Telegram just launched something that most of its largest competitors don't have — a premium tier.
“Today is an important day in the history of Telegram – marking not only a new milestone, but also the beginning of Telegram’s sustainable monetization,” explained the Telegram team on the company’s blog.
The $4.99 per month subscription allows users to unlock extra features and fixes, like larger file uploads, exclusive reactions, animated profile photos, and improved chat management. And the new revenue stream allows Telegram to monetize some of its user base, which is up to 700 million monthly active users, as the company shared simultaneously with the latest news.
Telegram has touted its focus on its customers since its launch almost nine years ago. Pavel Durov, Telegram CEO, shared in a message that he believes Telegram should be funded by its users, not advertisers so that the customers remain the top priority. Durov got ahead of concerns about freemium users too, noting that premium tiers will improve the experience of existing users as well. As an example, free users will be able to download the extra-large files that paying users can upload.
Telegram likes tackling competitors — like Signal, WhatsApp, and Facebook Messenger — head-on, writing “we will keep implementing free features available for everyone, and do it faster than any other massively popular app.”
The chat app’s frequency of shipping is working. Analysts at Sanford C. Bernstein reported that Telegram’s competitive features have led to it taking “a significant share” from WhatsApp and Messenger, even though the latter two still make up a majority of messaging app downloads.
The new launch has drawn mixed reactions from the Product Hunt community. Would you drop a fiver for the new features?
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