Video Messages and Telescope

Today's 4.0 update includes two other major features on top of Telescope and video messages. Don't miss Payments for Bots and the Instant View Platform!

We know you love the speed and simplicity of voice messages on Telegram. Starting today, you can also send video messages – just as swiftly:


To send a video message, go to any chat on Telegram and tap the mic icon to switch to camera mode. Now all you need to do is tap and hold the camera icon and record a video message. When you’re done, just release the recording button to dispatch your message — and it will arrive in the blink of an eye.

Video messages are so fast because Telegram compresses them and sends them even as you record them. By the way, if holding the button seems like too much work, you can lock the camera in recording mode by swiping up. This also works with voice messages now (here's one for you, cab drivers).

Video messages are automatically downloaded and autoplayed by default (you can change this in Settings if you’re on a data diet though) and generally feel and act like voice messages – on visual steroids.

Picture in Picture

While watching a video message, you can freely browse your other chats – the video will pop up in a corner and continue playing. You can move it around the screen and pause it from anywhere in Telegram. Cool, eh? Well, there's more:

Meet Telescope

Lots of popular folks address their fans via public channels on Telegram. Video messages will make their connection to fans more direct and intimate than ever. But we want to kick this up another notch.

Today we are launching Telescope, a dedicated video hosting platform for those who use videos to communicate with their audiences (here's one for you, blogger people!)

With Telescope, public video messages can go viral beyond the Telegram ecosystem. Telescope hosts autoplayed round videos of up to 1 minute in duration – the same format we use for Telegram video messages. And yes, you heard that right, you don't need a Telegram account to view them.

Every public channel on Telegram now has a telesco.pe URL, such as telesco.pe/channel_name, where all of its video messages are available to the world wide web and the wide, wide world.

A Telescope Channel

Whenever you post a video message to a public channel, it will also be uploaded to Telesco.pe and have a public URL there.

Share Telescope Videos

With Telescope, even those users who don’t have Telegram installed will be able to enjoy your public video messages and share them on Twitter or Facebook. As a result, this content will generate more views. And who would refuse more views these days, hmm?

This was just 1/3 of Telegram 4.0. Keep reading to learn more about Payments for Bots and the new Instant View Platform.


May 18, 2017,
The Telegram Team


P.S. Our founder has this weird urge to keep launching platforms that start with “Tele-”. Be sure to check out Telegraph, the publishing platform we launched last year.

Payments for Bots

Note: Today’s update includes two other major features in addition to payments. Don't miss Video Messages + Telescope and the Instant View Platform!

Imagine a world where you can order pizza, pay for a pair of shoes, hire a cab, or refill your subway pass — all in a few button taps on Telegram.

To make this world possible, we are launching Bot Payments today. Bot developers can now accept payments from their users around the world, just like that:


If you have Telegram 4.0 (or newer) installed, you can order goods or services from bots that offer them. These bots may now add a Pay button to their messages. When you tap Pay, you'll be asked to fill in your credit card and shipping information and confirm the payment. Then you get what you paid for. Voila!

If your account is protected by 2-Step Verification, you can save your card for future purchases. If you do that, ordering stuff from bots will only take two taps. Bot Payments also support Apple Pay for a completely frictionless experience.

Check It Out Now

Try our demo @ShopBot to get a taste of what‘s coming. (Note: Our demo bot thinks it sells time machines, but they’re not a part of what‘s coming. Sadly.) If you’re looking to test a real payment with actual money, stop by our @TelegramDonate bot.

Telegram is an open platform, so bot developers can implement the necessary APIs and accept payments from users starting right now, without lengthy approval dramas. If you’re a bot developer, check out the docs immediately!

Behind the Scenes

Currently, most of the payments are handled by Stripe, but Telegram Bot Payments are a platform for payment providers all over the world. When accepting a payment from a user, the bot developer can choose between all available payment providers, selecting the one already used by the buyer or the one with the lowest commission.

Stripe is just the beginning. In the next few days, payments will become available to developers in India via Razorpay, in Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, South Africa, and Uganda via Flutterwave, and in over 190 other countries via Paymentwall.

Yandex.Money and Qiwi for Russia and Payme for Uzbekistan will be joining the club a little later. Follow our @BotNews channel to be the first to know about new providers joining.

If you’re a payment provider (especially in a developing country), click here to learn how to get on board.

Just Passing Through

Telegram acts as a messenger (pun intended) between the paying user, the bot developer, and their chosen payment system. The user sends their credit card details directly to the payment system. Then the payment system's response and the shipping details entered by the user are passed to the bot developer so that they can process the order.

Due to this structure, it is impossible for Telegram to handle complaints or cashbacks – any disputed payments are the responsibility of the bot developers, payment providers, and banks that participated in the exchange.

Since Telegram doesn‘t process the payments, we don’t store and can‘t access any sensitive data. We also don’t take any commission from payments and don't profit from these transactions.

Instead, we just do what every sheriff has to do with strangers passing through their turf: shoot the bad bots and award the good ones with a badge. We’re sure there’ll be plenty of good ones.

If You Are…

And if you're none of the above for some weird reason, be a user, do the right thing. Happy shopping, everyone!


May 18, 2017
The Telegram Team

Instant Views for Everyone & a $200K Contest

Version 4.0 is the mother of all Telegram updates. Note that we're also launching Video messages + Telescope and Payments for Bots today.

Rejoice, brethren and sistren, the day has come! Instant View is now ready to support thousands of websites, including your favorite ones. Soon you will no longer need to launch a web browser to view any article shared with you on Telegram, because today we are launching the Instant View Platform.

Instant What?

With Instant View, you can enjoy articles from any blog or media outlet in a uniform and easily readable way. Beyond merely showing the text of an article, Instant View pages support images, videos, and any other media. They work great even if the source website isn't optimized for mobile devices.

Instant View Button

Instant View Page

Instant View pages are lightweight and cached on Telegram servers, so they load instantly on pretty much any connection — hence the name. But the best part is that webmasters don't need to change anything on their sites for Instant Views to work.

Meet the Instant View Platform

To generate Instant View pages, our parser bot uses templates — sets of rules that tell the bot where to find useful content and what to ignore on a particular domain or URL. The bot uses these instructions to create a slim and beautiful Instant View representation of the source page.

Today we are launching the Instant View Platform that allows anyone to create their own templates for websites. Like everything else we launch, this platform is completely open. All are welcome to join us in our quest to make the world's information more accessible (in a much more elegant way) to users everywhere!

Start here, check out our samples, then open the Instant View Editor and you‘re ready to rock. Also, here’s the full reference doc in case you want to know everything.

$200,000 Competition for Rule Makers

To get the ball rolling, we're also launching a $200,000 crowdsourcing competition for template makers. If you know a bit of HTML and want to participate, check out the Contest page. The task is easy: choose a website from our list and be the first to come up with the perfect set of rules to parse articles from that site into the Instant View format. Head over to the docs to get started!

For each website that you were the first to describe with an accurate set of rules before the end of the contest, you get $100 from our fund. The one who manages to best describe the most contest domains with their templates will be declared the winner and will get $10,000 on top of the payout from their templates. The second place winner gets a $5,000 prize on top of what they made on successful template submissions.

Winning templates will be used to display Instant View pages to all Telegram users after we approve them.

Even if you don't know anything about HTML or programming, you can help our brave template-makers by finding and reporting issues with their work. If somebody wins with a bit of your help, you may get a share of the reward.

Tips for website owners

If you own a website and want your articles to be viewed natively inside Telegram, simply have a developer add a template for your site.

If you distribute your content via a Telegram channel, you don't even have to wait for us to approve your template. Simply send specially formatted links to your subscribers and they will get Instant View pages based on your template right away.

You can also direct users who view Instant View pages from your site to join your channel on Telegram (more on how to do that):

Join Button

If any of this seems too complicated, just sit back and relax: crowdsourcing will take care of it for you in due time.

One More Thing

In version 4.0 we‘ve added some nifty Instant View settings. You can now view your articles in dark, gray, or sepia-toned environments, as well as adjust the font type and size. The Auto-Night Theme setting will soothe your eyes by automatically showing dark pages when it’s late.

Instant View Settings

When you find something noteworthy on an Instant View page, simply long tap on the paragraph to select it for quickly copying or sharing it with your contacts.

Quick Copy / Share


Good luck making rules, identifying issues, or – if you’re a regular user – happy Instant Viewing!


May 18, 2017
The Telegram Team

Voice Calls: Secure, Crystal-Clear, AI-Powered

Over the past few months, we’ve worked hard to make sure Telegram calls are the best in terms of quality, speed, and security. The wait is over: today Voice Calls are available all over the world in our mobile and desktop apps.

The Voice Call interface is familiar and easy to use, but as always, you get loads of innovation under the hood with Telegram.

Secure

Telegram Calls are built upon the time-tested end-to-end encryption of Telegram's Secret Chats. The key verification UI we came up with in 2013 to protect against man-in-the-middle attacks served well for Telegram (and for other apps that adopted it), but for Calls we needed something easier.

That‘s why we’ve improved the key exchange mechanism. To make sure your call is 100% secure, you and your recipient just need to compare four emoji over the phone. No lengthy codes or complicated pictures!

Key verification

Super-Fast

Whenever possible, your calls will go over a peer-to-peer connection, using the best audio codecs to save traffic while providing crystal-clear quality.

If a peer-to-peer connection can't be established, Telegram will use the closest server to you to connect you with the person you’re calling in the fastest way possible. Unlike other apps, Telegram has a distributed infrastructure all over the world which we’ve already been using to deliver your texts faster than other apps. Now these servers will also be used for calls.

In the coming months, we’ll be expanding our content delivery network around the globe, getting the connection up to light-speed even in remote areas.

AI-Powered

Each time you make a Voice Call on Telegram, a neural network learns from your and your device‘s feedback (naturally, it doesn’t have access to the contents of the conversation, it has only technical information such as network speed, ping times, packet loss percentage, etc.). The machine optimizes dozens of parameters based on this input, improving the quality of future calls on the given device and network.

These parameters can also be adjusted during a conversation if there's a change in your connection. Telegram will adapt and provide excellent sound quality on stable WiFi — or use less data when you walk into a refrigerator with bad reception.

According to our tests, Telegram Calls are already superior to any of our competitors on comparable connections. But the quality of Telegram Calls will further improve as you and others use them, thanks to the built-in machine learning.

Complete Control

If you’re like us, you don’t like to be bothered. On Telegram, you can control who can and who can't call you with granular precision. You can even switch voice calls off altogether, blocking anyone and everyone from calling you.

Privacy settings for calls

By default, Telegram calls are lightweight and automatically adapt to the speed and type of your connection, so as to consume the least data possible. But if you want to reduce your data spending by another 25-30% at the expense of sound quality, you’re welcome to enable the Use Less Data option in Data and Storage Settings.

No Added Calories

Telegram is the most powerful messaging platform out there, but it is also famous for being the easiest one to use. We want to keep things this way, and that’s why by default we won’t clutter your screen with additional tabs and redundant buttons.

Once you start making calls, Telegram for iOS will offer you to add a dedicated tab for calls on the main screen of the app. Alternatively, you can turn the Calls tab on right away from the Recent Calls section in Settings. On Android, the call tab is accessible via the pull-out main menu on the left.

It‘s always easy to make a call, even if you’ve never opened the calls tab. As soon as Voice Calls are enabled for your country, a phone icon will appear on every profile page. You can also call by tapping the top bar in a chat and choosing ‘Call’ on iOS. On Android, the Call button is in the ‘…’ menu at the top.

New call button

One more thing

For those of you who don’t do voice calls, v.3.18 brings something different: direct control over the quality of videos you share. Use this brand-new setting to select the degree of compression before sending a video. For the first time in the history of messaging, you can preview how the recipient will see your video before you send it.

The app will remember the compression rate you selected and will use it by default for your future video uploads.


And that‘s it for today. Stay tuned, there’s always more coming!


March 30, 2017
The Telegram Team

Custom Themes

We believe in freedom. This is why Telegram is a free and open platform – for stickers, for bots, and even for third-party client apps. We believe that if we give you freedom, you’ll know what to do with it.

Starting today, 85% of Telegram users can completely change what Telegram looks like for them. We are rolling out Custom Themes on Android, and will later support them on less popular platforms.

To switch to a different theme or create a new one, go to Settings > Theme. We‘ve included a Dark Theme in that menu for those of you who don’t want to use Telegram as a flashlight in dark places.

The new dark theme

Easy on the eyes

Create Your Own

We've also added a Theme Editor to the app. You can now create new themes and easily share them with other users.

Choose an element

Pick a color

Just like stickers and bots, Telegram themes are part of an open platform, so anybody can create a theme and dazzle the world with new colors and backgrounds. Here's another example of a theme created by our users:

Theme preview: Chats list

Chat screen

Check out the @AndroidThemes and Desktop Themes channels for more new themes made by Telegram users.

If you're using our iOS app, hold on for a couple of weeks. You‘ll get themes eventually, but for now we’re building something different for you – and it’s truly epic.


February 20, 2017
The Telegram Team

Telegram for Android Wear 2.0

Google has just unveiled Android Wear 2.0, the latest in smartwatch platforms. It supports standalone apps, so today we're releasing Telegram for Android Wear 2.0. It‘s everything you’d want from a perfect watch app — compact, beautiful, and super-fast.

Using this tiny yet powerful app, you can browse your chats and quickly reply to messages with voice, text, emoji, or stickers. You can also view your contacts and even create groups right from your watch.

The smartwatch app also supports several themes in different colors. By the way, theme support is coming to our main Android app soon, so stay tuned.

Telegram for Android Wear 2.0 is available for download on Google Play. If you have Android Wear 2.0 installed on your watch, just search for Telegram in the store.


February 9, 2017
The Telegram Team

Telegram Desktop reaches version 1.0 – and it's BEAUTIFUL

Telegram was available for desktops and laptops since 2013. Today it finally graduates to version 1.0 with a fabulous new design.

Consistent material design, great animations, and support for custom themes make Telegram for Windows, Mac, and Linux the tool for messaging from your Mac or PC.

This is what Telegram Desktop 1.0 looks like:

Login Screen

Your Chats

Smooth animations are now everywhere:

Custom Themes

If you're looking for an alternative design, Telegram Desktop also supports customized themes. Anyone can make a theme for Telegram Desktop. This theme, for example, changes green outgoing messages to blue:

And here’s a third-party night mode theme:

What Else Makes Telegram Desktop Cool?

The best thing about Telegram Desktop is that it automatically syncs messages from your phone with your computer using Telegram’s encrypted cloud. Just install it and log in to your account! All your messages, documents, photos and videos will be synced for you from the secure cloud.

Thanks to Cloud Drafts, you can even start typing on your phone, then continue on your desktop when you reach home or work.

Who needs email now? Telegram Desktop is many times faster and handles attachments like a pro. Just share your t.me/username with those who want to reach you.


January 11, 2017
The Telegram Team


P.S. For desktop experiences, we also have Telegram Web and Telegram Mac, but our founder insists that Telegram Desktop is the way to go on all platforms.

P.P.S. If you're looking for an easy way to get your emails right in Telegram, check out this Gmail bot. Helps one to stay in touch with those who insist on using antique methods of communication.

Unsend Messages, Network Usage, and More

Happy new 2017! We hope everybody had a great celebration. We at Telegram certainly did. One of our engineers got so excited about the new year that he mistakenly shared these stickers with his Mom:

Ooops!

To fix this, he quickly added a way to unsend recently sent messages. This smart move saved his morning, and it can still save yours! If you use Telegram v.3.16, you can now unsend any weird messages you shared within the last 48 hours.

Works in groups and PM

Naturally, this isn‘t a one-time feature. After this update, you’ll be able to retract any messages within 48 hours of sending them. Take that, Friday nights!

Network usage

The holiday season is in high swing in many parts of the world, so we figured some of you folks are busy traveling. If that's the case, you may want to check out the new Network Usage section that shows exactly how much data you consumed while in roaming or wi-fi or whatever.

Data and Storage

Network Usage

Don't forget to hop on the hotel wifi before any serious Telegramming in foreign lands. And remember that you can toggle automatic media download in Telegram Settings.

T.me Links

This is the perfect season to meet new people. Want to give them some contact information, but a phone number seems like too much? That's exactly the reason we added usernames and Telegram.me links waaay back in 2014.

Starting today, you can use t.me instead of telegram.me. Take a napkin, write t.me/username in no time, and give it to someone before they can get away!

This also works with channels:
t.me/telegram
Public groups:
t.me/snowballfight
And stickers:
t.me/addstickers/NickSantini

Android Developers Never Sleep

85% of Telegram users are on Android. Our CEO is worried that, if ignored, this Android population can start a rebellion and dethrone him. To please the mob, he made us introduce the following features to the Android app:

  • Messages from one sender are now neatly grouped together, and scrolling up shows the date right away, making the chats easier to navigate.
  • The app now restores your previous scroll position when you switch back to a chat. Very useful when somebody sends you a saga in 1,000 messages, and you want to patiently read them in the right order.

That's the date up there

  • Sharing files (a feature we had since forever) has become easier because you see a list of recently downloaded files right on the sharing screen.

Recently downloaded files

  • We now support GBoard, the Google keyboard that can apparently send cat GIFs.
  • And for those 2 users that already have Android 7.1 installed, we are happy to announce that we've added a fast action menu with frequent chats to your home screen. All hail the early adopters!
  • Back to the important stuff: the cowboy, the clown, and the sick face emoji (also known as the ‘exfoliating green tea mask face’ emoji) have found their way to Android. We support all of them now.

New emoji

What do these emoji mean? When are you supposed to use them? Is the singular form of ‘emoji’ in fact ‘emojus’? To answer all these questions with utmost accuracy, we've also added support for this one:


January 3, 2017
The Telegram Team

Meet the Telegraph API for Logins and Stats

Last month, we launched Telegra.ph, a minimalist publishing tool that allows you to create richly formatted posts and push them to the Web in just a click.

We tried to keep Telegraph‘s interface as simple as possible: there’s no need to log in or navigate menus. You just open telegra.ph, write your post, hit publish, and it's live.

Yes, it's that simple

Better with Bots

This simplicity has its price of course. Sometimes you want to edit your articles on several devices or stay logged in to avoid having to write your name and profile link under each new title. If any of this sounds familiar, meet our new @Telegraph bot.

This simple bot will help you log in and manage your Telegraph posts across any number of devices. In addition, it can give you page view statistics for any post on Telegraph. Just send it a link and watch the numbers roll in.

A Time to Gather Stones

If you have created some Telegraph posts in the past using browsers on your different devices, the @Telegraph bot helps unite them all under your rule.

A time to log in

And a time to gather posts

Simply press the Log in on this device button, and all posts you‘ve previously written in that device’s browser will be added to your Telegraph account.

Telegraph API

Mind you, Telegraph is not intended just for Telegram users. Anyone can use this dead-simple publishing tool. For those who are suffering the constraints of other messengers and can't enjoy the comfort offered by the @Telegraph bot, we have created an open Telegraph API.

Using the Telegraph API, any developer can create bots like @Telegraph for any other platform, or even standalone interfaces.

Here's the full documentation, in case you're interested.

Meanwhile, allow us to return to our coding dungeons where we're brewing another update to our apps for you this year.


December 20, 2016
The Telegram Team

Pinned Chats and IFTTT Integrations

If you’re like us, you probably have dozens of active chats on Telegram. But none of them matter when you miss a new message from your Mom. Or Spouse. Or Mad Boss. Today we’re launching Telegram 3.15, which allows you to pin important conversations to the top of your inbox.

This feature is also valuable for teams that coordinate their work over Telegram. Pinned chats offer an easy way of keeping work-related chats reachable in a predictable order whenever you open Telegram.

To pin a chat, long tap on it (swipe left on iOS) and select Pin. Easy! You can pin up to 5 chats to the top (plus 5 secret chats).

IFTTT (If This Then That)

Starting today, you can link your Telegram account with more than 360 other services by setting up “If This Then That” integrations (or “Applets”). This works with anything from social networks like Twitter and Instagram, to productivity tools like Gmail or Pocket, entertainment apps like Spotify or Pinterest, cloud services like Dropbox or Google Drive, and Internet of Things devices like Nest, LIFX, or Philips Hue.

Telegram is the first messaging app to be fully integrated with IFTTT. Unlike most services, we allow two-way interactions: You can control other services via Telegram, or receive notifications and content like photos and videos when they do something.

You can also invite the @IFTTT bot to any of your groups so members can collaboratively interact with your services or devices.

To get started, talk to the @IFTTT bot, then enable some Applets or create your own. Since the IFTTT platform supports over 360 services, endless combinations are possible. Here are just a few examples:

Check out the IFTTT website for a full list of existing Telegram Applets and don’t hesitate to create your own.

Making Android Great Again, Part 2

Remember our promise to Make Android Great Again? We were serious. In Telegram 3.15 for Android, we bring you three great features: High-precision rotation and cropping in the photo editor, a new player for Youtube videos with Picture-In-Picture mode, and forwarding messages and media to secret chats.

1. At long last, you can make that horizon look horizontal. Rotate your photos by any small number of degrees in the updated photo editor.

Rotate and Crop

2. Want to continue chatting while watching a YouTube video? Tap the Picture-In-Picture icon in the new sleek video player for YouTube/Vimeo links. The video will shrink, and you can drag it around the screen so that it doesn't get in the way. The new video player also toggles fullscreen mode when you rotate your phone accordingly.

Picture-In-Picture

3. Secret Chats are the most secure way to share data on Planet Earth, and it is only natural they don’t let you forward stuff from them. However, they don’t restrict you from importing texts and media into them. With Telegram 3.15 for Android, you can forward messages and media from Cloud Chats and Channels to Secret Chats.

We know many of you got a bit addicted to Telegram updates, and keep asking us for more. We're happy to oblige. Stay tuned for more updates coming this December!



December 7, 2016
The Telegram Team