In late 2020 we learned that Telegram founder Pavel Durov was considering making some changes to the app to generate revenue to help sustain its growth. The first step in this direction materialized in October 2021 with the addition of ads in bulk channels; the next could be the launch of a rumored paid subscription called “Telegram Premium.”
While Durov has not talked about a subscription as such, the entrepreneur has assured in the past that Telegram’s monetization plan, in addition to advertising, will include “premium features.” Now, details of Telegram Premium appear to have surfaced in a closed beta of the iOS app. According to the Russian Beta Info channel, it will cost $4.99 per month and provide the following enhancements.
Here’s what Telegram Premium will offer
- Duplicate limits. Up to 1,000 channels, 20 chat folders, 10 pinned chats, 4 accounts (in one app), 200 chats pinned within a folder, 20 public links for channels and groups, 10 favorite stickers, and 400 GIFs.
- 4 GB file upload. Telegram currently allows uploading files up to 2 GB.
- More space to complete the bio. Up to 140 characters in the profile bio instead of the default 70.
- More characters in descriptions. Will allow longer descriptions for photos and videos.
- Faster downloads. No speed limit for media and document downloads.
- Voice to text. Telegram Premium will offer automatic transcription of voice messages.
- No ads. Public channels will be ad-free.
- Exclusive reactions. Additional animated reactions to messages.
- Premium stickers. Extended exclusive stickers with additional effects with monthly updates.
- Advanced chat management. Tools to set default folder, automatically archive and hide new chats from non-contacts.
- Profile badge. A badge next to the name will show that the user supports Telegram with his subscription.
- Animated profile pictures. Animated avatars in chat lists.
- Premium application icons. Choose from a selection of Telegram app icons for your home screen.
As we can see, the advantages that Telegram Premium will offer consist mainly of duplicating the possibilities offered by the free version. Now, will they be enough for users to pay $4.99 per month? In time we will know if Dúrov’s strategy achieves the expected results.
In addition, other questions may arise, such as whether we will lose some features along the way or whether we will have to pay for some of them. According to this leak, we should not lose features. And let’s remember that Durov promised some time ago that all free Telegram features should remain so. On the possible arrival date of Telegram Premium, there is still no clear horizon.
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