This May, we've launched our Instant View Platform and a $200,000 competition to create templates — sets of instructions that tell our bot how to turn an article on a given website into a slick Instant View page.
Instant View pages load in a blink of an eye and support images, videos, and other media. They also work great even if the source website isn't optimized for mobile devices.
Today we are launching Instant View for 2,274 more websites thanks to the hard work of our contest winners, who will receive $251,664 as prizes before August, 31.
To get a glimpse of the new world, just send a link from one of the websites on this list via Telegram and you'll see an Instant View button right below. Tap this button to instantly get an elegantly formatted page — no need to wait for your browser to load.
This Instant View celebration was made possible by the participants of our first contest — and now it's time to celebrate them. Hundreds of coders from more than 20 countries came together to create a total of 37,507 templates from which our brave admins chose the winning versions.
There was a $100 reward for each template that won for its respective domain and we've also assigned three bonus prizes to those who created the most winning templates. We congratulate the winners and all the participants on their achievements!
Users Pavel T. and Chuchu shared the first place with 40 winning templates each. The first prize of $10,000 will be split, so that each is getting a bonus of $5,000 in addition to the rewards for their templates.
Yuri Panarin took the second place with 38 templates and earns the silver prize of $5,000.
The user φ came in third with 35 templates and gets the bronze prize of $2,500.
The results are 100% transparent. You can view all template versions for all websites, inspect any issue and see all the comments and appeals as well as every decision taken by the Telegram admins.
The Web evolves swiftly and all templates will need periodic adjustments to stay up to date. If you see a problem with an Instant View page you're viewing, scroll all the way down to find a link to our @previews bot.
If you report a problem to the bot, he‘ll send it on to the template creator who should be able to fix it. Please note that our heroic template creators don’t work for Telegram and can't help you with general inquires — try our in-app Support for those. (Or, better yet, join the TSF today!)
This contest and the first 2,274 domains are just the beginning. We will extend and upgrade our Instant View Platform based on what we've learned on the first part of this journey — and will launch a new contest in the coming months.
Join our @IVcontest channel to get updates on the IV ecosystem.
And have fun with Instant View!
August 4, 2017
The Instant View Team
Telegram 4.2 is here! We have completely redesigned our photo editing tools, and it takes you even fewer taps to make your photos look amazing. In addition, you can now set a self-destruct timer for any photos and videos you share in private chats.
If you set a timer, the countdown starts the moment your recipient opens the photo or video you sent. After the time runs out, the photo/video will disappear forever, just like in Secret Chats.
If the recipient tries to make a screenshot of your disappearing media, you’ll get a notification immediately.
Starting today, you can add a bio to your profile by typing a few words about yourself in Settings. Every time you stumble upon new users in large groups you might want to learn more about them. That's where bios can help.
On top of this, as of 4.2, Telegram apps will rely on a CDN (distributed network) to cache publicly available photos and videos posted in massive channels (100,000+ members). This will result in significantly higher download speeds for tens of millions of Telegram users around the world. Check out this post to learn more about how we managed to do it in a slick and secure way.
Stickers are now easier to use as you can enlarge the scrolling area. More legroom for your emotions!
July 23, 2017
The Telegram Team
We at Telegram love to build sophisticated technologies that combine speed with security. Starting with Telegram 4.2, we support CDN caching. CDNs are third-party caching nodes that we’ll use to cache publicly available videos and photos posted in massive channels (say, with 100,000+ subscribers) for users in remote locations where Telegram is popular.
This will increase download speeds for tens of millions of users as CDN caching allows data to travel shorter distances and helps avoid bottlenecks that exist between regions.
While these caching nodes are only used to temporarily store public media (imagine Telegram versions of superpopular YouTube hits), all data that goes through them is encrypted with a key unknown to the caching nodes. In other words, we treat these CDN caching nodes just like we treat your internet provider – they only ever get encrypted junk they can't decipher.
If you're interested in the technical details, feel free to check out this page that describes the relevant encryption and security checks. And as always – the updated source code for the Telegram apps is open and available for your scrutiny. Security experts are welcome to verify the implementation of CDNs based on the open source code we make available for all of our apps.
Thanks to this technology, the download speed for public photos and videos in places like South America, Turkey, Indonesia, India, Iran or Iraq will significantly increase without the slightest compromise in security.
Stay safe (and fast)!
July 23, 2017
The Telegram Team
With Telegram 4.1, we're increasing the maximum size of supergroups to 10,000 members each. That’s a lot of people packed into one group, and now users and admins can use search to find specific users among them:
Admins can also search for members in their channels.
With groups as big as 10,000 people – the size of a decent small town – you may be looking for some more powerful management tools. And that’s exactly what Telegram 4.1 gives you.
You can now add admins with specific sets of privileges to help you run your community. Choose who among your trusted admins will be able to add new users, manage messages, block members, edit group info, or even add new admins.
Admins who don’t want to completely ban members from their supergroups can now partially restrict their rights in order to stop behavior that's causing problems. You can put nasty users into read-only mode or maybe stop them from sending stickers or media for a certain period of time. Now you can do all of this with absolute precision:
Even robots can get in on the fun. With Bot API version 3.1, you can use admin bots to automatically impose temporary or permanent bans based on member actions. Check out the docs here to start building your robotic police force today.
When multiple admins are working with one group, it’s easy to get confused about which admin did what and when (or which admin bot has gone Skynet on your members). That’s why we've added a “Recent Actions” section to the admins page. This section stores a log of all service actions taken in the group in the last 48 hours and is visible to admins only.
Recent actions in supergroups also show messages that were deleted in the last 48 hours and the original versions of edited messages for the same period, so nasty behavior like self-deleted spam will no longer help anyone escape the admins’ wrath.
In other news, Telegram 4.1 for iOS brings you an improved sharing extension. When sharing stuff from other apps to Telegram you can add an optional comment and select multiple recipients easily. 3D Touch on the app icon to see some new actions, including taking a photo/video and sending it to multiple recipients.
On Android, Telegram 4.1. gets you Android Pay support for Bot Payments and improved media selection – photos and videos are now shown together when sharing from the attachment menu or gallery.
This update also features anti-censorship tools such as the ability to set up a Proxy server in the “Data and Storage” section of the Settings.
We believe in free and secure communication. It’s our responsibility to offer technology to defend our users’ right to privacy and freedom of speech around the world.
June 30, 2017
The Telegram Team
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.
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:
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.
Whenever you post a video message to a public channel, it will also be uploaded to Telesco.pe and have a public URL there.
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?
May 18, 2017,
The Telegram Team
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.
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!
At launch, most of the payments were 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.
UPD, 14.06.2017: Bot developers can now process payments from more than 200 countries via the global payment provider Paymentwall.
UPD, 01.09.2017: Rave by Flutterwave is now available, which is especially helpful for developers in Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, South Africa, and Uganda.
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.
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.
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
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 (now $315,000!) 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!
P.S. Follow @IVContest to get the latest updates about the contest.
May 18, 2017
The Telegram Team
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
We've also added a Theme Editor to the app. You can now create new themes and easily share them with other users.
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:
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
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