Telegram, a messaging app, will launch a paid subscription plan for users this month, founder Pavel Durov said Friday.

Users who choose Telegram Premium will have higher limits on chat, media and file uploads, Durov said in a blog post.

“The only way to keep our existing features free while letting the most demanding fans do more is to make those raised limits a paid option,” he said. rice field.

The app, along with the messaging tool Signal, has seen an increase in users following privacy concerns with its larger rival WhatsApp owned by Meta Platforms Inc.

According to the Telegram website, it currently has 500 million monthly active users and is one of the 10 most downloaded apps in the world.

Durov said the move to offer paid subscriptions is to ensure that Telegram continues to be funded primarily by users, not advertisers.

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