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.
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+.