Telegram has launched a new way for people to sign up without their regular phone number and SIM card. To this end, the company is launching a telephone number bidding process to enable users acquire anonymous numbers to sign up.
The process works similar to the username auction where you can buy a username by auction. However, the new number process allows you to buy virtual numbers on Fragment; a site specially created for Telegram-related auctions. To purchase a number, simply link your TON wallet to the website.
According to TechCrunch, a number can be purchased for as low as 9 toncoins, which is the equivalent of roughly $16.50 [this could change]. That said, there are some premium virtual numbers such as +888-8-888 that could sell for as high as 31,500 toncoins (~$58,200).
It is important to point out at this point that the number can only be used to sign up for Telegram, and not for any other purpose. It cannot be used to make or send SMS just like your regular numbers.
It is another way of revenue-making for Telegram as it continues to add new ways to support its service. Talking about monetization, Telegram Premium, the paid version of the end-to-end chat app has amassed more than 1 million users since it was rolled out about six months ago.
Telegram Premium was the company’s first real attempt at monetizing its services; and 1 million paid subscribers in less than six months of its launch is not a poor start.
Pavel Durov, founder and CEO of Telegram announced the landmark achievement this week via his channel. In his exact words, Durov described the latest milestone as “one of the most successful examples of a social media subscription plan ever launched.”
Despite the achievement, the 1 million subscription only “represents just a fraction of Telegram’s overall revenue,” Durov said via his Telegram channel. The company hopes to have its subscription plan match its ads revenue in the near future.
A couple of weeks ago, Telegram rolled out some handy new features for both paid and free users. Premium users will now have access to transmission of video messages.
Previously, the feature was only limited to voice messages, but will now be available on videos as well. Sometimes, you find yourself a noisy environment where you can barely grab the audio of the clip. With video transcription, however, that should not be a problem anymore.