Popular secure messaging app Telegram is testing new ways to monetize its platform. Beta testers for Telegram’s iOS app a new Premium subscription in version 8.7.2 which gives users access to exclusive stickers and reaction emoji.
Telegram Premium subscription in beta testing
As noted by Android Police, the beta includes both stickers and reaction emoji that are locked behind a paywall. Users who select these exclusive stickers and reactions are told that they can unlock them “by subscribing to Telegram Premium.”
Users who do not subscribe to the premium service cannot see stickers or reactions as they are exclusive to users who pay. Non-subscribers who receive a premium reaction or sticker are prompted to sign up for a subscription themselves to access the content.
Telegram first began to monetize its platform last year through ad sales and features for group channels but as of right now, there are no extra features that are targeted to individual users. However, if the company decides to implement the new Premium feature, users might have to start paying to get the best experience from the app.
While the news is concerning Telegram users, the app’s founder Pavel Durov has previously said that the company does not plan to charge for core features that already exist. Durov in 2020 did say that additional monetization strategies would be implemented by the company in the future.
At this time, there are no extensive details about what might be included in the Telegram Premium subscription or what it may cost. In addition, there is no timeframe for when the functionality might be rolled out to the public following the beta test.
Android Police also highlighted a new avatar creator discovered on Telegram on the macOS client which would allow “users to combine simple or patterned gradients with their favorite emoji or sticker or even just a monogram.” Currently, we do not know if the avatar creator will be introduced as a premium feature.
In April, Telegram was updated to version 8.7 with several new features and improvements like custom notification sounds, auto-delete options, improved message translation, and much more.