Telegram will begin charging for some of its capabilities in the near future. Telegram founder Pavel Durov announced in a message on the site that a paid Telegram Premium subscription will be available later this month, providing users with “additional features, speed and resources.”
Some of the benefits of the subscription, according to Durov, include early access to new features, the ability to upload larger files, and Premium-only stickers and comments.
However, according to Durov, Telegram’s current capabilities will stay free, and the additional features will have no influence on free users’ experience. Non-subscribers can still see and interact with Premium stickers and reactions, as well as larger files shared by Premium users.
According to Durov, a Premium membership will help the site cover part of the costs of raising the “already ludicrous” file size, conversation, and media restrictions, which would be “unmanageable” if made available to all users. A paid subscription has long been in the works, with Durov first hinting at it in 2020.
Although the breadth of Premium features is uncertain, it looks that the subscription will appeal most of power users of Telegram, similar to how Twitter Blue gives the app’s most regular users additional powers
The program will cost $4.99 per month, according to information gathered from the beta version, and will include features such as faster downloads, voice-to-text communications, chat customization choices, and more.
According to the beta, which Durov launched last year, premium customers would not see advertisements in one-to-many channels. This is in line with Durov’s previous promise to give a way for clients to turn off advertisements, however, it looks like you may have to pay for it.
Durov doesn’t seem to have plans to expand ads beyond public channels, despite the initiative being “more successful” than what he initially thought. “I believe that Telegram should be funded primarily by its users, not advertisers,” Durov says in his post. “This way our users will always remain our main priority.” Telegram’s future, of course, depends on whether it can persuade a significant part of its 500 million users to subscribe to Premium.