For as robust of a messaging app as it is, Telegram does need to make money. The company made moves to monetize its platform last year through ad sales and extra features tailored towards massive group channels. But if the latest beta of its iOS app is indicative of anything, average users may soon be asked to pay to get more out of their experiences, too.
In its testing of version 8.7.2, the Telegram Beta channel has found a range of reaction emoji and stickers that have been marked as Telegram Premium exclusives. Users who select these stickers and reactions will be prompted to sign up for the service. Even premium stickers that appear in a conversation thread are blocked from view to free users, replaced by the same call to action.
No details about the program itself, including price and what other perks it offers, are known at this time.
Depending on which stickers or emoji end up being your favorites, you might be dismayed with another feature find: word surfaced in the past week of an avatar creator (via r/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. Also disappointingly no sign of where this is headed or when.
In a future with Telegram Premium, it’s not going to be pleasant guessing which upcoming features will be free for all and which ones will be just for paid subscribers, but at this point, we’re just looking for clarity.
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