Telegram founder Pavel Durov announced that the service would introduce paid subscriptions later this month, bypassing the current free trial period without affecting the app's existing functionalities.

The goal of this move, according to Dorov, is to “respond to customers' desire for greater storage,” and “after thinking about it, I believe that the only option to allow these individuals to receive more features while preserving the free ones is to charge for these capabilities.”

The post does not go into depth about what paid plan users would get, but press reports have appeared in recent days mentioning things like greater file upload size, quicker download speeds, voice-to-text conversion, premium stickers, enhanced chat and management functions, and more.

The entrepreneur outlines the paid membership in his blog post, describing it as “a subscription model that allows anyone to obtain more features, speed, and resources.” He adds that those who do will get new features first.


It's unclear if the paid memberships are meant to pay the costs of additional resources or to create income. However, considering Durov's tweet, it's possible that he's attempting to convert some of Telegram's followers into long-term financial backers.

The startup's strategy for monetizing its more than 500 million monthly active users is still unclear, nine years after the program was founded and months after a previous effort to enter the bitcoin market failed.

Telegram has recently used external finance to pay its server expenditures, including a $1 billion debt financing last year.

Even if the platform is experimenting with adverts in certain public channels, Durov stated that he wants an unobtrusive strategy to keep members for the long run. However, Telegram's creator is leery about depending on advertising revenue, saying, “I believe Telegram should be largely paid by its users, not marketers.”


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