Pavel Durov, the CEO of Telegram, on Friday, put all speculations to rest, as he officially announced the premium subscription tier of the popular cross-messaging platform.
Called Telegram Premium, this paid subscription plan will go above and beyond the current free experience, says Durov. The new premium plan will offer additional features, speed, and resources to subscribers of this plan. It will also allow users to support Telegram and join the club that receives new features first.
According to Durov, there were receiving requests from its users to raise the current limits on chats, media, and file sizes. However, increasing the limits would mean “unmanageable” server and traffic costs. Hence, the company decided to include Telegram Premium to meet the user demand for additional storage and provide a “no-limits” experience.
“After giving it some thought, we realized that the only way to let our most demanding fans get more while keeping our existing features free is to make those raised limits a paid option,” he wrote in a message on the Telegram channel.
It is important to note that Telegram Premium won’t affect the experience for its free users, as all existing features will continue to remain free with more new features coming to the platform. Additionally, even users who don’t subscribe to Telegram Premium will be able to enjoy some of its benefits.
For instance, free users will be able to view extra-large documents, files, media, and stickers sent by Premium users. They will also be able to add Premium reactions already pinned to a message to react in the same way as Premium users.
While the platform has been successfully experimenting with privacy-focused ads in public one-to-many channels, the Telegram founder has decided that the app should be funded primarily by its users, and not advertisers to sustain usage over the long term.
Although Telegram Premium is expected to launch later this month, there is no clarity as to what would be the additional features and cost of the paid model.
However, previously leaked reports suggest that Telegram Premium could cost $4.99 per month and include a 4GB file upload, faster download, voice-to-text transcription, zero ads, premium stickers, animated profile pictures, and more.