Telegram, a popular messaging app, has been planning a premium option since at least 2020 to support development costs. Now we have our first details about the upcoming subscription, called Telegram Premium.

Telgram’s founder, Pavel Durov, outlined the plan for Telegram Premium in a post today. “Our limits on chats, media and file uploads are unrivaled,” he said, “and yet, many have been asking us to raise the current limits even further, so we looked into ways to let you go beyond what is already crazy. The problem here is that if we were to remove all limits for everyone, our server and traffic costs would have become unmanageable.”

Telegram Premium will launch later this month, as a premium subscription that will unlock additional features and support Telegram’s development. Premium subscribers will also receive access to (at least some) new features before free users.

Importantly, existing features won’t be locked behind a paywall, so the free Telegram experience won’t become worse after Telegram Premium becomes available. Durov said, “existing features remain free, and there are plenty of new free features coming.” That could always change in the future, but at least for the moment, Telegram seems dead set on continuing to be a great free messaging service.

Telegram has steadily increased in popularity over the past few years, mostly thanks to its focus on privacy and cross-platform support. The app has also benefited from its competitors’ ongoing privacy and service blunders — Telegram reportedly had 70 million new installations during a day-long server outage at Meta (formerly Facebook) last October, which left Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp non-functional.

Telegram’s encryption and inconsistent moderation has also made the platform a popular target for criticism. Telegram was reportedly one of many services used to organize the January 6 attack on the United States Capitol, which led to Telegram purging several extremist channels. The ‘Coalition for a Safer Web’ filed a lawsuit against Apple last year seeking Telegram’s removal from the App Store, alleging it was being used to “coordinate and incite extreme violence,” but legal action was dismissed by the group in February. Telegram is also serving as a central communication tool for Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine, with many videos and other information about the war originally coming from Telegram channels.

Source: Pavel Durov (Telegram)

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Corbin Davenport is the News Editor at How-To Geek, an independent software developer, and a podcaster. He previously worked at Android Police, PC Gamer, and XDA Developers.
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