incentives for Iranian and foreign social media messaging apps that included more in-app advertisements for platforms with more than 1 million users. Aside from that more services such as government direct advertisement support for platforms between 1-3 million users, license for banking and eGovernment services, and telecommunication licenses would be granted to platforms with over 5 million users. Read more here.
Issue with messaging apps & social media platforms and their location of data storage are sensitive topics discussed in most countries. By incentivizing, the Iranian government is trying to facilitate this process of establishing data storage servers in the country, and in the meantime reducing internet prices for the end-user and the country. Iran’s “Domestic internet” project which is mostly widely mistaken as an isolated internal network, is a project which reduces the internet costs for the country and Iranians. How it works is that by using the domestic internet bandwidth to download from Iranian sources (websites, apps and etc.), Iranian content don’t have to be downloaded via the international bandwidth. This would ultimately lead to massive price reduction, promotions and incentives for generating local content, and in some cases more security.
In a meeting held by the Iranian president Hassan Rouhani at Iran’s high council of virtual space last Saturday, a complete guideline for local social media platforms and also messaging applications were discussed. In these guidelines and approvals, foreign messaging apps which are willing to assemble their servers in the country for Iranian users also get the government’s support. Foreigners who don’t, will not be privileged of any support. It has been defined that messaging apps with over 50% of equity owned by Iranians and also registered as a company in the country will be considered as “local messaging apps”. These companies will also gain government support as mentioned above.
As of now, the most used messaging app in Iran is Telegram, which no official statement has been released by the company in regards to setting up servers in Iran for its millions of Iranian users. Do you think the wide range of governmental support for local messaging apps will help these companies acquire more users in Iran?
Not a chance, unless Telegram is blocked. I think the term “governmental support” conveys the meaning of taking actions against Telegram, which will of course be unofficial.
If something happens to Telegram, Iran will become a giagantic battlefield of second tier messengers who will take the place of Telegram. In this regards, now would be a superb timing to enter into Iranian market.