Telegram launches premium service after reaching 700m users

20 Jun 2022

Image: © Jirapong/

Telegram’s premium service features faster download speeds, improved chat management, the ability to send 4GB downloads, and a voice-to-text tool.

Telegram has launched a new premium service with additional features as the encrypted messaging app seeks to monetise its growing user base.

It announced the new subscription tier after it reached 700m monthly active users. Telegram said that it launched the premium tier to offer “resource-heavy features” to those who want to support the app’s development, while preserving free access for others.

Some of the new features on Telegram Premium include the ability to send 4GB file downloads, twice the limit for users of the free service. The subscription version will also offer faster download speeds, improved chat management, unique reactions and voice-to-text capabilities.

Premium users will also get to use Telegram without ads and get double the limits for various app options, such as the number of channels, pinned chats and chat folders.

“The contributions of premium subscribers will help improve and expand the app for decades to come, while Telegram will remain free, independent and uphold its users-first values, redefining how a tech company should operate,” Telegram said in a blogpost.

End-to-end encrypted messaging apps like Telegram and Signal have grown in popularity in recent years due to the privacy features they offer, with Telegram being used by protest groups in nations with significant levels of state surveillance.

Telegram was previously blocked in both Russia and Iran, with these governments demanding greater access to information on users and the encrypted messages being sent on the platform. The app also faced a distributed denial-of-service attack in Asia during Hong Kong protests in 2019.

Privacy on WhatsApp

Meanwhile, WhatsApp has announced new options to help users protect their privacy online.

Last week, it launched new features to give users greater control over who gets to see their profile photo, ‘about’ details and their ‘last seen’ status, which tells people when a user was last on WhatsApp.

Previously, users could only block either everyone or all of their contacts. Now, they can adjust their settings so the statuses are only hidden to specific people in their contacts list.

Head of WhatsApp Will Cathcart said on Twitter that users can also mute or message specific people on a call, while a new indicator makes it clearer when people join large calls.

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Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic