Telegram has been working on a premium subscription service to monetize the platform for some time now. After months of anticipation, the secure messaging service has finally announced its plans to launch a subscription service. In this article, we have detailed all the new features coming to Telegram Premium along with the pricing of the subscription service.
Telegram Premium Subscription: Explained (2022)
At the time of writing this article, Telegram has announced the availability of Telegram Premium. However, the messaging giant has not started rolling out its premium subscription just yet. Furthermore, Telegram Premium is partially live in the latest beta. We could expect Telegram to launch the subscription by the end of the month. That said, let’s get right into the details.
Telegram Premium: Features
Four GB Upload Size
The first Telegram Premium perk is increased file upload size. Going forward, Telegram Premium subscribers can upload files of sizes up to 4GB. Non-premium users will continue to have 2GB as the upload size, a feature that recently found its way to WhatsApp as well. If you’re someone who often shares huge files with friends and peers, you might find this feature appealing.
Faster Download Speeds
Next up, Telegram says it is increasing the overall download speeds for subscribers. Notably, Premium users will not have any speed limits when downloading media and documents. Regular users will have a max speed limit for Telegram downloads. It goes without saying that you will need a fast internet connection to utilize the speed gains if you’re a Premium subscriber.
Voice-to-text conversion is my favorite Telegram Premium feature. As the name suggests, the feature generates transcripts for voice messages you send and receive. This should be a lifesaver in situations where you don’t have your earphones nearby to listen to voice messages your friends send you.
While the accuracy of the transcript will vary based on multiple factors, including the accent, it seems like a nice option for users. We will test how it works and the accuracy of the transcription once the subscription goes live.
In November last year, Telegram announced its plans to introduce sponsored messages. At the time, the company also promised to launch an inexpensive subscription to disable ads. Well, that’s finally becoming a reality. Telegram Premium subscribers will not see any ads in public channels.
Also new in Telegram Premium are exclusive stickers. Compared to stickers that are available now, these stickers will have additional effects. Furthermore, Telegram promises to update stickers on a monthly basis.
Advanced Chat Management
Users who are on multiple channels would benefit from the new advanced chat management features. Telegram Premium users will have the option to set a default folder for chats, auto-archive chats, and even hide new messages from users not on their contacts list.
Taking a page out of Signal’s playbook, Telegram is adding profile badges for subscribers. Premium subscribers will get a star icon badge next to their name in the conversation window, and it will be visible to all users.
Animated Profile Photos
Currently available as a free feature for everyone, the option to set animated profile pictures is going behind a paywall. In case you are unaware, Telegram lets you set video avatars to help express yourself better on the platform.
Premium App Icon
Another cosmetic change being introduced with the Telegram Premium subscription is the option to set new app icons. You will get at least three new icons, presumably with more options coming in the foreseeable future. This should come in handy for users looking to add some personal touch to their phone without relying on icon packs for customization.
Telegram introduced message reactions last December. At the moment, there are 16 message reactions to choose from. In addition to those reactions, Telegram will introduce exclusive animated reactions on messages to Premium subscribers. This is an easy way to stand out from the crowd, if you’re into that. WhatsApp has since also jumped on the bandwagon and introduced message reactions for all users.
Alongside these features, Premium subscribers will enjoy twice the limits of free users. Subscribers can join up to 1000 channels, pin 10 chats, reserve 10 public username links, save up to 400 GIFs and 200 stickers, and use 140 characters in the bios link. Moreover, the subscribers will also be able to use longer captions with up to 4096 characters, access 20 folders, group up to 10 chats per folder, and add 4 connected accounts with different phone numbers.
Telegram Premium: Price and Release Date
Telegram Premium is priced at $4.99 per month, as spotted in the latest beta. Although we don’t know the exact India pricing of Telegram Premium right now, that roughly translates to around Rs. 388 here in India. We could expect it to be priced slightly lower than that, ideally around Rs. 250 per month, though.
Coming to availability, Telegram founder Pavel Durov has confirmed that Telegram Premium is coming later this month. “We will introduce Telegram Premium, a subscription plan that allows anyone to acquire additional features, speed, and resources. It will also allow users to support Telegram and join the club that receives new features first,” wrote Durov on his Telegram channel.
Telegram Turns to Subscription for Monetization
So yeah, with ads being introduced in Telegram, the messaging app is building a subscription service to not only enable you to remove the intrusive sponsored messages but also offer additional services. And well, if you are unaware, Telegram is not alone in this endeavor. The popular messaging app, WhatsApp, has also announced a premium subscription service. However, there’s a major difference between the two. WhatsApp Premium is only available for business users, and the regular userbase is spared from it. With Telegram rolling out a new subscription service soon, do you think WhatsApp will follow suit? Share your thoughts in the comments section.