Telegram was spotted working on a premium tier multiple times over the last couple of months—it was also preparing to drop its “free forever. No ads. No subscription fees.” tagline in preparation for this. On June 10, the messaging service CEO and founder, Pavel Durov, made Telegram Premium official but did not detail its benefits and monthly subscription price. Now, alongside the announcement of crossing 700 million monthly active users, Telegram has launched the premium plan and revealed all the features it packs.
Telegram says the “contributions of premium subscribers will help improve and expand the app for decades to come, while Telegram will remain free, independent and uphold its users-first values, redefining how a tech company should operate.” It is not moving any of the free features behind a paywall with this move. Instead, it is enhancing many of them and bundling them into a paid tier. Below is a roundup of all the new Telegram Premium features:
- 4GB uploads: Telegram has so far allowed sharing files up to 2GB in size through its platform. For Premium users, this limit is being doubled to 4GB. Such large files can be downloaded by on the free tier as well.
- Faster download speeds: Along with the higher file sharing limit, Telegram Premium subscribers will enjoy the fastest possible speeds allowed by their network. Given that download speeds can be annoyingly slow on the platform, this is a welcome addition.
- Follow more channels: Telegram Premium will allow you to follow up to 1000 channels, up from 500 on the free version. Similarly, you can pin up to 10 chats, reserve 20 t.me public links, enjoy quick access to over 400 favorite GIFs, and save up to 10 stickers—all double the limit of the non-paid tier.
- Longer bios and animated profile pictures: Subscribers can have a longer bio and add links to it. Additionally, profile videos of premium users will animate inside the chat window and in the conversation list.
- Transcribe voice message to text: Premium users can convert voice messages sent to them into text, if they don’t want to listen to the note.
- Manage your chat list better: You can set Telegram to always open a custom folder with your favorite conversations or say unread chats instead of the default “All Chats” folder. Additionally, premium users can automatically archive and mute new conversations.
- New stickers and reactions: Telegram Premium will allow you to express yourself better with access to exclusive stickers featuring full-screen animations and over 10 new emoji reactions. The stickers will be updated monthly.
- No ads: Premium users will get a special badge, access to premium app icons, and will not be shown any ads in public channels.
Surprisingly, Telegram’s announcement only highlights the features of the premium tier and does not mention anything about its pricing. Depending on your region, the pricing seems to vary between $5 to $6, though some users are even seeing prices as low as $3.99. In India, the subscription costs Rs 460/month (~$6) for iOS users, which is on the higher side. This is a lot more than WhatsApp’s old $1 per year plan before Facebook bought it, but Telegram also offers a lot more features. We’ve reached out to the company to learn more about pricing details.
Telegram has also announced improvements for those who don’t want to pay. If you run a public group on the messaging platform, you can enable join requests so admins can review new members before they join the group. Public figures and organizations can verify their channel, group, or bot and get a verification badge. This will help you quickly confirm that messages are coming from a verified source and are trustworthy.
Android users can enjoy chat previews as seen on the iOS version of the app—you can long press on a chat to preview the message content without having to mark it as read. Additionally, the Save to Gallery option has been reintroduced on the Android app, and it now allows you to specify the settings on a per-chat, channel, and group basis.
For iPhone users, an animated progress bar will show up sharing large files to give a better idea of the overall progress. If you use Telegram on your Mac, you can now create an animated profile picture using the built-in tool. Other enhancements include improved audio and video quality in voice and video messages for Android users, smoother 120fps animations on iPhones and iPads, and plenty of under-the-hood fixes to squash bugs.
All these changes are a part of Telegram v8.8. The update may not show up immediately on the Play Store for you since it is rolling out gradually.News Source: Android Police