Telegram has revealed Telegram Premium, a paid version of the app with notable features in tow. We were apprised of this development a couple of days ago, and while there were rumours that the app would start charging users to support the platform and get nicer features in return, it didn’t happen earlier enough. The day has, nonetheless, arrived.

At the announcement of the app, Telegram announced that it has 700 million active users on its platform. These are great numbers bearing, although they fall behind what the likes of WhatsApp command.

And without getting off topic, what are these new features that will cost you KES 700 if you choose to download the Premium version of the app?


The charges are on the higher side, admittedly, and some would have wanted a one-time payment.

4G File Uploads

This feature doubles the ordinary, free-tier 2 GB file uploads. This can go a long way for heavy users who share a lot of big files. You can actually share an FHD film that surpasses the 2GB mark but falls under the 2 GB free limit (and if that is allowed because such files are often shared in channels that host content that is not necessarily legal).

Do we need such limits, though? For me, the answer is no, but I am glad the feature is here for people that need it.

Increased Download Speeds

Part of the reason I hardly download large files using Telegram is that the speeds are actually quite pathetic.

This limitation, however, is eliminated with Premium. Telegram says you can download files as fast as your internet allows.

Now that is a great feature:

Double Limits

So, which other limits have been doubled, besides file uploads in Premium?

Well, according to the company,  you can follow up to 1000 channels, create up to 20 chat folders with up to 200 chats each, add a fourth account to any Telegram app, pin 10 chats in the main list and save up to 10 favourite stickers.

And that’s not all: you can write a longer bio, and even throw in a link.

You will also get more characters, such as when sending media captions.

You can also favourite up to 400 GIFs.

Finally, can reserve up to 20 public t.me links, making any group or channel you create stand out with a short and concise link.

Voice Texts

Imagine turning your voice messages to texts?

Well, Premium allows you to do just that.

Even Better Stickers and Reactions

Telegram Premium is packed with an array of full-screen stickers. You can send them to any user, even if they are using the free version of the app.

Premium users also unlock more ways to react to messages, with over 10 new emojis.

Animated Profile Pictures

Some other apps, such as Facebook, allow you to have an animated profile image.

Telegram says that profile videos of premium users will animate for all users.

Finally, A Badge and Premium App Icon

A badge will be displayed on your profile to indicate that you are a premium user and not a peasant like the rest of the users who will shy away from paying for all the said features.

In the same breath, premium users will also get access to a premium app icon. There are three options to choose from, depending on your style.

Zero Adds

While Telegram does not show ads in Kenya, it does in some other countries. Premium users in those regions will however not see ads any longer.

And what do the rest of the non-premium users get?


Well, here are some improvements for all:

  1. Group admins can now review requests from users who want to join them.
  2. Public figures and companies can verify their accounts, which can also be seen in chats.
  3. Boys have been improved.
  4. Chat previews in Android are even better now.
  5. You can now finally see your Telegram images in your Gallery app.

Are you willing to pay for the above features?


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Kenn Abuya is a friend of technology, with bias in enterprise and mobile tech. Share your thoughts, tips and hate mail at [email protected]

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