On this page, we've compiled a Brief History of Telegram. It ended up rather on the 'humongous' side of 'brief' – but that's what you get for never, ever, ever updating the app with a description like 'contains bug fixes and minor improvements'.
For some reason, we started writing this backwards – from the latest update to the primordial summer of 2013. And then it was too late to change the order because the guy who compiled the post said he would go on a hunger strike if we tried.
The Telegram Emoji Platform was introduced, allowing animated emoji that move in messages and captions. Any users can create custom emoji packs for Telegram Premium users.
Premium users received a new privacy setting to restrict voice and video messages, as well as the ability to give Telegram Premium as a gift – at a discount.
On Telegram since August 12, 2022:
Telegram reached a new milestone – celebrating over 700 million active users. To help support the app's continued development, Telegram Premium was launched – a subscription service that unlocks powerful, exclusive features.
Premium users gained the ability to upload 4 GB files and download files faster, as well as doubled limits and advanced chat management options. They also got access to Premium stickers with full-screen effects and several unique reactions. A new button was added to voice messages, which Premium subscribers could tap to transcribe the audio.
This update also included changes for all Telegram users – like enabling join requests for public groups, as well as several app-specific features.
On Telegram since June 19, 2022:
- 700 Million Users
- Telegram Premium
- 4 GB Files
- Faster Downloads
- Premium Stickers
- Premium Reactions
- Voice-to-Text Conversion
- Default Chat Folder
- Animated Profile Pictures
- Premium Badges
- Premium App Icons
- Join Requests for Public Groups
- ProMotion Support
- Animated Profile Picture Creator
Since this update, any short audio file or voice message can be used as a custom notification tone and assigned to any chats.
Temporary mute durations were expanded – adding the option to mute notifications for a specfic duration.
Reply context was added to forwarded messages – now showing which messages are in reply to others.
Actively downloading media and files were given a new tab in Search – where users can pause, resume and prioritize their active downloads.
The attachment menu received a preview window – after selecting multiple items, you can drag to reorder them or change your selection.
This update also added support for phone number links, making it easy to contact a business or user (depending on their privacy settings).
A new sticker format was added based on .webm videos, letting anyone create high-detail animations or convert their favorite GIFs – without needing specialized software.
When moving between chats or jumping through unread channels, users gained the ability to return to a specific chat by holding the ‘Back’ button.
Telegram’s unique interactive emoji became available as reactions – giving users the ability to directly share their feelings on messages.
Spoiler formatting was introduced, allowing anyone to hide parts of a message under a special animation.
Message translation was brought to Settings > Language, adding a dedicated button to translate any message directly in the app.
Customizable QR codes were included for all public usernames – including users, groups, channels and bots – to quickly share a chat in any app.
On Telegram since December 30, 2021:
A new setting was added to Groups and Channels that allows creators to keep their content exclusive by restricting message forwarding – while also preventing screenshots and limiting the ability to save media.
The option to delete all messages from a day or range of dates was added to 1-on-1 chats, giving users a way to clear specific sections of chat history.
The Devices menu in Settings was fully redesigned, including a new auto-logout timer for inactive sessions and the ability to toggle whether a specific device can accept incoming calls or Secret Chats.
In Public Groups and Channel Comments, users were given the choice to send messages anonymously – appearing as one of their public channels instead of their personal account.
On Telegram since December 7, 2021:
Accelerated scrolling and pinch to zoom for media thumbnails were added to Shared Media to find past photos, videos, files (and more) even faster. Tapping the date bar opens a calendar view, with media previews for each date.
Join requests let group and channel admins confirm new members before they are allowed join. This creates new options for communities – like a special superfans chat or super-secret channel.
On Telegram since November 3, 2021:
It became possible to set different themes for individual private chats – for both participants. The release included 8 new themes, each with their own day and night versions, gradient message bubbles, animated backgrounds, and unique patterns.
Nonverbal communication got a boost with interactive emoji: tapping on animated versions of or launches fullscreen effects that appear simultaneously for both chat partners. Vibrations are also synched, so you can almost touch someone's hand – even if you're far apart.
A new Seen By field was added to outgoing messages in smaller Group Chats, allowing you to see which members have read it. To protect privacy, these read receipts are stored only for 7 days.
The ability to record video came to Live Streams and Video Chats, so communities can save and share anything from online lectures to rock concerts. You can choose to record the video file in portrait or landscape orientation, and the file is instantly uploaded to your Saved Messages once you stop recording.
On Telegram since September 19, 2021:
Live video with unlimited viewers became available for both groups and channels. Voice chats were, consequently, renamed to Video Chats (in groups) and Live Streams (in channels).
Forwarding became even more flexible with new options: a preview window that shows how messages will appear after they are forwarded and lets you hide sender names from messages or remove captions from media.
Channels became easier to navigate. Swiping up at the bottom of the channel brings you to the next unread channel. Catching up with the news is now possible without going back to the chat list.
On Telegram since August 31, 2021:
Group Video Calls could now have up to 1000 viewers (previously 30), in addition to unlimited audio-only listeners.
Video Messages got a brand new look – recording in higher resolution with options to expand the message and fast-**forward** or rewind while watching. Additionally, audio from your device would continue playing while you recorded, and you could zoom in when recording with the rear camera.
Screen Sharing was added to 1-on-1 video calls (previously existed in groups), and included sound from the users device when broadcasting in both individual and group video calls.
On Telegram since July 30, 2021:
Animated Chat Backgrounds were added to all default themes – moving beautifully with each message. Users could pick from dozens of presets or create their own custom backgrounds with 3 or 4 colors in the theme editor.
New sending animations were given to stickers and emoji, making them jump from the keyboard to the chat.
A menu button was created for chats with bots, displaying all its commands as well as placeholders to give users an example of what to send. Bot developers also got the ability to display flexible lists of commands that change based on a user’s language, chat type, admin status and more.
We released an API to help developers build tools that let users import stickers from other apps, or easily make stickers from their own content.
On Telegram since June 25, 2021:
Group Video Calls came to Telegram, adding video to (now awkwardly named) voice chats in groups. Users could turn on their camera or share their screen from any device – including tablets and desktop.
Tablets and Desktops got custom display options – including an expanding side panel for split-screen mode. Desktop also offered selective screensharing, letting users choose a specific program to broadcast.
Noise supression was implemented in voice chats, eliminating background noise and boosting audio quality on all devices.
On Telegram since June 25, 2021
Payments were first supported in chats with Telegram bots in 2017. This time, merchants received the ability to accept credit cards in any Telegram chat using one of 8 integrated payment providers. Telegram doesn't store credit card info and charges no commission.
Voice Chats were further improved with scheduling, showing a countdown timer and allowing users to get a notification when the chat starts.
Two new web versions were launched, adding full support for features like animated stickers, chat folders and dark mode. Both work well in desktop and mobile browsers.
On Telegram since April 26, 2021:
Voice Chats first appeared in Telegram groups in December 2020. Three months later they became available in channels, with support for millions of live listeners.
Admins got the option to record voice chats and create instant podcasts, as well as choose titles for their voice chats and add users via specific Speaker and Listener links. Muted listeners could raise their hand to let admins know they wanted a turn to speak.
Public figures, celebrities and other users who prefer to keep their personal accounts hidden got the ability to join voice chats as one of their channels.
On Telegram since March 19, 2021:
Telegram has had self-destructing messages since 2013 in Secret Chats, but this update added an auto-delete timer for any chat to erase messages either 24 hours or 7 days after sending.
Two customizable home screen widget styles became available for both Android and iOS, giving users the option to show previews of recent messages on their home screen, or shortcuts to chats.
Invite links for groups and channels were upgraded, allowing for additional links with a limited duration or number of uses that can also be converted into QR codes.
Broadcast Groups were introduced, allowing large communities to have unlimited members. Only admins can send messages in Broadcast Groups, but everyone can still read along and join voice chats.
On Telegram since February 23, 2021
Over 100 million new users joined Telegram within one month, bringing their friends and families with them. After January's update, they could also bring their old message histories from other apps. Users can now import messages and media from apps like WhatsApp, Line and KakaoTalk.
In addition to deleting messages for both sides without a trace (2019), call history, and groups users created could also be deleted for all participants at any time. While secret chat messages disappeared for both sides since 2013, this update made it possible to remove entire Secret Chats from the chat lists of both participants.
Voice Chats got two improvements: users could see active voice chats from their groups at the top of the Call History page, and got the ability to adjust the volume of individual participants inside the chat.
This update also improved the audio player, accessibility, and added the ability to report fake groups and channels impersonating famous people or organizations.
On Telegram since January 28, 2021
We closed the year by adding a new dimension to groups with Voice Chats – persistent conference calls that run in parallel to existing text and media-based communication in the group. Voice Chats add a live layer of ephemeral talk to the group and can be used as virtual office spaces or informal lounges for any community.
Android users got an option to use their SD Card for storing Telegram data. iOS users received support for Siri's Announce Messages feature. iOS and Android caught up with each other to offer equal opportunities for
drawing moustaches on selfies editing photos and other media.
We've unveiled a public platform for suggesting features and reporting issues at bugs.telegram.org.
Pavel Durov also presented a strategy for making Telegram sustainable for decades to come.
On Telegram since December 23, 2020
Pinned Messages were upgraded, allowing for multiple pinned messages in all chats, including one-on-one chats.
Distance Alerts were added to live locations, giving users the option to receive a notification when another location-sharing user gets close. The map icons were updated as well, to show which way a user is facing.
Playlist and album support was added for files – sending multiple audio tracks will create a playlist, while sending multiple files creates an album.
Channel Statistics were expanded to include detailed metrics about reach and engagement for individual posts in a channel.
On Telegram since October 30, 2020
Global Search received new filters: typing a chat name or time period adds filters by date and source, and media tabs at the top of the screen sort results by type, like Files or Links.
Support for Anonymous Admins was added to groups. When enabled, the admin’s name is hidden in the list of group members and their messages are signed with the group name instead, similar to channel posts.
Comments were added to Channels with a linked discussion group. Subscribers will see a comment button under each post, where they can share their thoughts on the latest updates. To try channel comments, head over to @durov.
On Telegram since September 30, 2020:
In celebration of Telegram’s 7th Anniversary and its status as one of the world's top 10 apps, the first version of Video Calls was launched for Telegram’s mobile and desktop platforms.
All video calls are secured with end-to-end encryption and support picture-in-picture mode, so users can search and send messages without closing the call.
On Telegram since August 14, 2020:
Users got the option to add motion pictures to their profile page with Profile Videos. People Nearby was improved to make finding friends in your local community even easier.
For users who receive a notable number of messages from non-contacts, a switch was added to automatically archive and mute new chats from people not in their contacts.
The update also included a series of expanded features: the upload size for media and files was increased to 2 GB (previously 1.5 GB), detailed statistics became available for large groups, and the default icons used in the chat list for photos, videos and links were replaced with mini-thumbnails of the sent media.
On Telegram since July 26, 2020:
The photo editor was tranformed into a universal media editor – adding the ability to edit and enhance visuals for video, put animated stickers on any media, and zoom in when drawing or decorating (just to name a few).
The GIF panel got upgraded, adding emoji-based sections and a Trending tab for the most relevant and popular expressions. To make them even easier to search and scroll through, loading times were greatly improved.
On Telegram since June 4, 2020:
To celebrate 400 million active users, the sticker panel was revamped, allowing users to scroll and search through thousands of popular stickers from professional artists.
The Quiz Polls introduced in January 2020 received new tools geared toward educational tests, including explanations and a timer animation. With the need for online learning tools at a new high, a €400K contest was announced to help build a platform for educational tests on Telegram.
On Telegram since April 24, 2020:
While the world locked down during the COVID-19 pandemic, Health Ministries began creating Telegram channels to keep their citizens informed of the latest updates. To help facilitate the spread of accurate information, the channel verification process was streamlined with a new @VerifyBot and a directory was created to help users find official coronavirus news sources for their country.
On Telegram since April 3, 2020:
Expanding on Archived Chats from 2019, Chat Folders were added that let users filter their chat list into custom categories. Folders support unlimited pins, and sync across all devices on the account to keep everything organized.
Channel Stats were also introduced, giving channels with more than 1000 subscribers analytics and graphs to track post performance and overall growth.
On Telegram since March 2020:
This Valentine-themed update made it easier to make friends and view media. Profile pages were redesigned with instant access to Shared Media and users got the option to flip through photos and videos simply by tapping on them.
People Nearby was updated so users could make themselves visible to others in their area, displaying their profile even if they closed the app (until they selected ‘Stop Showing Me’).
On Telegram since February 2020:
Focused on polls, the first update of 2020 added plenty of ways to get competitive – or organized - in groups and channels. Polls 2.0 introduced options to show users’ votes and the ability to select more than one answer, as well as quiz-style polls, complete with a platform for making quizzes.
On Telegram since January 2020:
The Theme Editor leveled up to 2.0, adding gradient colors, new background patterns and more default color schemes. Scheduled Messages were expanded with a setting to send when your recipient comes online. Android and iOS both got a slew of other usability and design upgrades.
On Telegram since December 2019:
The end of summer brought scheduled messages and reminders to better keep track of important tasks and appointments. On the visual side, shareable Custom Cloud Themes came to all platforms, along with more animated emoji.
An important privacy option was added for those who need it most – Who Can Find Me By My Phone Number. This new setting can prevent random users (or government organizations) from being able to match a number from their device's contacts to your Telegram account.
On Telegram since September 2019:
The August update brought a way to send silent messages – which result in a notification without sound. We also added custom titles and a slow mode for group admins.
Following the success of animated stickers, this update also introduced animated emoji for , , , and . More followed.
On Telegram since August 2019:
The July update introduced animated stickers. We managed to achieve a smooth 60 FPS at just 20-30 KB per sticker. Animated stickers consume less bandwith than static ones and less battery than GIFs, while commanding more attention than the two combined.
These stickers are powered with uranium and dreams and are guaranteed to keep going forever.
On Telegram since July 2019:
The June update focused on making it easier to add people to contacts. A universal Add button was introduced to all new chats, making it possible to add users to contacts even if you don't know their number yet.
A new Add People Nearby section was created to quickly exchange numbers with people close to you. The new section also allows creating location-based public chats.
On Telegram since June 2019:
The second May update made Telegram Privacy Settings even more flexible. You can add whole groups to 'Never Share' or 'Always Share' exceptions. Settings will adjust automatically as people join and leave the groups.
On Telegram, your phone number was never visible to random people in groups, the default being 'My Contacts'. This update offered even more control via Settings > Privacy & Security > Phone Number.
The update also introduced an easier way to integrate web services with Telegram, adding one-tap authorization via bots. Last but not least, it offered two new ways of adding comments to channels – via Comments.app and connected discussion groups. (We didn't start the flame war.)
On Telegram since May 31, 2019:
The first May update introduced Archived Chats. Unmuted chats pop out of the archive with the next incoming message – but muted chats stay archived forever (or until they generate a notification via a mention or reply). An unlimited number of chats can be pinned in the archive.
Android design got a major overhaul. Aside from the visual improvements, this update added a three-lines-per-chat view option for the Android chat list (similar to the iOS default), as well as bulk actions in the chats list to easily delete, archive or mute multiple chats at once.
On Telegram since May 9, 2019:
Before the March update, you could delete your messages within 48 hours of sending them. As of this update, you can delete any message you've ever sent or received in any private chat, there's no time limit. This also applies to clearing entire chats. The deleted messages don't leave a mark in the chat.
This update also introduced a setting for Anonymous Forwards, allowing you to control when messages forwarded from your account link back to it. This way people you chat with have no verifiable proof you ever sent them anything.
On Telegram since March 2019:
Following the February update, smaller videos start playing without sound when they reach your screen. Pressing the volume buttons on your device unmutes them.
This update also introduced presets for autodownload settings to switch between Low, Medium, High and Custom data consumption in a few taps. Default settings for data usage have become more generous but depend on the affordability of mobile data in each particular country.
As of this update, iOS users can also log in to Telegram with multiple accounts from one app, easily switch between them and get notifications. Support for multiple accounts was added to Android in December 2017.
On Telegram since February 2019
The second update in January brought chat wallpapers to version 2.0, adding support for motion and blur effects, plain color backgrounds and patterns, as well as an option to share backgrounds via links and find new ones in search.
For those who appreciate art history, the classical Telegram backgrounds which were used at launch can be found here.
On Telegram since January 31, 2019
The first January update brought group permissions, allowing admins to restrict all members from posting specific kinds of content or even from messaging altogether. The maximum size for groups was doubled to 200,000 members.
The update also added an 'Undo' option after deleting chats or clearing history. It's like a time machine, but with fewer paradoxes.
On Telegram since January 21, 2019
As of the second update from December '18, Telegram users can create polls in groups and channels, letting group members vote anonymously.
On Telegram since December 22, 2018
This first December update in 2018 revolutionized app interfaces, adding custom languages – whether that's Māori, Scottish Gaelic or Transliterated Klingon. Qapla'. Users can share translated language packs with dedicated sharing links.
Everyday be talk like a pirate day if ye've downloaded the pirate speak chest. Babel fish now optional.
On Telegram since December 10, 2018
Telegram for iOS was rebuilt from scratch for this update – using the Swift programming language. The new client is slicker, faster and more battery-friendly. If the old Telegram was a race car, this one is a race car with jet engines and a well-caffeinated driver.
New badge counter settings were added on iOS, allowing users to exclude messages from muted chats or count unread chats instead of messages.
The native macOS client added swipe gestures to navigate interfaces. MacBook Pro owners got touch bar support.
On Telegram since October 2018
This update brought an easy way to download copies of your chats, including photos and other media using Telegram Desktop. August '18 also saw the birth of Notification Exceptions – a way to customize notification settings for particular users.
On Telegram since August 2018
Telegram Passport was launched as a unified authorization service for ICOs, financial services and other platforms based on real-life ID. You no longer have to upload scans of your ID each time a different service requires it.
On Telegram since July 2018
The June '18 update brought the ability to replace photos and videos when editing messages – in case you accidentally sent a picture of your lunch instead of the company's new logo.
As of this update, voice and video messages can be played at 2x speed and users can mark chats as read or unread.
On Telegram since June 2018:
Since they were introduced, stickers have become a key method of communication for many Telegram users. As of this update, users can search for new sticker packs.
I'm not addicted to sending stickers. I can stop any time.
Telegram has never been promoted with ads, so every user joined because they were invited by others. Telegram is more than a messaging app, it's the idea that everyone on the planet has a right to be free.
On Telegram since March 2018:
Two updates were launched on February 6, 2018.
This was when the apps got streaming support, allowing you to view videos without waiting for them to fully download. This update also introduced auto-night mode for Android users, shielding weary eyes from bright light when browsing memes in bed.
Another update introduced the Telegram Login Widget for external websites, empowering businesses to use Telegram bots to automate anything from customer support to accepting payments or tracking shipments.
On Telegram since February 2018
Two updates were launched on January 31, 2018.
Two Telegram X clients were unveiled as alternatives to the main iOS and Android apps – built from the ground up to be faster and easier to use, while featuring smooth animations and a sleek design. Telegram X for iOS has since become the native client on iPhones around the world.
The Telegram Database Library helps developers make their own versions of Telegram – and was used to create Telegram X for Android. TDLib handles network implementation, encryption, and local storage, giving third-party developers more time to focus on the fun parts of app design. All the API methods are fully documented and the code is available on GitHub.
On Telegram since January 2018
Themes came to iOS, with simple 'Day' and 'Night' options. We considered adding a 'Twilight' option but it got sabotaged by lovesick vampires and werewolves.
Android added support for multiple accounts, to quickly switch between up to three profiles (or personalities) without logging out.
On Telegram since December 2017
Albums and Saved Messages came to Telegram in November as a way to cut down on clutter and keep things organized. Multiple media items could be sent as one message, neatly arranged instead of filling up the chat with individual messages and multiple notifications.
Saved Messages brought bookmarks and personal storage, giving users the ability to forward messages there for later reference.
On Telegram since November 2017
October '17 expanded location sharing to include a live feed, useful for finding your friends or seeing how far they are from a destination. The interactive maps support multiple users, so your entire group can share their locations and see each other in one place.
Telegram also expanded its localization, launching the Translations Platform for users to refine the currently-available translations.
On Telegram since October 2017
Keeping track of replies and mentions was streamlined in August’s update, adding the new '@' badge to the chat list, and '@' button inside chats to jump from mention to mention.
The option to set favorite stickers was added, while groups got the ability to choose official sticker sets.
On Telegram since August 2017
July’s update added a self-destruct timer for photos and videos to give users the option to send disappearing media in Private Chats.
To help say a little more about themselves, user profiles were given a bio section.
On Telegram since July 2017
Groups leveled up in June '17, increasing the maximum members to 10,000 and introducing a suite of new tools to manage the masses.
Admin permissions became individual, allowing for specific privileges. So did members’, meaning people could be put under custom restrictions for acting up.
The Recent Actions page was added for admins, showing a summary of all notable group activity within the past 48 hours.
On Telegram since June 2017
Three updates were released on May 18, 2017.
Video Messages and Telescope
Just in time for Summer, video messages were introduced to add another dimension to chats and channels.
Instant View grew into a platform for reformatting articles from the Web into lightweight, uniform pages which instantly open in Telegram, rather than a browser. A contest to create new templates was launched.
Payments for Bots
Bot payments joined the pool party as well, so users could pay for goods and services right in the app.
On Telegram since May 2017
March '17 brought voice calls to Telegram, featuring end-to-end encryption, crisp sound and incredible speed.
The video editor received a compression slider to change the quality at which a video is sent.
On Telegram since March 2017
Custom themes first came to the Android phone app, along with a theme editor, giving users the ability to recolor individual elements and share their creations with others.
Telegram Desktop, first launched in January '14, reached version 1.0, with a new design, refined animations and custom theme support, in addition to all its earlier features.
The GMail bot made its debut as well, allowing users to condense all their communications into one platform.
Telegram came to wrists with its Android Wear 2.0 version, featuring fully-functional messaging capability, plus added themes to keep things chic.
On Telegram since February 2017
Telegram rang in the New Year with a completely new feature - the ability to unsend messages sent within the past 48 hours.
To keep track of users' data consumption, Network Usage was added to Settings.
On Telegram since January 2017
The Telegraph API opened to the public in the final update of 2016. Publishing and organizing articles gained automated support with the new @Telegraph bot.
On Telegram since December 20, 2016
Conversation management became easier with the option to pin chats to the top of the chat list.
IFTTT integration was introduced to help link Telegram to over 360 services at launch. This gives users control over their accounts on other services straight from the Telegram app – including social media, mail clients and even things like smart appliances or other devices.
On Telegram since December 7, 2016
Instant View came in November 2016, instantly loading articles and web pages all inside the Telegram app. Added in the same update, the Telegraph platform is a minimalist word processor compatible with Instant View, designed for quickly publishing documents and articles.
On Telegram since November 2016
This is where wide full-color illustrations for our blog posts end – or begin, depending on which direction you just came from.
With winter not far off, Telegram introduced a Games platform that allows users to play games through bots. Players get the chance to challenge friends, while creators have an easy and accessible way to bring their game ideas to life.
On Telegram since October 2016
In September '16, the time came to improve Telegram's Photo Editor with fun new decorations like masks, text, stickers and drawings. Additionally, the video editor added the ability to make GIFs out of videos by tapping its new 'Mute' button.
On Telegram since September 2016
A Trending Stickers option was added so popular sticker packs can be easily found and added to one's collection. Groups received previews so prospective members can see what they're about and who's in them before joining the party.
On Telegram since August 2016
June '16 brought cross-platform cloud drafts, syncing your unfinished messages across devices. Since then, users have been able to start typing on one device and finish on another. For more multitasking, Picture-in-Picture support was added to let users work and watch simultaneously.
On Telegram since June 2016
Fast typers rejoiced as the ability to edit sent messages was introduced in all chats. Mentions were expanded to include users without usernames, and Bots were given their own space in the attachment menu for easy access.
On Telegram since May 2016
Instant camera was added so users could snap and send photos faster, saving the extra thumb-work to make sure the moment is captured.
On Telegram since April 28, 2016
Starting in April 2016, inline bots no longer require you to use a keyboard. These software-controlled friends now immediately present clickable options to get results with no typing required. They were also integrated with services like YouTube and Foursquare for easy video and location sharing.
This update gave users a new way of sharing media between chats, introducing GIF and sticker previews to make the selection process more straightforward.
On Telegram since April 12, 2016
To keep order as supergroups grew from 1,000 members to 5,000, important announcements could be placed at the top of the screen as pinned messages. Additional moderation tools were introduced that helped prevent spam in public supergroups. This included the ability to report spam, ban a user outright, or simply erase all of their posts from the group.
On Telegram since March 2016
Channels got plenty of new features including admin signatures and silent broadcasts. It became possible to edit your messages in channels and supergroups.
On Telegram since February 24, 2016
Chatting got easier with raise-to-speak and raise-to-listen functionality, streamlining voice messages by giving a no-tap way to play and record. On the privacy end, users got the ability to restrict who can invite them to groups and channels.
On Telegram since February 12, 2016
Inline bots make it possible to use bot services in any chat without adding those bots as members – you just start any message with their username and everything that comes after becomes a query for the bot. These utilities can link Wikipedia articles, post YouTube videos or search for GIFs to entertain friends. Unfortunately, while being very good at fetch, they still can't pull a sled – even after all these years.
GIF file size was reduced by 95%, making them load 20x faster. Autoplay for all GIFs was enabled to show off their new-found speed.
On Telegram since January 2016
The space-saving option of clearing cache was introduced, including chat-by-chat specificity. This was coupled with a setting to choose how long to keep media before it gets deleted from the cache (to be re-downloaded from the cloud should you need it again).
On Telegram since December 2015
This update added the admin role. Admins have the power to manage group chats and enforce rules. Just in time, as the maximum number of users for group chats grew to 1,000 people with the addition of supergroups.
On Telegram since November 2015
September '15 brought channels, the perfect tool for broadcasting messages to the masses. Channels can have unlimited followers, offer view counters for each post and only let the admins post. These one-way chats give updates the spotlight by moving the discussion elsewhere. Channels were quickly adopted in regions where freedom of speech falls short.
On Telegram since September 2015
Telegram delivered quality of life updates in August '15, showing shared links on chat info pages as well as a list of recent searches when beginning a new one.
On Telegram since August 2015
This update added the ability to view media, enjoy music and watch videos from external sources directly in the app. Chat-specific search was implemented as well, making it easier to find messages from a particular conversation.
On Telegram since July 2015
In June of 2015, Telegram released the Bot API and created a platform for users to create and publish their own bots. Bots exist to add features to Telegram and make user's lives easier - bots can handle payments, moderate groups, fetch emails and much more.
Telegram also received Apple Watch support. With a flick of the wrist, users can view recent chats, reply with stickers, dictate messages and more. Anything that can't fit on the watch display gets a shortcut to open on your phone instead.
On Telegram since June 2015
Since May '15, stickers can be uploaded and shared as sticker sets. All apps got a dedicated sticker panel. Tapping on any sticker shows its set and lets you add the lot.
On Telegram since May 2015
Invite links were added so users can easily bring their friends to group chats, even when those friends are lost in another messenger.
Users gained the ability to caption photos, so the context and content can be sent as one message.
Telegram rolled out an essential privacy feature in April 2015 - Two-step Verification – adding an extra layer of protection by requiring a password when logging into a new device.
Link previews were introduced to help users see where a link leads without having to click on it and find out for themselves.
On Telegram since April 2015
This update brought the ability to send multiple files at once and trim videos before sending them.
On Telegram since March 25, 2015
March '15 made messaging more convenient – Telegram added replies, mentions and hashtags. Replies make it easier to keep continuity in group chats, while mentions help get someone's attention and hashtags allow users to label messages for future use.
On Telegram since March 19, 2015
February '15 delivered the most powerful photo editor among messaging apps – featuring auto-enhance, crop and rotate functions in its initial version. To keep those photos and chats secure, users were given the option to lock their app with a passcode.
On Telegram since February 25, 2015
This update introduced the Files tab to better view all documents shared in a particular chat (some media outlets mistakenly thought this was when we introduced sending files). Additionally, the update brought in Mute shortcuts, helping users disable notifications more quickly.
On Telegram since February 1, 2015
January '15 saw the first sticker on Telegram. Since then, starting a message with a single emoji brings up a list of emotionally corresponding sticker suggestions.
The first official stickers from Telegram formed the classic Great Minds set. Artists were invited to publish their work on the free and open platform.
On Telegram since January 2015
Users with usernames were offered Telegram.me/username links, which open their profile page in Telegram. This update also enabled changing the phone number of a Telegram account. Single-column mode was added for Telegram Desktop, making multitasking easier on smaller screens.
Fun fact: In 2016, Instagram will restrict users from adding Telegram.me (and Snapchat) links to their bios.
On Telegram since December 2014
There were two Telegram updates on November 19, 2014.
This update expanded Privacy Settings to cover Last Seen status, allowing unprecedented flexibility with 'Always Share With' and 'Never Share With' exceptions for individual users.
This was also when account self-destruction was introduced. Telegram doesn't aim to accumulate and store your data when you don't need it anymore. So if you throw away your SIM card and it gets a new owner in 6 months, they won't access your chats.
November '14 also delivered Instant Full-Text Search to iOS and Android. Since then you can quickly find any message you ever sent or received on Telegram.
GIF search was first supported on iOS. The Android app got a massive redesign, consistent with material guidelines.
On Telegram since November 2014
October '14 marks the beginning of properly recorded history on Telegram. The first update ever to be described in a blog post brought public usernames, adding the ability to share your Telegram contact without disclosing your phone number.
Secret Chats got a major upgrade, with self-destructing media showing blurred thumbnails and starting the countdown only after they are first opened. This prevented them from disappearing before actually being viewed. This was also when screenshot notifications were first introduced.
Telegram for Android received several updates, adding support for Android Wear and tablets, as well as video compression.
On Telegram since October 2014
Telegram has supported iPads since September '14. In this update, the iOS app learned to play GIF animations and added cloud search for messages, as well as adding search by file name to the Shared Documents section. iOS also caught up with Android, adding support for broadcast lists.
On Telegram since September 2014
On Telegram since August 2014
Telegram for Android caught up with iOS, allowing users to preview photos before sending — as well as select and send many photos at once. Notifications were improved to be more reliable.
On Telegram since June 2014
The March '14 update introduced voice messages to Telegram. Messages deleted in Secret Chats began disappearing for both sides.
Telegram for Android added the option to change the app language in Settings. The first languages to be added were German and Italian.
On Telegram since March 2014
More Telegram apps entered the fray. An unofficial Telegram app for Web was introduced and later moved to web.telegram.org to become the official web version. Telegram for Windows Phone was created in a contest for app developers.
Meanwhile, an update introduced autodownload settings and new tools to manage contacts on Android.
On Telegram since February 2014
First thing in 2014, Telegram allowed documents of any type to be sent, including .pdf, .doc, .png, .mp3, etc. The size limit is 1,5 GB per file.
An unofficial Telegram app for PC was announced, which would later become the official Telegram Desktop.
On Telegram since January 2014
The only significant vulnerability to ever be discovered in the MTProto protocol was fixed during the First Telegram Crypto Contest. The researcher who discovered it was awarded a bounty of $100,000.
On Telegram since December 2013
After a contest for Android developers, the alpha version of Telegram for Android was officially launched. Telegram apps got Secret Chats with self-destruct timers.
The MTProto Protocol specification and Telegram API were fully documented and the code of the apps became open source.
On Telegram since October 2013
Telegram for iOS was launched.
Congratulations on completing this (not very) brief course on the history of Telegram. You just got an honorary PhD in Instant Messaging – unless you simply jumped down here, in which case you still have a long way to go to get back to the top.
Armed with this much knowledge about Telegram, you should probably join our Volunteer Support Force.