From 500 million monthly active users in 2021, Telegram has managed to bump up the number to 700 million this year, making its progress truly impressive. In relation to this, the company finally decided to launch the paid tier for its app — the Telegram Premium. Having the subscription will give users many new features and expand the limit of the free features users are currently experiencing.
“Today is an important day in the history of Telegram – marking not only a new milestone, but also the beginning of Telegram’s sustainable monetization,” Telegram says in a post detailing the announcement of features. “We believe that Telegram’s development should be driven primarily by its users, not advertisers. This way our users will always remain our main priority.”
Telegram still hasn’t announced the exact amount for the monthly subscription, but online tech newspaper TechCrunch reported it would range from $5 to $6. A tech commentator from Spain named Alex Barredo backed it up, saying it costs €5.49 or $5.77. The company didn’t say anything to confirm those details, but it released the list of perks Premium users will be getting in the tier.
Apparently, Telegram Premium will be offering a set of new features, and some of those are focused on giving the platform a new look for paid users. For instance, profile videos under the Premium subscription will now be animated at all times. They will also be given a distinctive Premium badge and choices of three app icon designs to put on their Home Screen. As we reported months ago, the Premium service will also include a handful of new emojis and different stickers with full-screen animations.
Other features, on the other hand, are meant to make the users’ experience on the platform more convenient while giving them power in organizing and managing their accounts. For example, Premium users can assign their default folder and archive and mute new chats. Ads will also now be removed from the paid tier, and users will be able to enjoy a new accessibility-like feature to convert voice messages into texts.
The biggest surprise about this offer is the improvements to feature limits every Telegram user is experiencing for free right now. From the current 2GB file sending limit, Premium users will be able to send files with sizes as huge as 4GB (and Telegram promises to give them the capability to download things “at the fastest possible speed.”) In addition to allowing up to four accounts in the app, such users will also be able to pin up to 10 chats, have up to 20 chat folders with 200 chats each, and follow 1,000 channels.
Despite all these new things that will be introduced into the new tier of Telegram, the company promises that the app’s current features will remain free for basic users. The new paid features won’t also limit their experience when interacting with paid users. As the company notes in its post announcing the Telegram Premium, it says free users can still download the 4GB files sent by paid users and see and view the stickers and emojis they will use in chats. Even more, Telegram says that it will continuously make general improvements to the app, benefitting even free users. As such, it also introduced some new updates, like “join requests” for group admins to make member approvals, an animated file sending progress bar on iOS, an animated profile picture generator on macOS, automatic saving to Gallery on Android, verification badge in chats, improved bots, new chat buttons (read, mute, pin, and delete), and ability to scroll through chats without marking them as read.
“This update includes over 100 fixes and optimizations to the mobile and desktop apps – eliminating bugs, improving speed, and expanding minor features,” Telegram adds. “iOS users with the latest iPhones and iPads get significantly smoother animations (120 FPS) throughout the app. Android users will notice better audio and video quality in voice and video messages, along with options to set alternative app icons, clear all recent stickers at once and translate user bios or chat descriptions.”