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Paying for Telegram Premium makes sense only if you're a power user: here's why

By Sanuj Bhatia June 20, 2022, 5:00 am
Telegram

Telegram is one of the most popular messaging services out there. The app recently became one of the top-5 downloaded apps of 2022 and has now crossed 700 million monthly active users. We recently heard about the company looking for a way to generate some revenue and a way to 'give back to its investors' through a paid program not so long ago, and now the Telegram Premium subscription has been officially introduced. It costs $4.99/month and comes with a bunch of exclusive features.

What does Telegram Premium bring to the table?

Telegram Premium Features Source: Telegram

The paid program isn't very exciting, though it sure does give you access to some of the exclusive perks that you can brag about. Starting off with the exclusive features, Telegram says that the Premium users will be able to upload files that are up to 4 GB in size (rather than the standard 2 GB). Although all the users will be able to download the larger files, including the non-Premium users, the paying customers will get better download speeds.

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Premium subscribers also get to enjoy "Doubled Limits". Premium users can join up to 1,000 channels (as opposed to the limit of 500), create up to 20 chat folders with up to 200 chats each, save up to 10 stickers and 400 favorite GIFs, and pin up to a maximum of 10 chats. The Premium users also get to include links in their bios.

Other features of Telegram Premium include access to a library of unique and overly expressive reactions and stickers. There's also a feature that allows users to create a transcript of voice messages just through a click, just like Slack. Subscribing to Telegram Premium also gives users a 'special badge' that appears next to their profile in chats and groups. And oh, the paid membership also removes Sponsored Messages (read advertisements) from public channels.

Although it gives access to a lot of features, Telegram says that its Premium subscription is not only about having access to exclusive features, it's much more than that. The company says that the Premium subscription is about supporting the development of the platform and helping the app to expand for decades to come. The company says that it wants to redefine how a tech company should operate and the Premium program is a step in the same direction.

Why Telegram Premium makes sense only for power users

Pixel 6 in hand Source: Pocketnow video

Even though Telegram Premium offers a lot, it feels that most of the features are practical for power users. As for me, I would not consider subscribing to the paid program for accessing 1,000 channels — I have barely subscribed to 10 channels and I don't know how I would manage above 50. But, as it is with all the subscriptions, the use case is much broader, which is why I think the company has bundled so many features, but the $4.99/month fee seems a bit on the higher side. And as Telegram founder Durov repeatedly said that the core features of the app will remain free to use, which should be sufficient for most of us.

While some may argue that the freemium revenue generation model has worked for Discord — the Nitro membership is generating a good amount of revenue for the company — Telegram is a different platform. Discord's approach has always been to build communities and encourage group conversations whereas Telegram took off as a peer-to-peer communication app. Although it may have dwelled into similar things as Discord, people still think of Telegram as an instant messaging app for one-to-one conversations, wherein the users may not find the Premium features very useful.

For now, Telegram Premium offers a little value for a weirdly high price, which is why I am skipping it right now. Though I might return in the future, who knows. Would you subscribe to Telegram Premium? What are your thoughts on it? Let us know in the comments section below!

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