Telegram Premium subscription is reportedly in the works; could offer more stickers and reactions
Telegram Messenger is working on a paid subscription called Telegram Premium. Rumors suggest that it will offer some exclusive stickers and reactions that subscribers may use.
The service boasts over 500 million monthly active users, and has inevitably evolved into a large social media platform. Many brands have their own channels and make announcements via Telegram. It has even become the primary mode of communication for many refugees in the recent war. The company has never charged users anything for the services it provides.
In late 2020, Pavel Durov, the founder and CEO of Telegram, revealed that the instant messaging/VOIP service's required a few hundred million dollars a year in order to maintain its servers and cover the expenses for its development. The company began exploring ways to monetize the service without resorting to selling user data to companies.
Naturally, this raised some eyebrows, with regard to privacy concerns. A few months later, in February 2021, Durov clarified that Telegram wanted to sell ads to companies, without targeting users, akin to DuckDuckGo's privacy-friendly method. While chats themselves would remain ad-free, Telegram Channels would be allowed to monetize ads. He had also said that users would be allowed to opt of the ads.
What is Telegram Premium?
Now, an unofficial channel named Telegram Beta (spotted by Android Police), has revealed that the Telegram Premium Subscription will unlock some exclusive stickers and reactions that the user can access. This is not unusual, Discord has a similar premium subscription called Nitro that offers some additional features for users, but the core experience remains free for all users.
So in that sense, Telegram Premium sounds like a perfectly reasonable option to me, especially if it will help support the service. Don't like the extra stickers or reactions, don't pay for them. The channel showed off a screen capture featuring the Premium Subscription in the iOS app.
Telegram Avatar Creator
On a side note, some users have discovered the existence of an avatar creator in the Telegram app for macOS. It will allow users to personalize their Display Picture using emojis and gradient colors. It is unclear whether this could be a feature that is exclusive to Telegram's Premium Subscription.
Durov had previously said that Telegram's free features will always remain free, so as long as the premium subscription is completely optional, there shouldn't be a problem with the free tier. If the company decides to lock away currently-free features like calls, video calls, etc., behind a paywall, that could cause an exodus of users who would switch to alternative services.
I've been using Telegram since 2014 to chat with my friends, family, colleagues. It's great for making calls, sharing files, videos, and photos. All of these are important to me, that's why, I wouldn't mind throwing a few bucks in the service's way to support it.
What do you think about Telegram Premium? Would you pay for the extra stickers and reactions?
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