Telegram Records 700M Monthly Active users, Rolls out premium Tier

Telegram Records 700M Monthly Active users, Rolls out premium Tier

Telegram, an encrypted instant messaging platform, has recorded over 700 million monthly active users as it launched a premium tier to monetize a portion of its large user base.

Although the company did not disclose its premium tier price, the monthly subscription appears to be in the $5 to $6 range.

Premium tier adds a slew of new and noteworthy features to the messaging app, which surpassed 500 million monthly active users in January 2021. For example, telegram Premium allows users to send files up to 4GB (up from 2GB) and supports faster downloads, according to Telegram.

Premium users will get 1,000 channels from 500 and 20 chat folders with up to 200 chats each. In addition, telegram Premium users can add up to four accounts and pin-up to ten conversations in the app.

Telegram hopes to keep its development “driven primarily by its users, not advertisers” with the launch of its premium service. This is the first time an instant messaging app has introduced a premium tier with hundreds of millions of users. Telegram’s main competitors, including Signal, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Apple’s Messages, and Google’s Messages, do not currently offer a premium tier.

Some analysts had hoped that Telegram’s blockchain token project would allow it to monetize the platform. However, following several delays and regulatory issues, Telegram announced in 2020 that it had abandoned the project and offered to return the $1.2 billion raised from investors.

Telegram raised over $1 billion in March 2021 from several investors, including Mubadala and Abu Dhabi Catalyst Partners, by selling 5-year pre-IPO convertible bonds.

“Today is an important day in Telegram’s history – not only marking a new milestone but also the beginning of Telegram’s sustainable monetization,” the company said in a blog post on Sunday.

Pavel Durov, Telegram’s CEO and founder, stated earlier this month that the decision to launch a premium tier was made in response to user demand for more storage/bandwidth.

“After some consideration, we realized that the only way to give our most demanding fans more while keeping our existing features free is to make those raised limits a paid option,” he explained.

Premium users can also convert voice messages to text, access exclusive stickers and reactions, and use animated images as profile photos. They will also be able to avoid seeing advertisements within the app.

The CEO has promised that several core features of the app will remain accessible for users while also developing new features for the non-paying audience.

On Sunday, the company announced the launch of a “join requests” feature that will allow all users to join a public group without needing an invite link. Another new feature for free users will allow verified groups and channels to display their badges at the top of the chat. The latest update also allows animations rendered at 120 frames per second on new iPads and iPhones.

“This update includes over 100 fixes and optimizations to the mobile and desktop apps – eliminating bugs, improving speed, and expanding minor features,” Telegram said.