Telegram introduced its paid subscription service some time ago and now encourages people to opt for premium plans with additional features. Founder Pavel Durov noted that the messaging app was used by several officials in Ukraine and Russia during the war, and it only takes a few paid users to cover its costs. He noted that a premium subscription would ensure that the app is funded only by the users without receiving any third-party ads.
On Tuesday, Duroy stated that if only 2.5 to 3 percent of its users sign up for the premium plan, the company will cover its costs. “This will usher in a new, user-centric era in the history of social media services,” he said.
The rise of messaging apps such as Signal and Telegram has been attributed to increasing concerns about user privacy on WhatsApp, which is owned by Meta Platforms. According to its website, Telegram has more than 500 million monthly active users.
The paid version of the messaging app, known as Telegram Premium, has started rolling out to its users. It allows users to upload files up to 4 GB, download faster and convert voice messages to text. In addition to the paid plan, the company has also introduced a number of improvements for its users, such as those who do not yet sign up for the premium plan. The company noted that it has more than 700 million monthly users.
The paid tier costs $4.99 per month. It is believed that the company will soon launch the paid version of the app with a nationwide phased approach.