Telegram founder Pavel Durov announced a new feature allowing users to convert personal accounts into business accounts for a monthly fee. This upgrade provides users, particularly small cafe and shop owners, the option to display additional information such as location and opening hours.

Business accounts on Telegram come with various features, including the ability to organize chats with color labels, utilize automatic greetings or away messages, and employ shortcuts for quick replies. Pavel Durov mentioned on his channel that Telegram plans to roll out more business-oriented features this month, including the integration of AI-powered chatbots for customer service.

According to Durov, Telegram Business accounts will have the capability to incorporate chatbots as virtual assistants to manage responses in various chats. Leveraging AI, these chatbots aim to elevate customer service automation to new heights.

"This week we launched the first batch of Telegram Business features. Users can now convert their personal Telegram accounts into business accounts. As a result, they will be able to add their location and opening hours, organize chats with color labels, use automatic greeting/away messages and shortcuts for quick replies.

That’s just the start — we are shipping more Telegram Business features this month. One of these features will revolutionize how people interact with chatbots. Telegram Business accounts will be able to seamlessly add chatbots as their invisible secretaries to respond to all or certain chats. With AI, these chatbots can bring customer service automation to an entirely new level.

The new Bot APIs for developers will become available later this month, all for free. Stay tuned — more exciting stuff is coming for businesses and developers on Telegram this season." - says Pavel Durov in his Telegram channel.

In recent years, Telegram has concentrated on expanding its business offerings, incorporating premium subscriptions, a self-custodial crypto wallet, and the auctioning of premium usernames.

With over 800 million users globally, the chat app also has plans to launch its advertising platform later this month, featuring a revenue-sharing program for channels.