I fear for you Telegram!

I fear that in your persistence to remain an independent, ad hating, investment shunning, security focused, not-for-profit tech company that Telegram—my main messaging app—will disappear due to lack of funds!

Fortunately the founder is considering a realistic businesses plan for the nimble app by releasing premium features.

“As the tensions in Russia play out, Mr. Durov says he is focused on Telegram, which he started last year.”

“There will be no outside investors, he says, no ads and no marketing, and it is available free, though he is likely to eventually charge for additional services. He says he has about 50 million users, almost entirely outside Russia. (New York Times)”

So what premium features should Telegram offer‽

Verified Accounts

It’s a vain idea, but offering users a way to verify who they are would appeal to not only the vain masses, but individuals wishing to authenticate their accounts.

Telegram could open this up for fans with user names for a nominal fee (say $5.00 USD/month).

Note: To prevent imposter & parody accounts from being verified as celebrities/politicians, Telegram should also require an authenticated link back from a website (similar to the now defunct Google Authorship feature).

Magic Phone Numbers‽

It would be really cool to call people around the world via the Telegram app—who do not yet have Telegram.

Since owning yet another number is as appealing as peeling potatoes, Telegram instead could allow users to use temporary numbers in which to call friends & frenemies without exposing their mobile number (thus preserving privacy).

Note: Since this feature could easily be abused, Telegram might want to consult legal experts before launching this.

Geo-Locked Messaging…

It would be cool if users could send messages to friends that they could only open if they are in the same region/country/city/street where the message originated or (even better) outside of a hostile region.

This would be helpful if you are messaging important details to friends whose message upon an unlocked device could be intercepted by:

  • Paranoid governments who have illegally seized a smartphone
  • Birthday boy/girl who is not yet suppose to know about the surprise party
  • Business partners who can not legally reveal confidential info in a certain location for legal reasons

Anything Else‽

That’s all the bright ideas I have for now, although hopefully Telegram comes up with a way for passionate users to support this great chat app!

Note: I’m @Darnell upon Telegram for what it’s worth. Unless you’re a spammer then feel free to say hello! 🙂