The popularity of Telegram is growing, the program for instant messaging for the first time surpassed the mark of 700 million active users per month. Along with this achievement, the messenger is officially launching a premium subscription to monetize its audience, as previously announced by the founder of the service Pavlo Durov.

“Telegram continues to grow rapidly, and many users are asking how they could support our team. Today we are launching Telegram Premium, a subscription with which you can support the further development of Telegram and gain access to additional features,” says the official blog of the program.

Surprisingly, Telegram does not officially disclose how much a monthly premium subscription costs, nor in which countries it operates. The subscription price seems to vary depending on the user’s region, and according to Tech Crunch can range from $4.99 to $6. According to the publication, in India the premium version costs $6 per month for iPhone users, and in Spain – 5.49 euros per month ($5.77). Telegram did not respond to a request for a pricing policy.

Telegram has more than 700 million users and is launching a premium subscription

Telegram Premium’s main innovations include the ability to send files up to 4 GB (with 2 GB) and support for faster downloads. Subscribers can also monitor 1,000 channels compared to the 500 offered to free users and create up to 20 chat folders with 200 chats each. Telegram Premium users will also be able to add up to four accounts to the program and pin up to 10 chats.

Premium users will also be able to convert voice messages to text, access exclusive stickers and reactions, and use animated images as profile photos. They will also not see advertising in channels that Telegram does not show in some markets.

Durov promised to leave the key features in the application free for users, as well as continue to create new features for them.

In particular, the latest Telegram update added the ability for all users to join a public group without the need for an invitation link. Another new feature, aimed at free users, will allow proven groups and channels to show their icons at the top of the chat. The new update also supports playback of animation at 120 frames per second for new iPads and iPhones.