After multiple unofficial appearances and teasers over the past couple of months, Telegram Premium is finally official. The $4.99 a month subscription will unlock extra features that are not available on the free tier of the messaging app. The company isn’t bringing any existing features behind the paywall, though. They will remain free. Telegram has exclusively developed new features for Premium.
Telegram Premium: New features
There are plenty of goodies in store for those willing to pay Telegram a few bucks every month. First and foremost, Premium users will not see ads on the platform. Although not rolled out globally, the messaging app shows ads in the form of sponsored messages in large public channels in some regions. These are gone in the paid tier.
Telegram Premium will double file limits, allowing you to send files of up to 4GB. These extra-large files can be sent to non-Premium users as well. This is in addition to the free unlimited cloud storage for everyone. Downloading from the cloud will be faster with Premium, though.
Increased limits are available elsewhere too for paying users. You can “follow up to 1000 channels, create up to 20 chat folders with up to 200 chats each, add a fourth account to any Telegram app, pin 10 chats in the main list, and save up to 10 favorite stickers,” the company details. Longer bios, longer captions, up to 400 favorite GIFs, up to 20 public t.me links, unique stickers with full-screen animations, unique message reactions with new emojis, and message transcriptions (voice-to-text) are part of the package too.
Additionally, Telegram Premium includes exclusive tools to organize your conversations. You can set a default chat folder such as Unread or Family that will show up first every time you open the app. You can also automatically archive and mute new chats or messages from unknown persons.
Premium users also get animated profile pictures (profile videos) that will appear everywhere including cats and chat lists. Of course, there’s a Premium badge too that appears next to the user’s name in the chat list, chat headers, and member lists in groups. Three custom app icons are there as well.
Free users are also getting some improvements
In addition to these Premium features, Telegram has also announced some improvements for the free version of the app. The company says it now has over 700 million monthly active users and all of them can request to join any public group on the platform. Admins will be able to review new requests and approve/disapprove them. They can reach out to users who want to join and clarify the group rules before approving.
Similar to Twitter’s verified tick, Telegram is also introducing a verification badge for public figures and organizations. Anyone verified on at least two social networks can verify their group, channel, or bot Telegram. Speaking of bots, they are getting some functionality improvements too.
The Telegram Android app is getting improved chat previews. Users also get more control over what is automatically saved to the phone’s gallery. Last but not least, the latest update for Telegram (version 8.8) includes more than 100 fixes and optimizations for an improved user experience.