(ANSA) – MILAN, 03 MAY – Telegram will make a paid version of the app available. The secure messaging client, which in recent months has seen a boom in accesses in Russia, also following restrictions on other communication platforms, thinks about how to monetize user usage. According to some screenshots obtained from the Android Police website, the company will offer a service called Telegram Premium which, for a certain fee, will allow access to exclusive content, including emoticons and animated stickers, otherwise hidden. The latest beta version of the iOS app includes emojis and stickers to be unlocked only if you subscribe to Telegram Premium, a service currently unavailable but which had already been talked about in December 2020, when the founder Pavel Durov had confirmed the need to identify alternative means of revenue for the app, without selling subscriber data to advertising and analytics agencies.
Telegram 8.7.2, whose release has not yet been publicly released, offers those who click on the paid emoticons a Premium subscription. According to detractors, this could be the first step in transforming much more functionality of the application in favor of paying users only. However, Durov himself has more than once expressed himself on the fact that Telegram will not pay existing functions, having the key objective of protecting the messages of all subscribers. According to data from Russian telecom operator Megafon, Telegram’s share of mobile internet traffic in Russia rose to 63% in the first two weeks of March, compared to 48% in the first two weeks of February. Conversely, the use of WhatsApp, owned by Meta, fell from 48% to 32% over the same period. (HANDLE).