Until now, the messaging app Telegram was completely free of charge. But that is set to change this month: As founder Pavel Durov announced, he wants to introduce the paid subscription Telegram Premium.

Sooner or later, many digital services reach this point – and now the time has also come for the messenger service Telegram. As founder Pavel Durov announced in a blog post, Telegram plans to introduce a paid subscription later this month.

What is Telegram Premium?

According to founder Durov, Telegram offers an “unrivaled” range of limits for chats, media and file uploads. For example, users can send data in the app with a size of almost two GB. By comparison, competitor WhatsApp complains about videos that exceed a limit of 64 MB.

Nevertheless, Telegram users are apparently not satisfied with the limits that are already in place. As Durov writes, many have asked for “the current limits to be raised even further”. Therefore, Telegram decided “after careful consideration” to offer the increased limits via a paid subscription.

Telegram Premium is scheduled to launch later this month. Users will be able to add “additional functions, speed and resources”. For all users who decide against the paid subscription Telegram Premium, however, nothing will change.

Durov writes that “all existing features will remain free.” In addition, they can view extra-large documents, media and stickers from Premium users.

Telegram Premium: Why did Telegram opt for a pay-as-you-go?

The decision for Telegram Premium is, as so often, also a question of money.

If we were to remove all limits for everyone, our server and traffic costs would become unmanageable – then the party would be over for everyone, unfortunately.

Telegram has experimented with “privacy-friendly advertising” in the past. And that has also been more successful than expected.

However, according to Durov, Telegram should “primarily be financed by its users and not by advertisers. Thus, the users:inside would always remain the messaging app’s “main priority.”

How popular is Telegram?

In terms of user numbers, Telegram is far from being able to keep up with those of competitor WhatsApp. The Meta subsidiary was able to crack the two billion monthly active users mark for the first time in February 2020.

Telegram, on the other hand, only reached a quarter in January 2021. In that month, the app counted 500 million monthly active users.

But if you look at the development of the numbers, a positive trend is clearly visible. The number of monthly active Telegram users has increased tenfold since December 2014.

However, it remains to be seen what influence the pay subscription plans will have on the development of user numbers.