Is Telegram a social enterprise?

I think Telegram can be considered as a social enterprise whose founder's philosophy is revolutionizing messaging app and solving problems in the communication realm. Its main mission seems to not be about maximizing profit but to expand its usage and impact. Pavel Durov, the founder of Telegram, said in his latest news update, "As I said when launching Telegram almost 8 years ago, the end goal for Telegram is to become a financially sustainable project that can serve humanity for decades (or centuries) to come." Durov seems to make conscious decision that Telegram is not aiming to be in the top ten largest companies by revenue or anything. On the other hands, he tenses to state clearly that it is about becoming a financially sustainable project.

A point to take into consideration, Pavel Durov was already a millionaire if not billionaire when he founded Telegram. He paid for the expenses of the company from his personal saving.

Below is my dissection of 5 key features of social entrepreneurship based on Telegram case study.

1. Social Value Creation

"We are not going to sell the company like the founders of Whatsapp. The world needs Telegram to stay independent as a place where users are respected and high-quality service is ensured. Telegram must continue to serve the world as an example of a tech company that strives for perfection and integrity. And, as the sad examples of our predecessors show, that is impossible if you become part of a corporation."

2. Social Entrepreneurship Organization

I think Telegram's organization is not-for-profit and hybrid.

3. Social Entrepreneur

I think to found and develop Telegram to what it is today, Pavel Durov is an entrepreneur and more than that.

4. Social Innovation

They just released a new feature, what they called "Radio Station", a voice call function within Telegram Channel and Telegram Group. I believe it can be utilized almost like a podcast. They will later this spring release what they called "TV Station".

"Telegram changed the way people communicate in several aspects – encryption, functionality, simplicity, design, speed. This journey has just started. There’s much more we can – and will – bring to the world."

5. Double Bottom Line

Telegram needs to find an innovative way to keep doing what they doing aligning with their core values while making sure they can be financially sustainable.

"In order to make points 1 and 2 possible, Telegram will begin to generate revenue, starting next year. All the features that are currently free will stay free. We will add some new features for business teams or power users. All parts of Telegram devoted to messaging will remain ad-free. We think that displaying ads in private 1-to-1 chats or group chats is a bad idea. Communication between people should be free of advertising of any sort. If Telegram starts earning money, the community should also benefit. For example, If we monetize large public one-to-many channels via the Ad Platform, the owners of these channels will receive free traffic in proportion to their size. Or, if Telegram introduces premium stickers with additional expressive features, the artists who make stickers of this new type will also get a part of the profit. We want millions of Telegram-based creators and small businesses to thrive, enriching the experience of all our users."

Lattest Update from Telegram

"Telegram has raised over $1 billion by selling bonds (a form of debt) to some of the largest and most knowledgeable investors from all over the world. This will enable Telegram to continue growing globally while sticking to its values and remaining independent. As I said when launching Telegram almost 8 years ago, the end goal for Telegram is to become a financially sustainable project that can serve humanity for decades (or centuries) to come."
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