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Telegram rolls out Stories for premium members only, raises $210M in bond sales

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Telegram has introduced a new feature called Telegram Stories, which is now being rolled out to users with a Premium membership. 

Similar to Instagram Stories, these Telegram Stories allow users to share photos and videos that disappear after a certain time. 

“However, Telegram offers unique features such as the ability to choose how long a Story will last, ranging from 6 to 48 hours, unlike most apps that delete Stories after 24 hours.” 

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Additionally, users can create different contact lists for each Story, enabling them to share specific Stories with different groups of people. 

The interface is similar to other apps with Stories, displaying a row of Stories above the list of chats.

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Users can also interact with Telegram Stories by sending emojis and responding to other people’s Stories, just like in Instagram and Snapchat. 

Although Telegram Stories are visible to everyone, only those with a Telegram Premium subscription can create Stories. 

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Non-Premium users attempting to create a Story will receive a prompt stating that this feature is currently available only to subscribers, suggesting that it may eventually become free for all.

According to reports, Telegram’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Pavel Durov, had initially hesitated to implement Stories due to their widespread availability in other apps. 

However, the company decided to listen to its users and innovate on existing formats, as more than half of all feature requests were related to Stories. 

“As part of the new feature, users will be able to save their stories to their profile, making profiles more informative and colourful. This will allow users to explore more content from their closest contacts and learn more about other users they connect with in groups or channel comments.”

Telegram Premium comes with enhanced features like doubled limits, 4 GB file uploads, faster downloads, exclusive stickers and reactions, improved chat management, and more.

To get the new Stories feature, make sure you download the latest version of the Telegram app available on the App Store. Telegram is free, although the Premium subscription to unlock more features (including the ability to post Stories) costs $4.99 per month. If you subscribe via the web, you can get a discount.

It is also noted that recently, Telegram raised $210 million through bond sales, bringing its total amount of debt financing raised to over $1.2 billion. 

The bonds were purchased by reputable funds specializing in bonds, including Telegram’s CEO who personally bought a quarter of the new bonds. 

Reports suggest the purpose of this financing is to move Telegram closer to the break-even point as the company remains unprofitable, and the funds are expected to support its growth and expansion.

“Despite its lack of profitability, Telegram’s growth continues to surge, with over 2.5 million new users added daily. CEO Pavel Durov claims Telegram is inching closer to profitability in absolute numbers compared to competitors like Twitter and Snap. The app’s focus on privacy and security, user-friendly interface, and innovative features have contributed to its popularity among consumers and businesses.”

Telegram has been broadening its offerings, including the Telegram Open Network (TON) blockchain platform, supporting decentralized applications and services, and featuring its native token called Toncoin. 

The previous debt financing of over $1 billion has been utilized to invest in Telegram’s growth and expansion.

However, rising interest rates since 2021 have impacted the issue price of Telegram’s recent bonds, influencing their pricing during this latest bond sale. 

“Despite this, Telegram is quickly becoming a significant player in the tech and business world, earning its place with its privacy-oriented approach, user-friendly design, and innovative features. As the company continues to innovate and expand, it solidifies its position as an influential player in the messaging and communication industry.”

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Diana Mutheu
Diana Mutheu
Diana Mutheu is a Tech enthusiast, happy to delve deeper into the African tech space covering Social Media, AI, Startups, Telcos, Cryptocurrency, Big Data, Women in Tech and all matters Tech. Write to me @[email protected]

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