Telegram Premium to debut this month: What's behind the paywall?
WhatsApp's rival messaging platform Telegram is gearing up to make its bid in the subscription game. Founder Pavel Durov confirmed via a post on the platform that a paid version with "additional features, speed, and resources" is coming later this month. The premium subscription will not hamper the experience of free users, as they will be able to continue using existing features.
- Telegram's first attempt at monetization was in 2020 when it introduced ads on its platform.
- Now, the company is about to embrace the subscription model. The success of this attempt would depend on whether it can lure a major chunk of its over 500 million subscribers to the premium version.
- It will be interesting to see how WhatsApp responds to this new strategy.
Durov mentioned the possibility of Telegram Premium for the first time in 2020. A premium subscription would help the platform manage some of the server and traffic costs that would arise with bumping up features. "If we were to remove all limits for everyone, our server and traffic costs would have become unmanageable, so the party would be unfortunately over for everyone," said Durov.
Durov outlined that the addition of a premium offering will in no way affect free users. They will be able to use the existing features without any problem. Also, they will have access to some premium features, including the ability to view extra-large documents.
In his post, Durov has not mentioned what Telegram Premium will look like or how much it will cost. However, based on reports of the beta app, we have an idea of what to expect. Subscribers of the premium version will be able to upload files of sizes up to 4GB. Free users will continue to enjoy the 2GB limit.
Telegram introduced ads on its platform last November. At the time, the company had also announced that users will get a way to disable the ads in public one-to-many channels. The beta shows that premium users will be able to enjoy an ads-free experience.
Increased upload limit and no ads won't be the only features on offer with Telegram Premium. Another exciting feature will be the Voice-to-Text Conversion. As the name suggests, users will get transcripts of voice messages. Premium subscribers will also have faster download speeds. Other paid features will include premium stickers, animated profile photos, unique reactions, and advanced chat management, among others.
Based on an analysis of the beta app, Telegram Premium is expected to cost $4.99 (around Rs. 390) per month. However, it remains to be seen how much the app will cost in different regions when it launches later this month.