Telegram is working on a new revenue stream which means charging users for features. Beta testers on iOS have spotted a premium option in version 8.7.2 of the app allowing them to subscribe to a new set of stickers and reactions.
When clicking on a sticker sent by someone using the subscription, someone who isn’t subscribed cannot see the reaction/sticker, and instead just sees a prompt to purchase the subscription model.
There’s no word yet about what Premium will cost, when (or even if) it’ll launch more widely, and what other features might be part of the subscription. But a subscription-like this is a long time coming from Telegram
The premium version is the company’s answer to increasing its revenue streams. Founder Pavel Durov said in late 2020 that the company would begin to generate revenue starting last year.
He suggested that the company would start placing ads in large channels and said that Telegram “will add some new features for business teams or power users” that would come with a price.”
The ads were rolled out to large channels in 2021, but after backlash from users, Telegram said it would let users turn them off. Durov had said that the parts of Telegram that are free would remain free. The new subscription feature seems to allow users to unlock more features.
It is still not clear when or if Telegram has planned a rollout yet, but if the test is successful, we should expect to see it in the app in the future.