Telegram has over 700 million monthly active users and is rolling out a premium tier with additional features as it pushes to monetize a portion of its large user base. The firm did not say how much it charges for the premium tier, but the monthly subscription seems to be between $5 and $6.
The messaging app reached 500 million monthly active users in January of 2021. Telegram Premium gives users the ability to send larger files and download them faster.
Paying customers will be able to follow up to 1000 channels, up from 500 offered to free users, and create up to 20 chat folders with as many as 200 chats each. Telegram Premium users will be able to pin up to 10 chats.
The firm is trying to keep its development focused on its users, not advertisers. It is the first time that an instant messaging app has rolled out a premium tier. Some of Telegram's top competitors don't have a premium tier.
Telegram might be able to monetize the platform through its token project. Telegram said in 2020 that it had abandoned the project and offered to return the investment it had made.
Telegram raised over $1 billion from a number of investors, including Mubadala and Abu Dhabi Catalyst Partners.
Today is an important day in the history of Telegram and it is also the beginning of Telegram's sustainable monetization.
Durov said the premium tier was launched to respond to user demand for more storage.
The only way to allow our most demanding fans to get more is to make those raised limits a paid option.
The premium version of the phone is $6 in India. Alex Barredo saw 5.49 as the monthly cost. A Telegram spokesman didn't reply to a request for comment.
Premium users will have access to exclusive stickers and reactions, as well as the ability to convert voice messages into texts. It will be possible for paying customers to avoid seeing ads. Some markets show sponsored messages in large, public channels.
Durov will continue to build new features for the non-paying audience and keep core features free of charge.
The firm said on Sunday that it is rolling out a feature called join requests that will allow users to join a public group without an invite link. The new feature will allow verified groups and channels to show their badges at the top of the chat. Rendering of animations at 120 frames per second is supported by the new update.
Telegram said that the update included over 100 fixes and improvements to the mobile and desktop apps.
Bernstein has data and images.
Telegram was getting more and more competitive with its features according to analysts at Bernstein. They wrote that Telegram has taken a lot of share from both Messenger and WhatsApp.