Telegram has gathered over 700 million monthly active users and is launching a premium tier with additional features as the instant messaging platform pushes to monetize a portion of its extensive user base. The firm did not reveal how much it is charging for the new subscription plan, but the monthly subscription appears to be priced in the range of $4.99 to $6.
Telegram Topped Nearly 500 Million Monthly Active Users in January
The premium tier adds a range of additional and improved features to the messaging app, which topped 500 million monthly active users in January 2021. Telegram Premium enables users to send files as large as 4GB (up from 2GB) and supports faster downloads, for instance, Telegram said. Paying customers will also be able to follow up to 1,000 channels, up from 500 offered to free users, and create up to 20 chat folders with as many as 200 chats in each.
Telegram Premium users will also be able to add up to four accounts in the app and pin up to 10 chats. The move is the Dubai-headquartered firm’s attempt to keep its development “driven primarily by its users, not advertisers,” it said. It’s also the first time an instant messaging app with hundreds of millions of monthly active users has rolled out a premium tier. Signal, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Apple’s Messages, and Google’s Messages, some of Telegram’s top rivals, don’t offer a premium tier.
Premium Tier is Intended to Respond User Demand for Additional Storage
Telegram founder and chief executive Pavel Durov said earlier this month the move to launch a premium tier was intended to respond to user demand for additional storage/bandwidth. “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 said.