What you need to know
- Telegram appears to be preparing a premium plan for users.
- Subscribers who pay will gain access to premium experiences such as exclusive emoji reactions and stickers.
- The upcoming change has been spotted in the most recent version of Telegram beta on iOS.
Telegram is one of the best messaging apps that frequently receives new improvements and features almost every month, but most of these experiences are free. Soon, the service may decide to monetize the platform through exclusive features.
In the latest beta version of Telegram for iOS (v8.7.2), a new subscription plan has been discovered by the Telegram Beta community (via Android Police). The Telegram Premium plan will allow users to unlock exclusive stickers and emoji reactions.
It is unknown how much the premium plan will cost or whether it will include any additional exclusive experiences. There's also no word on when the service's paid version will be available.
However, when it is rolled out to everyone, free users may not be able to see the premium stickers in chats. According to Android Police, non-subscribers will instead see a prompt to upgrade to the premium plan.
Some of these exclusive features are similar to those offered by Discord, such as custom and animated emojis as part of Discord Nitro, which costs $10 per month.
It's worth noting that Telegram already has a way of making money off of its users. The service began experimenting with sponsored messages on public channels with over 1,000 subscribers last year. The recently discovered monetization effort should be a better alternative to Facebook's approach.
While the premium plan is currently only available on the iOS beta version, an Android version is likely in the cards.
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Jay Bonggolto always keeps a nose for news. He has been writing about consumer tech and apps for as long as he can remember, and he has used a variety of Android phones since falling in love with Jelly Bean. Send him a direct message via Twitter or LinkedIn.