What is Telegram Premium?

Telegram Homescreen Lifestyle
(Image credit: Jeramy Johnson / Android Central)

What is Telegram Premium?

Best answer: Telegram Premium is an optional subscription tier for the Telegram multi-platform messaging app that unlocks exclusive features, like double limits, larger file uploads, faster downloads, and more. The funds acquired from Telegram Premium subscription will also be used to help the service continue to develop its offerings and maintain a free tier for those who wish to stick with the basics.

What is Telegram?

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Telegram is a multi-platform messaging app with more than 700 million monthly active users, grown completely from personal recommendations: the company does not spend any money on advertising. 

Founded by Pavel Durov, a Russian entrepreneur, Telegram has been around since late 2014, with a primary focus on privacy and encryption within the “secret chats” and calls. Based on an open-source API, Telegram works like any other messaging app. Once you are connected to other users (via your username, phone number, or even a temporarily generated QR code), you can have individual and group conversations, make audio and video calls, send files, images, videos, stickers, and more. 

Because all messages are stored on a secure server in Telegram, one of the best messaging apps for Android, you can access them from any device on which you have downloaded Telegram, from a work phone to a personal phone, a tablet, and more (it works with both Android and iOS.

What do you get with Telegram Premium?

Telegram messages

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With the upgraded Telegram Premium option, which costs $4.99 per month (price may differ outside of the U.S.) you get additional features. These include 4GB file uploads versus the 2GB standard limit and continuing with unlimited storage in the Telegram Cloud. A 4GB file, Telegram notes, could be four hours of 1,080p video or 18 days’ worth of high-quality audio. 

Premium also includes increased limits for just about everything, including following up to 1,000 channels (versus 500 with the free version), creating up to 20 chat folders with up to 200 chats each, adding a fourth account to any Telegram app, pinning up to 10 chats in the main list (5 with free), and saving up to 10 stickers as favorites. You can also reserve up to 20 t.me/name links (10 with the free version) and up to 400 GIFs (200 with free). 

Telegram Premium also affords faster downloads (access content in the cloud storage “as fast as your network can keep up,”) access to exclusive stickers, including ones with full-screen animations, exclusive reactions, including 10 new emoji, improved chat management with new tools for organizing a chat list, and more. 

Additionally, the upgrade allows for writing a longer bio with a link and more characters to media captions and creating profile videos that animate for all users. There’s also a voice-to-text option, one of the various new additions to Telegram, to convert voice messages to text. 

Even Telegram members who do not subscribe to Premium will still be able to download the larger documents sent to them by Premium members and view the unique stickers (though they can’t send these themselves). 

“The contributions of premium subscribers will help improve and expand the app for decades to come,” says Telegram in its prepared announcement about the upgrade option, “while Telegram will remain free, independent and upholds its user-first values, redefining how a tech company should operate.” 

Additional privacy and security features include the ability to automatically archive and mute new chats. Telegram Premium subscribers will also no longer see the Sponsored Messages that appear in some public channels in a handful of countries. 

Telegram Premium users are identified via a badge that appears next to their name in chats and member lists, and can also access premium app icons, including a star, night sky, and turbo plane.

Christine Persaud

Christine Persaud has been writing about tech since long before the smartphone was even a "thing." When she isn't writing, she's working on her latest fitness program, binging a new TV series, tinkering with tech gadgets she's reviewing, or spending time with family and friends. A self-professed TV nerd, lover of red wine, and passionate home cook, she's immersed in tech in every facet of her life. Follow her at @christineTechCA.