Telegram launches Premium tier, tops 700 million monthly active users

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

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

What makes this achievement even greater is the fact that the growth comes exclusively from word of mouth and “personal recommendations” since Telegram has never paid to advertise its apps.

Moving on to Telegram Premium, the new subscription tier is meant to support the app’s continued development and provide users with some extra features they want. It will also allow the company to continue to offer the app for free.

Here’s what you get for just $5/month

First off, Telegram did not disclose the price of the Premium tier yet, but if you check the latest version of the app, you’ll notice 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 doubled limits, 4GB file uploads, faster downloads, exclusive stickers and reactions, 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 will be getting a special badge that appears next to their name in the chat list, chat headers, and member lists in groups. Also, new icons are available that premium users can add to their Home Screen to better match their wallpaper.

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

Tons of free features rolling out now

Along with all these new premium features, Telegram announced that the update introduces lots of free features for both Android and iOS users. For example, public figures and organizations will be able to verify their group, channel or bot, receiving a verification badge to show users that message coming from a confirmed source.

Furthermore, Telegram’s latest update brings improved chat previews on Android, something that iOS users have been enjoying for quite a while. This will allow Android users to scroll through them to view the entire chat without marking it as read.

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

Last but not least, Telegram says that this major update includes over 100 fixes and optimizations, probably more than any other update released in recent years. These fixes and optimizations are available for both mobile and desktop apps, and should address various issues, improve speed, as well as expand the functionality of existing features.

In particular, Telegram highlighted some of the most important improvements coming to iOS and Android users. The former are getting significantly smoother animations (120 frames-per-second) throughout the app, whereas 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 this one out gradually. If the app does not offer you to update, you’ll have to wait a bit until the new version becomes available.

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