Back in 2021, Telegram hit 500 million active users (many thanks to the backlash against WhatsApp). Fast-forward to today, and the messaging app now has 700 million monthly users. So, Telegram is launching a Premium subscription, with hopes of capitalising on its considerable growth.
In a lengthy blog post, the company introduced Telegram Premium, which is priced at $5 per month. The subscription provides a flurry of new features in addition to those that are already available for free.
Among these is the ability to upload larger files — up to 4GB in size — and download files faster. There are also doubled limits for everything in the app: follow up to 1,000 channels, create up to 20 chat folders with 200 chats each, pin 10 chats, save up to 10 favorite stickers, and add a fourth account to the app.
Other Premium tools include unique stickers (some with full-screen animations), unique reaction emojis, premium badges, and voice-to-text conversation.
What you need to know about Telegram, the WhatsApp alternative
Non-premium users will have access to some of the new benefits, including viewing stickers sent by Premium users or downloading those extra-large documents (not uploading though).
« The contributions of premium subscribers will help improve and expand the app for decades to come, while Telegram will remain free, independent and uphold its users-first values, redefining how a tech company should operate, » the company wrote in a statement.
Notably, Telegram has been criticized for its long-standing policy of not taking down illegal content, including nonconsensual pornography, in private chats. « All Telegram chats and group chats are private amongst their participants. We do not process any requests related to them, » Telegram’s FAQ response to illegal content reads.
Telegram is the latest tech company to promote a subscription model. In May, TikTok introduced a Twitch-like subscription, allowing users to interact with creators directly. Twitter has launched its own, Twitter Blue, while Snapchat has also moved towards a paid subscription model, with the creation of Snapchat+.