Telegram was reportedly testing its premium subscription model. Now it appears that the company has started rolling out the same. According to a report by TechCrunch, the cloud-based messaging app has started rolling out its premium subscription service. As part of the service, users will get access to extra features by paying $4.99 (Rs 390) per month.

“This growth is solely from personal recommendations. Telegram has never paid to advertise its apps,” the company said in a statement late on Sunday. “We’re launching ‘Premium Telegram Premium’, a subscription that lets you support Telegram’s continued development and gives you access to exclusive additional features,” it added. 

By subscribing to Telegram Premium, users will unlock doubled limits, 4 GB file uploads, faster downloads, exclusive stickers and reactions, improved chat management and more. Moreover, non-premium users will be able to enjoy some of Premium’s benefits, like downloading the extra-large documents and viewing stickers sent by premium users, as well as tapping to increase counters on premium reactions that were already added to a message.

“The contributions of premium subscribers will help improve and expand the app for decades to come, while Telegram will remain free, independent and uphold its users-first values, redefining how a tech company should operate,” said the company that directly competes with WhatsApp and Signal.

Any user can upload large files and media, each up to 2 GB in size and enjoy unlimited storage in the Telegram cloud for free. “With Telegram Premium, subscribers will now be able to send 4 GB files, enough space for 4 hours of 1080p video, or 18 days of high-quality audio,” said the company.

Premium subscribers are able to download media and files at the fastest possible speed. “With Premium, you can follow up to 1,000 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,” the company announced.