Instant messaging platform Telegram has garnered more than 700 million monthly active users as the WhatsApp rival continues to grow in usage and popularity. As of January 2021, Telegram had 500 million monthly active users. It was also the most downloaded non-gaming app that month. Telegram has also announced that it is rolling out Telegram Premium which will provide users with additional features. This is part of the platform’s push to monetize a significant part of its large and continually growing user base.
The instant messaging platform is yet to announce how much the monthly subscription fee would be for its premium service but it is expected to come in between $4.99 and $6.
Telegram Premium users stand to enjoy greater benefits. Telegram revealed that this set of users will be able to send files as large as 4GB (it was previously 2GB), and enjoy faster downloads, among other things. They also will be able to follow up to a thousand channels, twice more than what free users are entitled to, and create up to 20 chat folders with as many as 200 chats in each of them. Wait! That’s not all. Telegram Premium users will also be able to add up to four Telegram accounts and pin as many as ten chats at once.
According to Telegram, the latest development will ensure that users and not advertisers primarily drive its growth and platform – it wants to continue to operate a user-focused model. CEO Pavel Durov in a statement revealed that the latest development – the move to launch Telegram Premium – was a response to increasing user demand for additional storage and 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.
It is also relevant to know that this is the first time an instant messaging platform would be rolling out a premium feature. Rivals such as WhatsApp, Messenger, iMessage, Google’s Messages, and Signal do not offer users premium features.