Popular messaging app Telegram seems to be exploring a new way to make money: a “premium” subscription with exclusive stickers and reaction emojis.
As earlier reported by Android Police, beta testers for Telegram’s iOS app noticed the features in version 8.7.2. Telegram users will reportedly be prompted to sign up for a paid subscription once they select certain reactions or stickers in the app. Users who have the free version reportedly won’t be able to view these premium features in conversation threads.
Since Telegram Premium is merely a rumor as of now, there’s no additional information on how much the premium subscription would cost, when it would be released, and what other features or exclusives could be added.
Telegram has made several money moves over the last year. In December 2020, Telegram co-founder Pavel Durov unveiled plans for the app to make revenue through ad sales and extra paid features. The company has also recently expanded into livestreaming, chatbots, cryptocurrency and more to monetize the platform.
Telegram — like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and other messaging apps — must figure out how to generate revenue within the app while also not disrupting the chat function.
Telegram didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.