Telegram tops 700 million users, launches premium tier – Meczyki.Net

Telegram has amassed 700 million monthly active users and is rolling out a premium tier with additional features as the instant messaging platform makes a push to monetize a portion of its user base. Telegram didn’t reveal how much it’s charging for the premium tier, but monthly subscriptions seem to cost between $5 and $6.

The premium tier adds a range of additional and improved features to the messaging app, which topped 500 million monthly active users in December. Telegram Premium will allow users to send files as large as 4GB and support faster downloads, Telegram said.

Paying customers will be able to follow 1,000 channels over 500, and create up to 20 chat folders with 200 chats in each. Telegram Premium users will be able to add up to four accounts and pin up to 10 chats in the app.

Premium users will also have the ability to convert voice messages to text, gain access to unique stickers and reactions, and set animated profile pictures. Paying customers will also be able to avoid seeing ads. (In some markets, sponsored messages are shown in large, public one-to-many channels.)

The move is an attempt to keep the Dubai-headquartered firm’s own evolving “primarily driven by its users, driven by advertisers”, the firm said. “Today marks an important day in the history of Telegram – not only a new milestone, but also the beginning of Telegram’s sustainable monetization,” the firm said in a blog post.

Telegram founder and CEO Pavel Durov said earlier this month the intention to launch a premium tier was to respond to user demand for additional storage/bandwidth.

“After some thought, we realized that the only way to get more of our most demanding fans while keeping our existing features free is to make those increased limits a payment option,” he said.

In India, the premium version costs $6 for iPhone users. Spain-based technology commentator Alex Barredo reported seeing €5.49 ($5.77) as the monthly cost. A Telegram spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

This is a developing story. More to follow…