Telegram Premium launched — what South Africans get for R89.99 per month

Instant messaging platform Telegram has announced the launch of its subscription service, which the company said would let users support the app’s development and access additional features.

iOS users in South Africa can subscribe to Telegram Premium for R89.99 per month.

“[Telegram Premium] will allow us to offer all the resource-heavy features users have asked for over the years, while preserving free access to the most powerful messenger on the planet,” Telegram stated.

Subscribers will unlock doubled group chat limits, 4 GB file uploads, faster downloads, exclusive stickers and reactions, and improved chat management.

“Premium users get increased limits for almost everything in the app,” Telegram said.

Increased limits

Telegram announced it would increase subscribers’ limits as follows:

  • Follow 1,000 channels
  • Create 20 chat folders, with 200 chats each
  • Add a fourth account to any Telegram app
  • Pin 10 chats in the main list
  • Save up to 10 favourite stickers
  • Favourite 400 GIFs
  • Write a longer bio and include a link in it
  • Increased characters for media captions

Premium users also can reserve up to 20 public t.me links.

4 GB files

Telegram Premium subscribers can send 4 GB files.

All users can download these extra-large documents. However, Telegram throttles non-subscribers’ download speeds.

Regular Telegram users can still send files up to 2 GB.

Telegram Premium subscription on iPhone

Telegram Premium subscribers will also receive access to several new features, including:

  • No ads — Premium subscribers will not see the commercials in large, public one-to-many channels that Telegram rolled out last year.
  • Voice-to-Text — Subscribers can convert voice messages to text and rate transcriptions to help improve them.
  • Unique stickers — Dozens of stickers feature full-screen animations. Only Premium subscribers can send these stickers, and all users can see them. Telegram artists will update the premium sticker collection every month.
  • Unique reactions — Subscribers receive access to over 10 new emojis for reactions like 👌😍❤️‍🔥💯, and 🤡🌭🐳.
  • Chat management — Premium subscribers can change their default chat folder, like making Telegram open in Unread instead of All Chats.
  • Animated profile pictures — Subscribers’ profile videos will animate for everyone across Telegram, including in chats and the chat list.
  • Premium badges — All subscribers receive a star-shaped badge in the chat list, chat headers, and member lists in groups.
  • Additional app Icons — Premium subscribers can change Telegram’s app icon on their home screen. Three extra options are available: premium star, night sky, or turbo-plane.

In addition to the premium features, Telegram announced several new features for all users on the platform.

These include join requests for public groups, an animated screen for external sharing, improved bot descriptions, verification badges, and better chat previews on Android.

“This update includes over 100 fixes and optimisations to the mobile and desktop apps — eliminating bugs, improving speed, and expanding minor features,” Telegram said.

iOS users with the latest iPhones and iPads get significantly smoother animations (120 FPS) throughout the app.

Android users received improved audio and video quality in voice and video messages.

They also got options to set alternative app icons, clear all recent stickers at once, and translate user bios and chat descriptions.

“Today is an important day in the history of Telegram — marking not only a new milestone, but also the beginning of Telegram’s sustainable monetisation,” Telegram said.

“We believe that Telegram’s development should be driven primarily by its users, not advertisers. This way our users will always remain our main priority.”

Telegram said the update is being rolled out gradually.

“If your app is not offering you to update, please wait — the new version will become available soon.”


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Telegram Premium launched — what South Africans get for R89.99 per month