Introducing Inline Bots

Bots became an integral part of Telegram for many users, but communication with them wasn't always easy. You had to send them messages in separate chats or add them to your groups. Today we are introducing a quicker way to contact bots.

With the new inline mode, bots become omnipresent and can be used as a tool in any of your chats, groups or channels – it doesn't matter, whether the bot is a member or not. Inline bots can help you with dozens of different tasks, like quickly sending relevant GIFs, pictures from the Web, YouTube videos, Wikipedia articles, etc.

How does it work?

We've created several sample bots for you to try out: @gif, @vid, @pic, @bing, @wiki, @imdb and @bold. To see them in action, simply type one of their @usernames in the message field in any chat, then type some keywords. The bot will offer you relevant content.

Tap on an item to instantly send it to the chat. This way you can share stuff from bots without any hassle. Inline bots don't see any messages in your chats – they only receive what you type after their username in the input field.

Tap on ‘via @username’ to send a new request to the bot. Recently used inline bots will also show up in the suggestion box when you type @ in the input field in any chat.

A new dimension for bots

Like pretty much everything else at Telegram, inline bots are part of an open platform, available for free to every developer in the world starting today. Hundreds of new inline bots are sure to arrive once developers start supporting the new mode.

If you are a developer, take a look at our Introduction to Inline Bots. Also, feel free to subscribe to our official @BotNews channel to stay up to date on platform news.

The Telegram Team,
January 4, 2016