Telegram adds a new subscription called Telegram Premium.
Suspicions of a Telegram Premium have been circulating for weeks, as the company has tested beta on iOS† Telegram CEO and founder Pavel Durov confirmed the rumors this week and took his official channel †here is an image if you don’t want to participate) to reveal the new layer.
Bigger files and faster speeds
Officially, the subscription, which will co-exist with the free service, will add new features (such as sending “extra large documents”) and resources, and improve the speed of the app. Premium members also get the first prizes for those new features.
Durov clarifies that none of the free features will suddenly be thrown behind a paywall and can expect new ones later. There will also be improved interactivity between Premium and Free users. For example, free users can read the large files sent to them by paying members or tap Premium responses to pinned messages.
Not much can be inferred from Durov’s statement, but there are some potential leaks. According to an Telegram leak channelthe new Premium tier may include an increase in upload size to 4GB, animated avatars, new chat management tools, and speech-to-text conversion.
We contacted Telegram and asked if it could confirm any of these details, as well as what the price will be. Unfortunately, Telegram’s official line did not respond to us.
Analysis: need money
Monetization was a bottleneck for the company. For the past nine years, Telegram has been a free service, but that had to change because, as Durov explained in his channel, Telegram needs the money.
He reveals that when people asked Telegram to add more features, the company ran into sustainability issues. If Telegram added everything people wanted, the server costs would become totally “unmanageable” and they could have forced it to shut down the app, Durov said. The Premium tier is a way for users to directly support the app.
Telegram has experimented with various crowdfunding methods in the past. Some, like Sponsored Posts, were saved and integrated into the app’s advertising platform. Others were more disastrous like his billion dollar blockchain platform, TON. The SEC eventually got wind of TON, with Durov quickly abandoning ship and scrapping the project.
It will be interesting to see if Telegram Premium is the money maker the company wants it to be. Compared to something like the failed blockchain project, a Premium tier is more down to earth. If you’re interested in encrypted messaging apps, Ditching has a: list of the best for 2022†