Telegram paid publications: a new fight against Apple’s tax


One of the best WhatsApp alternatives for those looking for an instant messaging app is Telegram. Pavel Durov‘s business, however, is now accusing Apple’s CEO Tim Cook of limiting the addition of new features to its platform.

One of the new features that were being developed, the introduction of paid publications on Telegram, was abandoned due to the “restrictive ecosystem of Apple” in Durov’s words. The Telegram CEO, however, pledges to continue fighting for his cause.

“Some content creators started using third party payment bots to sell access to individual posts in their Telegram channels. This way, content creators could receive close to 100% of whatever their subscribers paid, which was great” said Durov.

Telegram looks for new ways to get around Apple’s limitations

First of all, Telegram was getting ready to launch a new monetization system on its platform, according to software analyst @MattNavarra. More specifically, the publications for which we would need to make a payment in order to view them.

This would be one of the means employed by those in charge of Telegram. To find additional revenue streams for its users, particularly the professional public. It would also serve as an additional source of income for the business itself.

However, this was the point where Apple’s 30% fee for all operations made by apps available through the App Store hit the “dreams of Telegram”. That is, the tax that the Cupertino company refuses to abandon and is dubbed the “Apple Tax”.

“Unfortunately, we received word from Apple that they were not happy with content creators monetizing their efforts. Without paying a 30% tax to Apple. Since Apple has complete control over its ecosystem, we had no alternative. But to disable such paid posts on iOS devices” said Durov.

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Telegram’s paid posts are the latest “victim” of the Apple fee

It is significant to note that this week the Android and iOS app users were introduced to this new feature. We are talking about the launch of paid publications. However, the iOS application on iPhone quickly removed this option, depriving users of this system.

We should note that this function has not been available formally for Telegram’s stable version. However, users of the Beta version (trial version) for both mobile OSs already had access to it.

According to Telegram, this innovation would include a brand new way for users to receive payment. And in reality, we would only be able to view specific messages and contents after paying for them.

“This is just another example of how a trillion dollar monopoly abuses its market dominance at the expense of millions of users who are trying to monetize their own content. I hope that the regulators in the EU, India, and elsewhere start taking action before Apple destroys more dreams and crushes more entrepreneurs with a tax that is higher than any government levied VAT. In the meantime, we at Telegram shall work to offer creators powerful and easy to use tools to monetize their content. Outside of Apple’s restrictive ecosystem.” said Durov.

Apple vs Pavel Durov

This function wouldn’t prevent current users from using the platform’s other features. In other words, it wouldn’t interfere with the app’s current functionality. Rather, it would be an addition. In other words, a premium subscription already includes this feature. But it was still possible to pay a fee to view a specific message without being part of the paid plan.

This function, though, violated Apple’s rules because it represented a brand new payment system. In fact, the Cupertino tech firm promptly informed Telegram of this limit. And requested that it adhere to the payment of the 30% tax.

Due to this restriction, the Telegram CEO said that the measure was losing its financial viability. And that iOS users were rapidly losing access to it. He did, however, promise to look into alternatives to Apple’s abusive policy.

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