Telegram has announced that it will soon introduce new features on the messaging platform, which is currently free for all, behind a paywall.
Founder Pavel Durov in a communique through his Telegram channel announced that the messaging service is launching a paid Telegram Premium subscription later this month to give users “additional features, speed and resources.”
“To this day, our limits on chats, media and file uploads are unrivaled. Many have been asking us to raise the current limits even further, so we looked into ways to let you go beyond what is already crazy.
“The problem here is that 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,” read part of the Friday, June 10, message.
Some of the features which are coming with the subscription include early access to new features, the ability to upload larger files, and stickers and reactions exclusive to Premium users.
Durov however stated that Telegram’s existing features will stay free, and that the paid features won’t affect the experience for free users on the app.
“All existing features remain free, and there are plenty of new free features coming. Moreover, even users who don’t subscribe to Telegram Premium will be able to enjoy some of its benefits,” he said.
For instance, non-subscribers will still be able view larger files uploaded by Premium users, as well as Premium stickers and reactions.
Recently, reports based on analysis of the beta app suggest faster download speeds and voice-to-text conversion as part of the new update.
Thankfully, it seems like ads will remain on the public channels for now as the Telegram founder says “I believe that Telegram should be funded primarily by its users, not advertisers.”
How long this lasts might, however, be determined by how many of Telegram’s over 500 million users will opt into the Premium plan.
A price of $4.99 (Ksh.590) per month has also been reported although it is still unclear what the official pricing will be in different regions.