By Emma Roth
After announcing Telegram Premium earlier this month, the messaging app has finally rolled out the paid tier, which gives users access to extra features for US$4.99 / month (via TechCrunch). All the features are outlined in a post on Telegram’s blog, with some of its bigger draws including faster downloads and a larger maximum file upload size of 4GB (rather than the standard 2GB).
Premium subscribers will also get double the limits imposed on standard users. Instead of joining up to 500 channels, subscribers are capped at 1,000 channels. The same goes for other features on Telegram — subscribers can create 20 chat folders with 200 chats each, save up to 10 stickers, pin up to 10 chats, and add a total of four accounts to Telegram instead of three. Premium users also get to have longer bios with a link.
Some other perks include access to a library of Premium stickers with more obnoxious full-screen animations, exclusive emoji reactions, and animated profile pictures (sort of like the ones you see on Steam). There’s also text conversion for voice messages in case you don’t have headphones handy, in addition to chat management tools that allow you to change your default chat folder. Oh, and subscribing to Premium removes sponsored messages in public channels.
Telegram CEO Pavel Durov’s views on the platform’s freemium tier have remained unchanged since he first brought up the possibility in 2020. In line with what he said previously, Durov stated last week that free features will remain free and new features won’t impact the Telegram experience for non-subscribers. This means free Telegram users should be able to download larger files uploaded by subscribers, as well as view the premium reactions or emojis they use.
PREMIUM’S PERKS BUILD OFF OF TELEGRAM’S EXISTING FEATURES
Durov also promised that Telegram won’t stop developing features for free users either, which the platform appears to be following through on so far. The latest Telegram update displays verified badges in chats (not just in profiles, search results, or chat lists), gives public groups the ability to enable join requests, and adds a few platform-specific improvements.
That said, Telegram Premium comes with a lot of features, many of which will probably be attractive to the most active of Telegram’s — now 700 million strong — userbase. I personally like that the majority of Premium’s perks build off of Telegram’s existing features. The new tier doesn’t put features behind a paywall that should’ve been on the platform in the first place (kind of like what Twitter did with its “undo” button).