Animated Stickers Done Right

Cover Image

We launched stickers back in January 2015. Since then, the Telegram sticker format has been adopted by other apps to reach a total of 2 billion people. Today we're introducing a new format for animated stickers.

We asked ourselves: Can animated stickers have higher quality than static ones while taking less bandwidth? The answer turned out to be YES (but only after we told developers they'd get moving cat pictures).

Smooth Animations, Tiny Size

Telegram engineers experimented with vector graphics, packaging methods and forbidden magic to create the Lottie-based .TGS format, in which each sticker takes up about 20-30 Kilobytessix times smaller than the average photo.

Thanks to various optimizations, animated stickers consume less battery than GIFs and run at a smooth 60 frames per second. If a picture is worth a thousand words, that's 180,000 words per sticker.

Open Platform

Naturally, animated stickers are a free platform. All artists are welcome to create new sets and share them with Telegram users.

Like its static predecessor, the Telegram animated sticker format is likely to become the new industry standard in messaging. Check out this quick guide to get started.

Starter Packs

To get your conversations moving right away, our artists have created a few sample sets ranging from Rambunctious Rodents to Sentient Snacks. You can find more animated sticker sets in the 'Trending' section of your sticker panel. 🔥

As always, the fastest way to find a sticker that fits your mood is to type in a relevant emoji – Telegram will immediately suggest matching stickers.

Keep an eye out for new animated stickers – and our next update.


July 6, 2019
The Telegram Team

Location-Based Chats, Adding Contacts Without Phone Numbers and More

Telegram 5.8: Adding Contacts Without Phone Numbers, Location-Based Chats and More

In the previous update, we improved privacy settings and added a way for you to control who can see your phone number. Today we're making it easier to exchange contact info on Telegram.

All new chats now have an Add to Contacts button at the top. This allows you to quickly add anyone who messages you to your Telegram contacts, even if you don't know their phone number yet.

Add/Block Buttons in a Chat

If you'd prefer they disappeared instead, the Block button is right next door.

Add People Nearby

Ever scrambled for business cards at a beach party? Or dropped somebody's phone into the pool in a “let me type in my number for you” moment? Worry no more.

Simply open Contacts > Add People Nearby to quickly exchange contact info with Telegram users who are standing next to you (and also have this section open).

This feature comes in especially handy when several people meet to perform the take-my-number dance. Now you can catch all your pokémon in just a few taps.

Location-Based Chats

Speaking of pokémon, the new People Nearby section also shows Groups Nearby – location-based group chats open for anyone around to join.

Tap Create a Local Group to unite your dormitory or apartment building, and maybe you can get Todd in 2C to finally turn his music down.

Location-based group

This update opens up a new world of location-based group chats for anything from conferences, to festivals, to stadiums, to campuses, to chatting with people hanging out in the same cafe.

Transfer Group Chats

If you ever get tired of being the host of your group, you can pass the burden on to another administrator. Telegram apps now support transferring ownership rights from any groups and channels to other users.

Grant full admin rights to your Chosen One to see the Transfer Ownership button.

Transfer group ownership

Whether your watch has ended, or you have some business to attend to in King's Landing, passing the torch is a simple, two-tap affair.

Enhanced Notification Exceptions

Notification Exceptions just got more powerful. You can now toggle message previews for specific chats. If you have many exceptions, use Search to find the right chat — or ‘Delete All’ to get back to square one instantly.

Notification exceptions

Siri Shortcuts

Owners of iOS devices can now use Siri shortcuts to open chats with people. No hands just got no-handsomer.

Siri

Theme Picker and Icon style

We've also revamped the Appearance settings on iOS so that it's easier to see what the different themes will look like even before you apply them.

New theme picker on iOS

A while back, the Telegram X app for iOS was promoted, becoming the official Telegram, and its previous shell was removed from the store. If you are still using it for some reason, this is a good time to switch — ol' Telegram X is now three versions behind the main branch.

Some users told us they didn't want to switch because they liked the Telegram X icon better. So this update adds a way for your iOS app icon to get back in black:

Pick your poison

By the way, Telegram X for Android is still there and is not going anywhere for now. If you're looking for an alternative interface, feel free to give it a try.


June 23, 2019
The Telegram Team

Focused Privacy, Discussion Groups, Seamless Web Bots and More

Telegram is about privacy. In 2014 we pioneered granular privacy settings in messaging. Today we are making them even more flexible with exceptions for group chats.

From now on, you can make something visible for all your classmates in one group chat and keep it private from, say, all your colleagues in another – with just two taps:

Settings will adjust automatically as people join and leave the groups. So when your half-brother unexpectedly gets a job as a data broker, you'll just need to kick him out of one group to update all your settings.

Who can see my phone number?

On Telegram, you can send messages in private chats and groups without making your phone number visible. But there may be cases when you want to make your number known (e.g. to all your coworkers), so we added a new dedicated privacy control – Who Can See My Number.

A screenshot of the redesigned Privacy & Security settings screen

Redesigned privacy settings on iOS

Meet Seamless Web Bots

We've made it easier to integrate bots with web services. Bots can now help you log in with your Telegram account on a website when you open a link. If you allow them to, you'll be logged in by the time the page loads in the browser:

A confirmation dialog that offers to open a link and optionally authorize on the website

While this is purely optional, it opens the door for a vast variety of new bots. To try out this seamless authorization, press the ‘comments’ button under this post.

You can also make our sample @discussbot an admin in any of your broadcast channels to get a comments button under the posts you publish. The comments button opens a website where you are already logged in and ready to leave a comment. The bot will notify you if someone replies to what you wrote there.

Anyone can create similar bots to connect their existing services to Telegram on the fly. Integrating all kinds of social, gaming, productivity, dating or e-commerce services into your channels is now a breeze.

Broadcasts meet Group Chats

Telegram channels are a tool for broadcasting your thoughts to unlimited audiences. Telegram group chats offer a democratic way for communities of up to 200,000 members to discuss things.

Ever since we launched channels and groups, users have been asking us to add discussions to channels and announcements to groups. With this update, admins can add a group chat to their channel to serve as a discussion board:

Subscribers will see a ‘Discuss’ link on the bottom panel, and each new post from the channel will be automatically forwarded to and pinned in the discussion group.

View public channels

Speaking of channels, you can now view any public channel from the web – even if you aren‘t logged in to Telegram. The same also goes for those retro people who don’t have a Telegram account at all. Yet.

A public channel, as seen from the web

Simply open the channel link in a browser and select “Preview channel” to see something like this: t.me/s/telegram

Scam Alerts

Telegram apps will now show a scam label for suspicious accounts.

Chat with a scammer

iOS Goodies

In other news, Telegram 5.7 for iOS introduces thumbnails for PDF files. Keep in mind that Telegram lets you share files of any type, up to 1,5GB each in size (so you can telegram a PDF payload worthy of Elon's rockets).

PDF file with a thumbnail

Telegram for iOS also catches up with the rest of our apps in terms of text links. You can now make any text a link to a website, keeping all the cords under the carpet.

Creating a text link on iOS

Mind that people will get a warning about where exactly the link leads when they open it. (Hint: use URL shorteners if you want to rick-roll people).

Android Delights

As for Android, we've redesigned the majority of confirmation dialogs in the app, and improved the design for message search and adding people to groups. Additionally, the app got a new theme switcher in Chat Settings.

Have fun with all that and stay tuned for our next updates.


May 31, 2019
The Telegram Team

Archived Chats, a New Design and More

Introducing archived chats, a new design and more

Today's update gives you the tools to sort your messages with archived chats, a new design on Android and a handful of other nifty features to make the most of your messenger.

Everything in its place

Introducing archived chats, the new tool for spring cleaning in your chat list. Sort your active and inactive chats, separate personal stuff from work or banish annoying contacts to your archive for some spectacular revenge!

Swipe left on a chat to transfer it to your archived chats folder. When an archived chat gets a notification, it will pop out of the folder and back into your chat list. Muted chats will stay archived forever.

You can hide the archive by swiping left on it. See it again by dragging the screen down.

Pin an unlimited number of chats in your archive to keep your messages in the order you want. When chats pop out of your archive with a notification, you can archive them again to return them to their original place within the folder.

Pinned chats in the archive

Bulk actions for a busy chat list

Time is money and money buys cat food, so don't waste time and make the most of the bulk actions in your chat list, now also available on Telegram for Android. Long tap on a chat to open the new menu where you can select multiple chats and then pin, mute, archive or delete them, all faster than ever before.

Android's new clothes

Telegram for Android got a lot slicker, starting with the app's new icon and down to every menu in the app sporting a new design.

Telegram for Android's new icon

New app icon

Redesigned menus

Slick new menus

Selecting messages in chats is now not only more stylish but also more functional – note the new quick forwarding button which appears right under your thumb:

More info at a glance

With the expanded chat list, you can see more text from the messages in your list. Simply select Three lines in the Chat Settings menu to see up to three lines per chat instead of the usual two.

Chat settings, choose between two or three lines per chat

Chat list view settings

Share and share a lot

Want to share a message far and wide? Pull up the new streamlined sharing menu to cover the entire screen and select your whole gang. And don‘t fret if you’re short on words, the comment field now supports emoji.

The new sharing menu with online badges and emoji support

New sharing menu

The new design also makes it easier to share sticker packs.

Sticker pack viewer with the new sharing buttons

New sticker pack viewer

You shall not pass

Meanwhile on iOS, passcode settings have been made more stylish and more robust to accommodate 6-digit codes, in addition to the previous 4-digit and custom alphanumeric options. Keep it secret, keep it safe 🔒.

Another new feature on iOS allows clearing your recently used stickers so nobody can prove how much you love sending funny dog stickers.

Clear recent stickers on iOS

Clear recent stickers

We also thought that large emoji feel more natural without chat bubbles and made them look like little stickers instead. Aren't they cute?

Clear recent stickers on iOS

New look for large emoji

Easier forwarding, links to messages, online badges

Ever selected the wrong chat when forwarding a message? Tap the message snippet above the text box before sending to change where the message is forwarded to.

Switch recipient when forwarding messages

Switch recipient

If you'd rather point to a particular spot in a conversation, you can now copy links to messages in private groups and channels – just like you could with public messages. Needless to say, links to private chats will only work for members of their respective communities.

Copy links to individual messages in a private community

Links to individual messages

Last but not least, you can now instantly see who's online from the chat list and sharing menu to find out who else might be watching cat videos in the middle of the night.

Online badges in chats

As always, stay tuned for more updates on all our platforms — we look forward to popping back out of your archive with the next version.


May 9, 2019
The Telegram Team

Taking Back Our Right to Privacy

Unsending messages, anonymized forwarding, improved search and VoiceOver/TalkBack support

For us, your private data is sacred. We never use your data to target ads. We never disclose your data to third parties. We store only what is absolutely necessary for Telegram to work.

In 2013, we gave millions of people power over their data with end-to-end encryption.

Today, we are giving hundreds of millions of users complete control of any private conversation they have ever had. You can now choose to delete any message you have sent or received from both sides in any private chat. The messages will disappear for both you and the other person – without leaving a trace.

Unsend Anything

The “Unsend” feature we introduced 2 years ago worked only for messages sent by you and only for 48 hours. Now you can “unsend” messages you have received as well, and there is no time limit. You can also delete any private chat entirely from both your and the other person's device with just two taps.

Anonymous Forwarding

To make your privacy complete, we’ve also introduced a way to restrict who can forward your messages. When this setting is enabled, your forwarded messages will no longer lead back to your account — they'll just display an unclickable name in the “from” field. This way people you chat with will have no verifiable proof you ever sent them anything.

Look for “Forwarded messages” in Privacy and Security settings. By the way, you can now also restrict who can view your profile photos.

Settings Search

Since the Settings section keeps getting bigger, we’ve added a search tool that allows you to quickly find any settings you need.

This new search tool in Settings also shows answers to any Telegram-related questions based on the FAQ:

Emoji Search and GIFs

The GIF and stickers search has been upgraded on all mobile platforms – it now looks better and finds more cats. Any GIF you find can be previewed by tapping and holding. Sticker packs now have icons, which makes selecting the right pack easier. Large GIFs and video messages on Telegram are now streamed, so you can start watching them without waiting for the download to complete.

On Telegram for Android, you can now use keywords in many languages to find any emoji. If we are missing a keyword for an emoji, you’re welcome to suggest it here – emoji search will constantly be improving without the need to update Telegram.

You’ll also see a list of related emoji when typing a message. If you like an emoji enough to send it without any accompanying text, the emoji will appear larger in the chat on Android (iOS coming soon).

VoiceOver and TalkBack

We’ve added support for accessibility features – VoiceOver on iOS and TalkBack on Android. These gesture-based technologies give you spoken feedback so that you can use Telegram without seeing the screen.

Tell us what you think the next update should be.

March 24, 2019
The Telegram Team

Autoplaying Videos, Automatic Downloads and Multiple Accounts

Autoplaying Videos and New Automatic Download Settings

Today's update will make Telegram chats livelier with Autoplaying Videos. Smaller videos will start playing without sound when they reach your screen. To unmute them, simply press the volume buttons on your device.

If you like to be in control of your data usage, try the new auto-download settings. It‘s easy to see your current settings at a glance and we’ve added a new quick way to switch between Low, Medium and High presets for Mobile, Roaming and Wi-Fi.

You can also manually set up automatic downloads by chat type, media type and file size. The app will remember your choices as the Custom preset in case you need to temporarily switch to Low and back — or the other way around.

To Each According to Their Needs

Default settings for data usage have become more generous but depend on the affordability of mobile data in your country. We know that in some places it's easier to buy an aircraft carrier than download an extra 20MB (looking at you, Ethiopia). Telegram will try to download less data for users in such countries.

On the other hand, if you're likely to have a monster data allowance, Telegram will try to save you from tapping the “download” arrow too often.

These new default limits for automatic downloads are not set in stone. Starting today, we can change them remotely, based on your feedback and the cost of data in each country.

To Log Out or Not to Log Out?

New users often bring their logout habits from other apps and don't realize that this is rarely necessary on Telegram. To help them find their way around the app, the logout menu now shows several alternative options to logging out:

Logout Alternatives

Logout Alternatives

Multiple Account Support

Some of us have several phone numbers and multiple Telegram accounts: one for work, another strictly personal and a third one provided by benevolent aliens along with instructions to never use it except in a planetary emergency.

You can add all these accounts to your app and easily switch between up to 3 phone numbers without logging out.

Add account

Add Account in Settings > Edit

If you've added several accounts, you will receive push notifications for all of them. Notifications will include information on which account they were sent to. You can also tap and hold on an account in Settings for a sneak peek of its chats list:

The multiple accounts feature was born in Telegram for Android and is now also available on iOS. We hope your alter-egos will be pleased.


February 26, 2019,
The Telegram Team

Chat Backgrounds 2.0: Make Your Own

Telegram 5.3: Introducing the Backgrounds Platform

No chat can be dull if you have a really cool chat background. Today's update will ensure you get one. You can now search the web for wallpapers, add effects and then share your backgrounds with friends via links.

Telegram backgrounds now support motion and blur effects. You can also set any color as your background, apply a pattern and tweak its intensity.

Just like before, you can set any photo from your gallery as your chat background. On Android, you can add some extra effects in the built-in photo editor.

Share links

Having used this new arsenal to create the perfect chat background, you can easily set it to Telegram on all your other devices. What's more, you can infect the rest of the world with your genius by sharing your background via a link, just like this one:
https://t.me/bg/l7jg-vpxmEYBAAAA1e0rNKySlkk

Message containning a Telegram background

Search backgrounds

If you don‘t feel very creative and would like to simply set something nice real quick, we’ve added new backgrounds to the official selection.

We've also included a background search option. Find your dream wallpaper based on keywords or color and then set it in just a few taps.

Background Search Results

We're also announcing the Instant View 2.0 Template Competition: two months, $300,000+ in prizes, $100 per template. See Instant View Contest 2.0 for details.


January 31, 2019
The Telegram Team

Group Permissions, Undo Delete and More

Introducing Telegram 5.2: New permissions for groups, unified group settings, undo deleting chats and more

Ever wanted to run a sticker-free or GIF-free community? With group permissions, admins can now restrict all members from posting specific kinds of content. Or even restrict members from sending messages altogether – let the admins chat amongst themselves while everybody else witnesses their wisdom in silent awe.

In case you ever felt lonely in a group with 100,000 members, Telegram groups now support up to 200,000 members – so now you can feel twice as lonely 🙃. To make managing groups more enjoyable, we've streamlined all group interfaces, including the Settings screens, Admin panels and Member lists.

New group, redesigned empty screen

A newly created group

As of today, supergroups and basic groups are simply groups. It now takes just a few taps to make any group public, add admins with granular privileges or toggle persistent history.

Have fun bossing around groups the size of the city of Kassel!

Undo clearing history and deleting chats

Deleting the wrong chat is rarely fun – but now you'll have a chance to reconsider.

When you delete a chat or clear chat history, you'll get a detailed confirmation dialog and an option to restore the chat within the next 5 seconds. Once the time is up, the chat is irretrievably lost in the jaws of Telegram’s underground data shredders.

If you relied on “I accidentally deleted the chat with my homework” in your studies, please accept our apologies. From now on, you'll have to blame your digital dog.

Sort your contacts

Back to the topic of bossing people around, you can now sort your contacts by name and by last seen time on both iOS and Android.

Sorting contacts on iOS

iOS

Sorting contacts on Android

Android

Thumbnails and download animations

Waiting for large media downloads to finish ranks very low on the list of “The Most Exciting Things to Do Online”. We decided to spice this process up a bit by improving our animation algorithms and adding an ultra-light thumbnail to each photo and video:

From now on, every photo you receive will start its life as an obscure blur instead of an empty square. Isn’t this just beautiful?

Search bars, dark mode and moar profile pics

Search bars on Telegram for iOS and the default dark mode theme on Android got some face-lifting. The Android app also allows you to set up a profile picture when you create an account, so expect to see more friends with faces from now on.

Meanwhile on Desktop…

The new group permissions also work in Telegram Desktop. Additionally, version 1.5.8 introduces support for automatically downloading files and music and choosing input and output devices for Telegram Calls.

Last but not least, you can now change your visuals before heading into an emoji fight:

Choose your emoji on Telegram Desktop

Choose how you see emoji on Telegram Desktop

Another glorious Telegram update is coming in a week or two, so STAY TUNED!


January 21, 2019,
The Telegram Team

Polls: Bringing Choice to Communities

Large communities on Telegram frequently use polls to coordinate their activities and stay in touch with their members. Today, we're rolling out a dedicated tool for polls in addition to existing bots like @vote. We hope the new built-in polls will be a welcome addition to groups with 100,000 members and channels with millions of subscribers.

Polls can be forwarded to increase reach and pinned for better visibility (and also to notify all members of the community).

At the moment, polls are anonymous, meaning that no one can see who voted for what. Going forward, we may introduce non-anonymous polls where the voters lists will be public, but such polls will be explicitly marked as non-anonymous.

Telegram has your back when it comes to privacy: we never disclose the private data you entrusted us with to third parties and never monetize it.


Image Search and Other Improvements on iOS

Back to more mundane matters, you can use Web Search again to find images when sending Photo & Video attachments or choosing profile pictures in our iOS app. Setting a Grinch avatar for Christmas has never been easier:

The Great iOS Bug Hunt goes on and the app received numerous fixes in version 5.1.1.

To name a few improvements: Clearing the cache in Settings > Data and Storage > Storage Usage now correctly reduces the space taken by the app. Files and media will keep downloading for a while after you close the app. You will see detailed progress when downloading and uploading files. We've also added online indicators for the ‘People’ section in search results.

Happy Winter Solstice!


December 22, 2018
The Telegram Team

Custom Languages, Instant View 2.0 and More

Introducing custom languages, IV 2.0, a new design for Android and more

Telegram's Translations Platform allows you to suggest better wording for Telegram interfaces in any language. We've recently rolled out support for most mainstream languages, and translations are already underway.

Today's update brings equal treatment to the smaller linguistic communities around the world. Anyone can now use the translation platform to create their own custom language packs – and translate Telegram into any minority language or local dialect, be that Māori, Scottish Gaelic or Transliterated Klingon.

We've made it easy to spread your translations. To translate the interface of your app, simply follow the dedicated sharing link of the desired language. Sharing links can be obtained in the translation panel.

Applying a custom language

Each language also gets its own public group for discussions. Here are the links for the Catalan language, for example:

Once a user switches to your translation, all changes you apply in the interface will be applied immediately. The days of waiting for the apps to update or passing around localization files are over.

Instant View 2.0

Another unique feature of Telegram is the Instant View technology that allows Telegram users to view web pages in a consistent way, with zero loading time.

Today we're expanding the platform with support for right-to-left languages, blocks of related articles, image links, tables, nested lists, horizontal scrolling, collapsible text blocks and much more.

Now you can get beautiful instant view pages for even very complex articles. If you're reading this from one of our newly updated mobile apps, try this Wikipedia page for an example.

Soon we will announce a new crowdsourcing contest to make Instant View pages available for an even larger part of the internet.

The Great iOS Bug Hunt

We've made close to a thousand fixes and improvements to the iOS app since the major release of version 5.0. The new Telegram for iOS 5.1 features some 400 minor improvements.

New Design for Android

Telegram for Android has now reached version 5.0 and received a major overhaul in the design department. It is now much easier to access shared media from the profiles of users, groups and channels:

Shared media now offers high quality crisp previews, increased loading speed, more info in the links and files sections, and more efficient design.

Shared Files

The Settings screens were redesigned for a more streamlined experience:

Following in the footsteps of the iOS app, Android users can take advantage of the new detailed settings for the badge counter in Settings > Notification and Sounds:

Badge Counter Settings

We've upgraded the photo selector for profile pictures so that you can choose the correct head to be displayed on your profile:

Choose an area to use for the photo

Last but not least, you can zoom videos during playback and browse full-resolution images sent as documents just like normal photos, by swiping left and right.


December 10, 2018
The Telegram Team