Telegram has confirmed that a paid subscription will be available later this month.

News Sand DC
Source: Getty Images

Telegram, a free messaging service, has entered the subscription market.

Founder Pavel Durov revealed today that a paid offering is coming later this month that would go above and beyond the present free experience — in other words, a premium service — without affecting existing functionality for (non-paying) users, according to a message on his Telegram channel.

Indeed, the claim is that users who do not pay for Telegram will not only not have their experience degraded, but will also benefit from being able to (freely) access certain premium extras, such as the ability to view "extra-large" documents, media, and stickers sent by Premium users, or the ability to add premium reactions to messages that have already been pinned.

According to Durov, the change is meant to react to user demand for more storage and bandwidth without jeopardizing Telegram's ability to provide a free service to everyone else.

"After considerable consideration, we determined that the best way to provide our most ardent fans more while keeping our present services free is to charge for those increased restrictions," he adds.

Durov's post does not go into depth about what Premium customers would get — or how much it will cost. However, press claims of forthcoming premium features and pricing have surfaced in recent days, implying that it may contain things like greater file upload capacity, quicker download speeds, voice-to-text conversion, premium stickers, additional chat management options, and more (all without advertisements!).

Based on a study of the beta app, a price of $4.99 per month has also been reported. However, it is unclear what the official cost will be in various locations.

Telegram Premium, according to Durov's article, is "a subscription plan that allows anybody to buy more features, speed, and resources." He's also using it as a kind of patronage layer, promoting Telegram super fans who want to contribute financially to the network. Those that do will get access to a Premium "club" that will be the first to receive new features, he says.

It's unclear whether Telegram's Premium play is designed to offset expenditures for more resources or to create additional money. However, considering Durov's use of the word "support," it's possible that he's expecting to turn a significant number of Telegram super fans into long-term financial patrons. (Of course, this is contingent on the Premium product's adoption.)

Even though Telegram has been around for nine years, the company's strategy for monetizing its 500 million+ monthly active users is still unclear. (And many months after a previous attempt at crypto ended in failure.)

Telegram has had to rely on outside finance to cover its server expenses in recent years, including more than $1 billion in debt financing last year.

In terms of revenue, Durov has stated that he wants a non-intrusive, privacy-friendly strategy to maintain long-term usage. Although adverts on public one-to-many channels have been tested by the platform. Still, Telegram's principled creator is wary of depending on ad revenue, writing today, "I think Telegram should be paid largely by its users, not marketers."

#buttons=(Accept !) #days=(20)

Our website uses cookies to enhance your experience. Learn More
Accept !