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.
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 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.
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!
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.
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):
If any of this seems too complicated, just sit back and relax: crowdsourcing will take care of it for you in due time.
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.
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.
Good luck making rules, identifying issues, or – if you’re a regular user – happy Instant Viewing!
May 18, 2017
The Telegram Team