Telegram, a free messaging service, has entered the subscription market. Telegram’s founder Pavel Durov revealed today that a paid offering is coming later this month that will go above and beyond the present free experience — in other words, a premium service — without affecting existing functionality for (non-paying) users, according to a post on his Telegram channel.
Indeed, the claim is that users who do not pay for Telegram will not only not have their experience degraded, but will also benefit from being able to (freely) access certain premium extras, such as the ability to view “extra-large” documents, media, and stickers sent by Premium users, or the ability to add premium reactions to messages that have already been pinned.
According to Durov, the move is meant to respond to user demand for more storage and bandwidth without jeopardizing Telegram’s ability to provide a free service to everyone else.
“After considerable consideration, we determined that the best way to give our most ardent fans more while keeping our existing features free is to charge for those increased restrictions,” he adds.
Durov’s post does not go into depth about what Premium customers would get — or how much it will cost. However, press reports of upcoming premium features and pricing via the beta app have surfaced in recent days, implying that it could contain things like greater file upload size, quicker download speeds, voice-to-text conversion, premium stickers, advanced chat management options, and no advertisements!
Based on a study of the beta app, a price of $4.99 per month has also been reported. However, it is unclear what the official pricing will be in various regions.
Telegram Premium, according to Durov’s post, is “a subscription plan that allows anyone to buy additional features, speed, and resources.” He’s also using it as a kind of patronage layer, promoting Telegram super fans who want to contribute financially to the network. Those that do will gain access to a Premium “club” that will be the first to receive new features, he adds.
Despite the fact that Telegram has been around for nine years, the company’s strategy for monetizing its 500 million+ monthly active users is still unclear. (And many months after a previous attempt at crypto ended in failure.)
Telegram has had to rely on outside finance to pay its server bills in recent years, including more than $1 billion in debt financing last year.
In terms of monetization, Durov has stated that he wants a non-intrusive, privacy-friendly strategy to maintain long-term usage. Although adverts in public one-to-many channels have been tested by the platform. Still, Telegram’s principled founder is wary of relying on ad revenue, writing today, “I believe Telegram should be paid largely by its users, not marketers.”
Telegram Premium Subscription Launch: Leaked Features
- Uploading up to four-gigabyte file
Telegram Premium subscribers have the ability to upload files up to 4 GB in size. Those who do not subscribe to the premium service will continue to have a 2 GB upload limit.
- Faster Downloads
Unlike the free version, Telegram Premium subscribers will be able to adjust their download speed. It should be emphasized that premium customers will not be subjected to any speed restrictions.
- Voice-to-text transcription
Telegram Premium will include a function that will assist users in creating transcripts for audio communications they send and receive. This will allow folks who do not have earphones to understand what the voice text says.
- No advertisements
On public channels, Telegram Premium users will not see any advertisements. This is a feature that will entice a significant number of Telegram users to upgrade to the premium version.
- Premium stickers
Telegram Premium subscribers will receive special stickers. Every month, the stickers will be updated with the most recent information.
- Animated profile images
If users subscribe to Telegram Premium, they will be able to set animated profile photographs.
Telegram Premium Subscription: Expected price
According to the newest beta, the Telegram Premium subscription costs $4.99 per month. Despite the fact that we do not yet know the price in India, this roughly converts to Rs 388 in the country.