After announcing Telegram Premium earlier this month, the messaging app has finally rolled out the paid tier, which gives users access to additional features for $4.99/month (via TechCrunch† All its features are laid out in a post on Telegram’s blog, with some of its bigger draws, including faster downloads and a larger maximum file upload size of 4 GB (instead of the standard 2 GB).
Premium subscribers also get double the limits imposed on standard users. Instead of joining up to 500 channels, subscribers are limited to 1,000 channels. The same goes for other features on Telegram: subscribers can create 20 chat folders with 200 chats each, save up to 10 stickers, pin up to 10 chats, and add a total of four accounts to Telegram instead of three. Premium users also get longer bios with a link.
Some other perks include access to a library of Premium stickers with more obnoxious full-screen animations, exclusive emoji reactions, and animated profile pictures (like the ones you see on Steam). There’s also text conversion for voice messages in case you don’t have headphones handy, as well as chat management tools that let you change your default chat folder. Oh, and subscribing to Premium will remove sponsored posts in public channels.
Telegram CEO Pavel Durov’s opinion of the platform’s freemium level has remained unchanged since he first brought up the possibility in 2020. Consistent with what he said earlier, Durov stated last week that free features will remain free and that new features will not affect the Telegram experience for non-subscribers. This means that free Telegram users should be able to download larger files uploaded by subscribers, as well as the premium comments or emojis they use.
Durov also promised that Telegram won’t stop developing features for free users either, which the platform seems to be following so far. The latest Telegram update shows verified badges in chats (not just profiles, search results, or chat lists), gives public groups the ability to enable membership requests, and adds a few platform-specific improvements.
That said, Telegram Premium comes with: a lot of features, many of which are likely to appeal to Telegram’s most active – now 700 million strong – user base. Personally, I like that most of the benefits of Premium build on Telegram’s existing features. The new tier doesn’t put features behind a paywall that should have been on the platform in the first place (kind of like Twitter did with its “undo” button).