Remember how in June we talked about Telegram getting Stories? According to CEO Pavel Durov, users have been 'asking for years' for such a feature, and they got what they asked for. But it's for Premium users only.
Free users will not be completely excluded from Stories, but they won't be able to share such kinds of postings. If users do not wish to pay for a feature they already have on, say, Facebook and Instagram, they still get to see story posts, but that's about it. Anyone who wants to share a story post has to go Premium (via 9to5Mac).
Telegram deals with higher expenses
In a candid post from July 18, CEO Pavel Durov goes into detail about Telegram's financial challenges. He announces that the company issued 'around $270 million worth of Telegram bonds', of which Durov personally bought about 'about of quarter' of them, 'investing tens of millions':
Every day, over 2.5 million new users sign up for Telegram, and earlier this year we've surpassed 800 million monthly active users. We are happy and grateful, even though this massive growth also means higher expenses on storage and traffic to serve our users. [...] While not yet profitable (which would be impossible to reach in just the second year of monetization), Telegram is closer to profitability in absolute numbers than its competitors such as Twitter and Snap.
If I pay, what do I get?
Back in June, Telegram's Stories were promoted along 6 key points: Privacy, Compact UI, Flexibility, Captions, Dual Camera Support, Optional Ephemerality.
On the 'Privacy' topic, Telegram gives users flexibility by letting them choose who can see your stories: the options are 'everyone', 'only your contacts (with exceptions)', 'a few selected contacts', or 'a list of Close Friends'. 'Compact UI' is about compactness and visual aesthetics, the feature was promised to be designed in such a way, as not to 'take away valuable space'.
'Flexibility': Hide stories from the contacts you have no interest in. 'Captions' is pretty self explanatory, users can add more context (or links, or tags) by providing captions in the stories. 'Dual Camera Support' is an interesting feature: 'We're adding the option to post photos and videos taken by the front and the rear cameras simultaneously', Durov explained.
And finally, 'Optional Ephemerality': Users choose the lifespan of a story post: there are options for 6, 12, 24, or 48 hours - or 'permanently display stories on your profile page, with individual privacy settings for each', says Durov.