Telegram launches Premium tier, surpasses 700 million monthly active users

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Telegram’s new Premium tier is no longer a rumor or something that the company is theoretically speaking. Starting this week, Telegram users can subscribe to Premium and unlock a ton of new features that the company unveiled earlier today.

But before we dive deep into what makes Premium worthy (or not), there’s one more important milestone that Telegram has just reached. Apparently the app became one of the Top 5 downloaded apps worldwide (all platforms combined) in 2022 and, most importantly, it now has over 700 million monthly active users.

Adding to this achievement is the fact that the growth has come solely from word of mouth and “personal recommendations,” as Telegram has never paid to advertise its apps.

By moving to Telegram Premium, the new subscription level aims to support the continued development of the app and provide users with some additional features they want. It will also allow the company to continue offering the app for free.

This is what you get for only $5/month

First off, Telegram hasn’t revealed the price of the Premium tier yet, but if you check out the latest version of the app, you’ll notice that there’s a new option to subscribe to Telegram Premium for $4.99 per month. That said, the main highlights of the Premium tier are double limits, 4GB file uploads, faster downloads, exclusive stickers and responses, improved chat management. These will be available to Telegram Premium subscribers in addition to all the basic features available to everyone.

Visually, all premium users get a special badge that appears next to their name in the chat list, chat headers and member lists in groups. There are also new icons available that premium users can add to their home screen to better match their wallpaper.

As some of you probably already know, Telegram only shows ads in some countries. They are called sponsored posts and are shown in large, public one-to-many channels. However, if you pay for the Premium tier, they will no longer appear.

Tons of Free Features Rolling Out Now

In addition to all these new premium features, Telegram announced that the update introduces many free features for both Android and iOS users. For example, public figures and organizations can verify their group, channel, or bot and receive a verification badge to show users that the message comes from a confirmed source.

Additionally, Telegram’s latest update brings improved chat previews to Android, which is something iOS users have been enjoying for a while. This allows Android users to scroll through it to view the entire chat without marking it as read.

On the other hand, iOS users get the option to send files up to 2 GB (or 4 GB with Premium plan), allowing them to share large media files from other apps directly to Telegram. iOS users also get an animated progress bar when sharing files from another app.

Last but not least, Telegram says that this major update includes more than 100 fixes and optimizations, probably more than any other update released in recent years. Available for both mobile and desktop apps, these fixes and optimizations are intended to address various issues, improve speed, and extend the functionality of existing features.

In particular, Telegram highlighted some of the major improvements for iOS and Android users. The former will get significantly smoother animations (120 frames per second) throughout the app, while the latter will notice better audio and video quality in voice and video messages, as well as options to set alternative app icons.

If you’re looking to upgrade your Telegram app to try out some of the new free or premium features, keep in mind that Telegram is rolling it out gradually. If the app doesn’t offer you to update, you’ll have to wait for the new version to be available.

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