After almost 10 years of active development and superiority over competitors, the Telegram messenger has reached its technological apogee. Always free, cross-platform, simple and progressive in terms of features, the service is moving into a new era by introducing its own paid subscription. Telegram Premium will allow you to go beyond the current restrictions on chats, multimedia and file uploads, and real fans of the project can now support Pavel Durov’s team and be in the elite club who receive certain innovations. The very idea of monetization does not seem crazy, because the resources to support data centers and equipment are not endless, however, in many aspects, the implementation of Telegram Premium seems doubtful and, to some extent, even unreasonable from the user’s point of view.
The exclusive feature set that unlocks Telegram Premium, at least at launch, doesn’t look convincing enough to justify the asking price tag. And there are several weighty arguments in support of this. They will be discussed in the material. Let’s get to the point – what’s wrong with Telegram Premium?
Unique app icons
Telegram has been offering custom app icons for iOS users since 2019, and later the feature appeared on Android – of course, for free. While on Android, for unknown reasons, the choice is still limited to only three and far from the best options, there are as many as eight available on iOS today. For example, there are icons with color gradients, in strict black color and solid colors with fills over the entire area. You can also choose the design of the messenger logo: modern according to the canons of flat minimalism or classic in the style of a paper airplane, which Telegram has had since the first version.
Telegram Premium adds some unique icons designed specifically for paid subscribers. Among them with a Telegram Premium asterisk, a space background and a “turbo” in the manner of a rocket. But do they somehow radically change the situation? Should this force me to purchase a subscription? There are few alternatives and the function is more relevant for children who love everything bright and unusual than for millions of serious Telegram users who use the messenger for work communication, doing business and as a full-fledged blogging platform.
Editing the icon style sounds cooler – if they rolled out something like that, then it would be really interesting.
Constantly moving avatars
Telegram allowed installing a video in a profile to replace a static photo 2 years ago and without a paid subscription. There are no problems with the duration, loading of any videos up to 10 seconds is supported. The only difference is that if you have Telegram Premium, the animation will play continuously, including outside the profile (in correspondence and the general chat list). Well, then it’s a reasonable question: why pay for drawing a video avatar and additionally load the application? Or how the function will manifest itself on budget smartphones? Or play in your head, say, 15 thumbnails of contacts with video avatars at the same time. Do you feel how they distract and confuse the navigation through the interface?
Surely autonomy will also affect. You start to think and it turns out not a very pleasant chip.
Faster File Downloads
In the age of high technology with high-speed Internet of the 4G LTE generation, and in some countries even 5G, downloading large files has become commonplace. Let’s not deny that the speed of downloading content in Telegram does not cause any complaints even now. Recently, developers have added a built-in download manager for convenience. The messenger works stably and, moreover, shows resistance in conditions of low-quality communication coverage. At the same time, Telegram Premium subscribers are promised 100% speed, literally without any restrictions. In what way? There is no specific answer. Will free users be deliberately slowed down in order to prioritize Telegram Premium subscribers?
Then Telegram takes a step in a very wrong direction, since restricting some users for the benefit of others is a sad strategy.
Transcription of voice messages
VKontakte and WhatsApp provide text transcripts of voice messages free of charge. Telegram will ask you a lot of money for a similar feature, because it is part of Telegram Premium. True, in this case it is not necessary to pay for it if you, one way or another, want to read text instead of listening to audio. The fact is that in Telegram audio transcription is perfectly implemented at the level of bots from enthusiasts, which are completely free. Among the most popular projects are @silero_audio_bot, @voicybot and @smartspeech_sber_bot. Each is based on a proprietary speech recognition engine.
Premium sticker animation
Need to beautifully present Telegram Premium? Easily! Let’s make embellishments for the sake of embellishments – always relevant, where without empty luxury. In addition to permanent video avatars, paid subscribers get an absolutely unnecessary, but flashy sticker animation. The peculiarity lies in the design: enlarged stickers pop up like cartoons with a bunch of effects in full screen mode. Cool? Is that what we were waiting for? Thanks, no. The kids will definitely appreciate it. Adults, in other words, the predominant part of the Telegram audience, will do without annoyingly colorful ducks and lights jumping full screen.
Another artificial advantage in the arsenal of Telegram Premium.
Telegram has already embodied 16 logical and funny reactions that cover the majority of popular emoticons that are popular in communication. Like, dislike, heart, twinkle, applause, thinking face, party, poop and the rest – for the average user who reads news and entertainment channels, it is certainly enough. Is it worth buying a subscription for a plus set of 12 premium animated reactions with a whale, a pigeon, a hot dog (it’s really funny here) and an original label that the reaction was put by the elite from Telegram Premium? I doubt. Don’t you think that the publishing interface will turn into a visually overloaded mess? Exclusive for show.
Complete disabling of ads
Surprisingly, Telegram Premium does not succeed even in the context of disabling native ads inside the messenger. In its current form, sponsored messages are shown only in large public channels with relevant topics and only at the end of the feed. Their content is also limited to 160 characters, which is equivalent to 1-3 short sentences of description. In addition, images and external links are prohibited. No repulsive obsession, nothing annoying. Sometimes, for some, ads in Telegram are not displayed at all. Ultimately, a paid subscription does not play a significant role here either.
However, no one bothers to diversify the model of the advertising platform in every possible way, taking into account Telegram Premium. First, expand the integration. Who knows?
Telegram Premium is an expensive toy
Let’s summarize the above. The Telegram Premium subscription is available in Russia at a price of 309 rubles (Android) and 449 rubles (iOS) when you register directly in the application, the tariff is monthly. Registration using the @PremiumBot bot costs 299 rubles (previously 379 rubles). On iOS, the purchase takes into account the Apple commission (payment through the mobile account of Beeline and MTS operators), on Android, payment by cards on Google Play is temporarily disabled (payments are accepted by an internal bot). My personal opinion, you will probably agree with him – the cost is very high. YouTube Premium and Yandex Plus beg for comparison (both for 199 rubles). Equivalent? The announced functions of Telegram Premium do not deserve to be sold so expensive. Either the company has a trick up its sleeve and is preparing something grandiose, or it simply wants to earn a mountain of money and quickly.
In the current format, the service is like a weak hodgepodge, whose actual utility is as close to zero as possible. Of the really important, perhaps, I can only note the increased limits (sending files up to 4 GB, pinning up to 10 chats, setting up up to 20 folders) and advanced chat management (replacing the main “All chats” folder, automatically transferring unknown inboxes to the archive, using up to 4 accounts). A question to fill in – which cards will Telegram Premium lay out next?
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