From Bots to Mini Apps: Unveiling Telegram’s Web3 Ecosystem
Telegram Bots Are Gaining Traction
According to Binance Research’s Telegram Bots: Exploring the Landscape report, cumulative lifetime volume of trades facilitated on Telegram bots exceeded $190M in early August, 2023. In July 2023, daily active users of Telegram bots also reached a record high of 6,000.
Both CoinMarketCap and CoinGecko now feature Telegram Bot Tokens sections. Unibot, a bot that facilitates fast swaps and snipes on Uniswap in Telegram, maintained its position as a leading token throughout Q3 2023, achieving an ATH market capitalization of $200.27 million. Meanwhile, the entire segment is now valued at $288.48 million, according to CoinGecko. The hype behind Telegram Bot Tokens has cooled down, causing the market capitalization to decrease from its ATH. At the same time, the apps listed in the Telegram Bots sections of CoinMarketCap and CoinGecko represent only a fraction of Telegram’s Web3 ecosystem, which is just beginning to reveal itself.
TON has entered into an official partnership with Telegram to collaboratively develop the Telegram Web3 Ecosystem. The key highlight of this partnership is the unveiling of the Wallet, that took place during the Token2049 event in Singapore. This marks a significant milestone for both TON and Telegram, establishing a foundation for the Telegram Web3 Ecosystem.
Telegram-based trading bots are just one example of the many utilities the messenger interface can offer beyond communication. This also demonstrates how Telegram is now becoming an integral part of the entire crypto and blockchain ecosystem.
Telegram’s integration of Web3 functionalities through Telegram Apps (tApps) represents a significant leap forward in driving blockchain adoption. The inclusion of Telegram Bot tokens on CoinGecko is just the beginning, as we recognize the immense potential of The Open Network (TON) and the role of tApps as a completely new infrastructure layer.
Bobby Ong, COO and Co-founder of CoinGecko
A variety of other decentralized products are entering the market as we are releasing this post. In this report, we are going to introduce our readers to Telegram’s Web3 ecosystem embodied by Telegram Mini Apps.
Current State of Telegram Apps
Telegram is not only used for messaging but also for a variety of other purposes, ranging from automated responses and news updates to weather forecasts, portfolio tracking, translation, gaming, file sharing, and even payments. As a result, Telegram has evolved into a crucial communication channel for projects, businesses, and brands, and its chatbot capabilities are extensively used to onboard new users, manage marketing campaigns, and streamline sales processes.
Mini Apps are the latest addition to the Telegram ecosystem, which was previously represented by bots. Mini Apps are a logical evolution of the bot platform. They complement it by providing a web interface that resembles a regular website, and are more advanced and versatile compared to standard chatbots overall. The Telegram Mini Apps ecosystem is designed to assist developers in increasing traffic, exploring monetization opportunities, and expediting development using its centralized toolkit. In the next section, we will take a closer look at what Telegram Mini Apps are, how they work, and what they can be used for.
Telegram Mini Apps — The Newest Addition to the Telegram Bot Platform
Why are Mini Apps such a big deal? First and foremost, Telegram’s 800 million users, coupled with its ease of access and seamless onboarding process, make it the ideal platform for businesses seeking to establish new sales and marketing channels, increase engagement, and explore fresh monetization opportunities. The versatility of Mini Apps enables them to be used for virtually any purpose that regular websites could be used for.
The app can be launched in different ways, including through a keyboard button, an inline button, a bot menu button, an inline mode, or a direct link.
Here are some examples of the different ways you can launch a Telegram Mini App:
The application will open with the user’s theme settings and basic information. Telegram Mini Apps resemble a website in the interface of a messenger bot. Once the mini app is launched, users will see a window in Telegram’s interface offering them various actions, such as connecting their wallet, placing an order, executing payment, etc. In addition to the webpage content, Telegram Mini Apps support:
- The “back” button, located in the header of the Mini App, which is used to navigate back through the navigation history;
- The main app button, displayed at the bottom of the Mini App in the Telegram interface;
- Haptic feedback.
Telegram Mini Apps are able to provide a visually consistent and user-friendly experience, resembling the design of Telegram itself. While Telegram Mini Apps can be customized to fit particular branding, Telegram offer guidelines to keep the design consistent with the platform. Specifically, the design should prioritize mobile platforms, while the app should “deliver a seamless experience by monitoring the dynamic theme-based colors provided by the API and using them accordingly.”
Mini Apps offer a powerful arsenal of tools for community growth and engagement. The seamless integration within the Telegram interface makes it easier than ever to build and manage communities. The versatility of Mini Apps not only enhances user onboarding but also facilitates ongoing engagement, helping projects, companies, brands, and individuals nurture their community and achieve their growth objectives. This includes running incentive campaigns, competitions, or simply fostering meaningful interactions, all of which can be a part of creating vibrant and engaged communities.
Projects, companies, brands, and individuals can harness the dual advantages of low user acquisition costs and an interconnected Mini App ecosystem. The ease of onboarding users already familiar with Telegram significantly reduces acquisition expenses, making it a cost-effective growth strategy. Moreover, Mini Apps foster synergy among themselves, as individuals who engage with one Mini App are more likely to explore others. This organic interconnectedness enhances the potential for viral user acquisition, creating a network effect where each Mini App contributes to the success of the broader ecosystem. With these elements in play, Telegram Mini Apps offer an unparalleled opportunity to tap into a vast user pool and drive exponential growth for projects, products and communities.
Some TON Ecosystem participants are already implementing Telegram Mini Apps to diversify their user onboarding channels and improve engagement:
- Tonstarter, the first launchpad on TON, onboards users with its Tonstarter Assistant. The bot features a mobile version of the Tonstarter website that enables users to connect their wallets and engage in fundraising for blockchain-based projects, as well as participate in events with reward pools.
- Getgems, a TON-based NFT marketplace, has a Getgems Bot, that enables users to store, view, and interact with their NFTs.
- The Community app is a toolset designed to help projects, brands, companies, and influencers onboard and manage their communities. It also facilitates growth and improves engagement by using tools such as incentive campaigns or competitions. The app is currently being used by TON Community to assist in discovering of TON-based Web3 projects.
- Fanton, a TON-based Fantasy Football NFT game, onboards players in its own Telegram Mini App. Earlier this month, Fanton reached 55K MAU, establishing itself as one of the leading GameFi projects on TON.
- Evaa Protocol, the first lending protocol on TON, enables users to lend and borrow tokens directly in Telegram with its Evaa Protocol Telegram Mini App.
- TON Rocket is a wallet for TON and jettons that is fully integrated with Telegram. It features an exchange, a P2P market, and a payment system called Rocket Pay.
The Web3 Landscape of Telegram
In late 2022, Pavel Durov announced the upcoming launch of a set of decentralized tools, including non-custodial wallets and decentralized exchanges, on Telegram. In 2023, Telegram achieved an important milestone by starting its first decentralized payment solution.
Earlier this year, we introduced Wallet, a self-custodial wallet on Telegram, and Wallet Pay, a payment system for Telegram users and apps. The unveiling of Wallet during Token2049 in Singapore now serves as a central piece in the public announcement of the TON and Telegram partnership.
Wallet is a TON-based platform that turned Telegram Messenger into a Web3 wallet and lets users easily manage their digital finances. Wallet enables apps to easily onboard new users using only Telegram Messenger. Wallet now has over 2.5 million users. Learn more at wallet.tg/ton.
Wallet Pay is a great payment system for Telegram Apps to support payments and operate with funds: crypto and fiat. Wallet Pay allows users to track their orders statistics and easily withdraw funds to Wallet.
Both tools are key components of Telegram’s Web3 landscape. Mini Apps can now leverage Telegram’s payment capabilities for seamless user onboarding, monetization, and gain access to Wallet’s community of over 2.5M users. This means that Mini Apps’ users don’t have to rely on third-party wallets to interact with Mini Apps, as all payments are integrated natively.
The Open Network Blockchain is the foundation of Telegram’s Web3 ecosystem, offering high scalability, low fees, and fast transactions. We anticipate that more TON-based projects will enter the market in the near future and take advantage of Telegram’s capabilities.
Telegram Apps Center — An Interaction Tool for Telegram’s Apps
You can already explore a selection of Mini Apps in the Telegram Apps Center. Designed to support developers and enhance user interactions, the Telegram Apps Center offers a range of tools, utilities, and entertainment options. From communication solutions to practical utilities, users will find a curated selection of apps that integrate smoothly with Telegram’s platform, all focused on simplicity, security, and convenience.
The purpose of the Telegram Apps Center is to facilitate the discovery of Mini Apps and provide developers with assistance in realizing their ideas. This is achieved through a streamlined submission process facilitated by a dedicated Apps Moderation Bot. By integrating with Telegram’s platform, developers can tap into Telegram’s expansive user base. The center’s emphasis on user privacy and security establishes a dependable environment for developers to showcase their innovations and deliver meaningful experiences to users.
What to Do Now and What to Expect in the Future
Are you building on TON? Do you have an interest in shaping the future of Telegram with decentralized tools and projects? Apply to the Telegram Web3 Grants program announced by TON Foundation earlier this month. The program aims to encourage development activity within the Telegram Web3 ecosystem by leveraging TON’s speed and scalability. There are 5 Grant Categories:
- Type A — Initial Deployment (up to $10,000 in TON). This category is meant for proof of concept Telegram Mini Apps or Telegram Mini Apps that are in the initial deployment stage.
- Type B — Live TON-based Projects with Existing User Base (up to $10,000 in TON). The Type B category includes TON-based live projects that already have a user base and plan to integrate with Telegram.
- Type C — Live Non-TON-based Projects with Community ($20,000 — $50,000 in TON). This category is for projects on other blockchains that are interested in scaling or moving to TON. The exact grant amount will be determined based on the project’s traction, including user base, TVL, and activity metrics.
- Type D — Projects Seeking Venture Funding (VC funding). While the grant program does not offer venture funding, projects seeking VC support can still apply to gain exposure to various VC funds, as well as guidance through the evaluation from TONcoin.fund.
Read more about program categories here.
In the meantime, you may find the following resources useful:
- Get started with Telegram Mini Apps at ton.org
- Explore the Telegram Apps Center
- Check out Telegram’s official guide to Telegram Apps
- Join the Trending Apps channel to stay updated about interesting launches
- Join the Telegram Mini Apps Developers Community for support and event updates related to Mini Apps
- Check out the open repository with useful tools and documentation about Telegram Mini Apps
- Keep an eye out for Mini App challenges like the recent TON TMA Challenge in the TON Contest Bot.
- Already built your Telegram Mini App? Submit it to Telegram Apps Moderation bot.
The launch of the Telegram Apps Center and a native self-custodial wallet will mark a significant milestone for both Telegram and TON. Mini Apps introduce a fresh paradigm for developing robust web-based applications that seamlessly merge the broad accessibility and reach of the web with the enriched user experience and functionality of native apps. Telegram’s embrace of Mini Apps sets the stage for a future where web applications can seamlessly integrate with messaging platforms, unlocking a new realm of possibilities for user engagement, seamless interaction, and immersive experiences.
Ready to build the decentralized future and move towards mass adoption of Web3 with the limitless potential of Telegram Mini Apps? Dive deeper into the world of Mini Apps at ton.org. Join the conversation and stay updated with the latest developments by following the official Telegram Mini Apps Twitter.