Scheduled Messages, Reminders, Custom Cloud Themes and More Privacy

Introducing Scheduled Messages, Reminders, Custom Cloud Themes and More Privacy

In our previous update, we added a handy menu when you hold the send button. Today we're populating this menu with a new option that helps you plan ahead.

Hold the ‘Send’ button in any chat and select ‘Schedule Message’ to automatically send things at a specified time in the future (DeLorean not included).

Scheduling also works in your ‘Saved Messages’ chat, turning your planned posts into reminders. Be your own time-travelling secretary – whether it's about a dentist appointment next week, or waking up in time for pizza delivery.

Whenever a scheduled message or reminder is sent, you get a special notification marked with a 📅, so you don't get caught off-guard by messages you planned in the past.

Custom Cloud Themes

You could first customize Telegram's appearance way back in 2017. Today's update makes this easier than ever across all platforms, including our native desktop apps.

Choose a pre-set accent color or pick something unique from the color wheel, and the app will adjust all elements accordingly. See how it looks in your favorite color, blue – no, yellow!

You can now easily create new themes based on your color and wallpaper choices, then fine-tune them manually or share right away. Each theme has a sharing link which allows anyone to switch to your theme and wallpaper in just two taps.

Creating a new theme on iOS

When you change your theme, it gets updated for all its users. This way you can update your app's looks to evolve as Telegram updates – or to change with the seasons.

To try out cloud themes, take a look at Sky Blue or Desert. These will work for both iOS and Android, and we solemnly swear to update them to acid green on orange when you least expect it.

Redesigned Message Options

On iOS, we have condensed message options into a single menu for forwarding, replying and more. You can now also select any portion of the message to copy or share, instead of only the full text.

New Privacy Settings

Telegram groups can be public and may hold up to 200,000 members each. When launching them, we were thinking of campuses, conventions and spaces where you could properly brag about your cats. However, Telegram communities are also increasingly used by people to organize themselves in the face of oppression.

We believe that all people have a right to express their opinions and communicate privately. To further protect these rights, we‘re expanding Telegram’s arsenal of Privacy Settings today.

If you set Who Can See My Phone Number to ‘Nobody’, a new option will appear below, allowing you to control your visibility for those who already have it. Setting Who Can Find Me By My Number to ‘My Contacts’ will ensure that random users who add your number as a contact are unable to match your profile to that number.

If, like the majority of our users, you rely on uploading phone contacts to identify friends and family members on the app, this setting won't get in your way.

More Animated Emoji

Regardless of whether you‘re fighting for freedom or queuing for coffee, you’ll likely find a use for the new additions to our animated emoji family.

As before, send a single 😁, 😧, 😡, 💩, 😢 or 😮 to unleash their spirit in motion.

And that's all, folks! While waiting for our next update, check out this brief history of Telegram. Or, if you're not into reading, run a bath and enjoy these animated rubber duck stickers.


September 5, 2019
The Telegram Team

Celebrating 6 Years of Telegram

We launched Telegram 6 years ago, on August 14, 2013 – and immediately set to work on the next update. That‘s how it’s been ever since.

After a little while we noticed that our work not only brings progress to Telegram – but also results in the evolution of messaging as a whole. It is heartwarming to see our solutions and design decisions adopted as de facto standards across the board.

To keep you entertained while we‘re working on this month’s second update, we've compiled a brief history of Telegram. It ended up rather on the ‘humongous’ side of ‘brief’ – but it's not like the next update is tomorrow either. So read on.

Oh, and if you want to give us a gift, bring two of your best friends to Telegram today.


A poster celebrating 6 years of Telegram

A (Not So) Brief History of Telegram

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.

So if you're a fan of chronology, please jump to the end and scroll up from there. (By the way, we decided we're going to keep this post up to date as new updates arrive.)

September 2019

Scheduled Messages, Reminders, Custom Cloud Themes and More Privacy

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 Septebmer 2019:

August 2019

Silent Messages, Slow Mode, Admin Titles and More

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. But you probably remember this, it's only been a week.

Following the success of animated stickers, this update also introduced animated emoji for ❤️, 👍, 😒, 😳 and 🥳. More followed.

TITLE

On Telegram since August 2019:

July 2019

Animated Stickers Done Right

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.

Here are some sample animated sets in case you missed them: Hot Cherry, Tidy Tie Tom, Resistance Dog, Fred the Pug, Melie the Cavy, Earl the Wolf, Egg Yolk

These stickers are powered with uranium and dreams and are guaranteed to keep going forever.

TITLE

On Telegram since July 2019:


June 2019

Location-Based Chats, Adding Contacts Without Phone Numbers and More

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.

TITLE

On Telegram since June 2019:


May 2019, Second Update

Focused Privacy, Discussion Groups, Seamless Web Bots and More

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.)

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On Telegram since May 31, 2019:


May 2019, First Update

Archived Chats, a New Design on Android and More

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.

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On Telegram since May 9, 2019:

March 2019

Taking Back Our Right to Privacy

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.

TITLE

On Telegram since March 2019:

February 2019

Autoplaying Videos, Automatic Downloads and Multiple Accounts

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.

TITLE

On Telegram since February 2019

January 2019, Second Update

Chat Backgrounds 2.0: Make Your Own

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.

TITLE

On Telegram since January 31, 2019

January 2019, First Update

Group Permissions, Undo Delete and More

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.

TITLE

On Telegram since January 21, 2019


2018


December 2018, Second Update

Polls: Bringing Choice to Communities

As of the second update from December '18, Telegram users can create polls in groups and channels, letting group members vote anonymously.

Poll bots have been available since the dawn of the Bot Platform.

TITLE

On Telegram since December 22, 2018

December 2018, First Update

Custom Languages, Instant View 2.0 and More

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.

TITLE

On Telegram since December 10, 2018

October 2018

Introducing Telegram 5.0 for iOS

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.

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On Telegram since October 2018

August 2018

Chat Export Tool, Better Notifications and More

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.

TITLE

On Telegram since August 2018

July 2018

Introducing Telegram Passport

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.

TITLE

On Telegram since July 2018

June 2018

Replace Media, Share vCards, Mark as Unread, 2X Voice Messages, and More

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.

TITLE

On Telegram since June 2018:

March 2018

Sticker Search, Multiple Photos and More

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.

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200,000,000 Monthly Active Users

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.

TITLE

On Telegram since March 2018:

February 2018

Two updates were launched on February 6, 2018.

Streaming and Auto-Night Mode on Android

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.

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Telegram Login for Websites

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.

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On Telegram since February 2018

January 2018

Two updates were launched on January 31, 2018.

Telegram X: Progress through Competition

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.

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TDLib - Build Your Own Telegram

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.

Both Telegram X and the Telegram Bot API are an example of what can be done with this library.

TITLE

On Telegram since January 2018


2017


December 2017

Themes, Multiple Accounts and More

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.

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On Telegram since December 2017

November 2017

Albums, Saved Messages and Better Search

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.

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On Telegram since November 2017

October 2017

Live Locations, Media Player and Languages

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.

TITLE

On Telegram since October 2017


August 2017

Better Replies, Stickers & Invitations

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.

TITLE

On Telegram since August 2017


July 2017

Disappearing Media, Your Bio & More Speed

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.

TITLE

On Telegram since July 2017


June 2017

Supergroups 10,000: Admin Tools & More

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.

TITLE

On Telegram since June 2017


May 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.

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Instant Views for Everyone & a $200K Contest

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.

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Payments for Bots
Bot payments joined the pool party as well, so users could pay for goods and services right in the app.

TITLE

On Telegram since May 2017


March 2017

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

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.

TITLE

On Telegram since March 2017


February 2017

Custom Themes

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.

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Telegram Desktop reaches version 1.0 – and it's BEAUTIFUL

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.

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Telegram for Android Wear 2.0

Telegram came to wrists with its Android Wear 2.0 version, featuring fully-functional messaging capability, plus added themes to keep things chic.

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On Telegram since February 2017


January 2017

Unsend Messages, Network Usage, and More

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.

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On Telegram since January 2017


2016


December 2016, Second Update

Meet the Telegraph API for Logins and Stats

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.

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On Telegram since December 20, 2016


December 2016, First Update

Pinned Chats and IFTTT Integrations

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.

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On Telegram since December 7, 2016


November 2016

Instant View, Telegraph, and Other Goodies

TITLE

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.


October 2016

Gaming Platform 1.0

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


September 2016

Photo Editor 2.0, Masks and Homemade GIFs

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


August 2016

Trending Stickers, Storage and More

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 2016

Drafts, Picture-in-Picture, and More

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


May 2016

Edit Messages, New Mentions and More

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


April 2016, Second Update

Instant Camera and More 3D Touch

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


April 2016, First Update

Bot Platform 2.0

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.

Sharing and Previews

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


March 2016

Supergroups 5000: Public Groups, Pinned Posts

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


February 2016, Second Update

Channels 2.0 and More

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

February 2016, First Update

Voice Messages 2.0, Secret Chats 3.0 and…

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


January 2016

Introducing Inline Bots

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 Revolution

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


2015


December 2015

Clearing Cache and Reordering Stickers

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


November 2015

Admins, Supergroups and More

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 2015

Channels: Broadcasting Done Right

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


August 2015

Shared Links and Recent Searches

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


July 2015

In-App Media Playback and Search in Chats

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


June 2015

Telegram Bot Platform

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 on Apple Watch

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


May 2015

Custom Sticker Sets

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


April 2015

Migrating Existing Group Chats to Telegram

Invite links were added so users can easily bring their friends to group chats, even when those friends are lost in another messenger.

Places, Captions and more

Users gained the ability to caption photos, so the context and content can be sent as one message.

Active Sessions and Two-Step Verification

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

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


March 2015, Second Update

Sending Files On Steroids — And More

This update brought the ability to send multiple files at once and trim videos before sending them.

On Telegram since March 25, 2015


March 2015, First Update

Reinventing Group Chats: Replies, Mentions, Hashtags and More

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 2015, Second Update

Photo Editor and Passcode Lock

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


February 2015, First Update

Shared Files and Fast Mute

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 2015

Stickers Done Right

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


2014


December 2014

Telegram.me, Changing Numbers, PFS and more

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


November 2014

There were two Telegram updates on November 19, 2014.

Hiding Last Seen Time - Done Right

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.

Material Design on Android, Instant Search for Messages and more

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 2014

Public usernames, smaller timers for Secret Chats, and more

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


September 2014

GIFs, iPad support and broadcast lists on iOS

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


August 2014

Broadcast lists were first introduced to Android in August '14, only to be replaced with channels a little over a year later.

On Telegram since August 2014


June 2014

Multiple photo upload and more

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


March 2014

Voice Messages, Delete Messages for both sides in Secret Chats, Language Settings on Android

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


February 2014

New apps, autodownload settings and contact management tools for Android

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


January 2014

Send documents and files

First thing in 2014, Telegram allowed documents of any type to be sent, including .pdf, .doc, .png, .mp3, etc.

An unofficial Telegram app for PC was announced, which would later become the official Telegram Desktop.

On Telegram since January 2014


2013


December 2013

Crowdsourcing a more secure future

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


October 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


August 14, 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, you should probably join our Volunteer Support Force. And if that‘s not your cup of tea – just tell us in the comments which feature you didn’t know existed.


August 15, 2019
The Telegram Team

Silent Messages, Slow Mode, Admin Titles and More

5.10 update cover

The previous update brought more movement to Telegram – this one brings more peace of mind. You can now message friends freely when you know they are sleeping, studying or attending a meeting.

Simply hold the Send button to have any message or media delivered without sound.

Your recipient will get a notification as usual, but their phone won't make a sound – even if they forgot to enable the Do Not Disturb mode.

Silent notification on the lock screen

This also works in groups, should you get an urgent idea at five in the morning – but not urgent enough to wake up everyone in your work chat.

Slow Mode

In case a group you manage is getting hard to follow, the Group Permissions section now features a Slow Mode switch.

Slow Mode settings in the Group Permissions section

When an admin enables Slow Mode in a group, you will only be able to send one message per the interval they choose. A timer will show how long you have to wait before sending your next message.

Slow Mode timer as seen in a user's input field

Slow Mode can make conversations in the group more orderly, while raising the value of each individual message. Keep it on permanently, or toggle as necessary to throttle rush hour traffic.

Admin Titles

If new time-lord powers aren't enough, group owners can now set custom titles for admins like ‘Meme Queen’, ‘Spam Hammer’ or ‘El Duderino’.

Custom title section on the admin rights screen

As with the default admin labels, custom titles are shown with every message in the group so members know that they‘re talking to the designated ’Myth Buster'.

A message from an admin with a custom title in a group

To add a custom title, edit the admin's rights in Group Settings.

Timestamps and Improved Scrubbing

Videos now display thumbnail previews as you scrub through, to help you find the moment you were looking for.

If you add a timestamp like 0:45 to a video caption, it will be automatically highlighted as a link. Tapping on a timestamp will play the video from the right spot. This also works if you mention a timestamp when replying to a video.

Timestamps are also supported for YouTube videos, in case you want to mark your favorite moments when sharing a Kurzgesagt episode.

Animated Emoji

When you have animated stickers, why not go one step further and get animated emoji? To check them out, send a single ❤️, 👍, 😒, 😳 or 🥳 to any chat.

If your life feels a little too animated recently, Sticker Settings now offer a toggle for looped playback. When disabled, animated stickers will play just once then stay still.

Android's New Attachment Menu

Android’s attachment menu got a makeover, giving media more real estate. Larger thumbnails make it easier to pick photos and videos at a glance, and swiping up will reveal your full Gallery for better browsing.

You can scroll left and right through the other attachment options like locations, polls and music. When selecting media, tap ‘…’ to send items as uncompressed documents.

A screenshot of the options from the '...' menu

Accent Colors for Night Mode on iOS

iOS users can now choose accent colors for night themes. The night doesn't always have to be black and blue, after all.

Comments Widget

Comments.App, our tool for commenting on channel posts, now lets you add a comments widget to your website.

With the widget in place, Telegram users will be able to log in with just two taps and leave comments with text and photos, as well as like, dislike and reply to comments from others.

They can also subscribe to comments and get notifications from @DiscussBot.

A screenshot of the Comments Widget featuring a photo sent as a reply to another comment

Open this page in your browser to try the new widget – it doesn't support Instant View pages… yet. 😈

That’s all for now, and don’t worry — the next Telegram update won’t be sent silently.


August 9, 2019
The Telegram Team

Animated Stickers Done Right

Cover Image

We launched stickers back in January 2015. Since then, the Telegram sticker format has been adopted by other apps to reach a total of 2 billion people. Today we're introducing a new format for animated stickers.

We asked ourselves: Can animated stickers have higher quality than static ones while taking less bandwidth? The answer turned out to be YES (but only after we told developers they'd get moving cat pictures).

Smooth Animations, Tiny Size

Telegram engineers experimented with vector graphics, packaging methods and forbidden magic to create the Lottie-based .TGS format, in which each sticker takes up about 20-30 Kilobytessix times smaller than the average photo.

Thanks to various optimizations, animated stickers consume less battery than GIFs and run at a smooth 60 frames per second. If a picture is worth a thousand words, that's 180,000 words per sticker.

Open Platform

Naturally, animated stickers are a free platform. All artists are welcome to create new sets and share them with Telegram users.

Like its static predecessor, the Telegram animated sticker format is likely to become the new industry standard in messaging. Check out this quick guide to get started.

Starter Packs

To get your conversations moving right away, our artists have created a few sample sets ranging from Rambunctious Rodents to Sentient Snacks. You can find more animated sticker sets in the 'Trending' section of your sticker panel. 🔥

As always, the fastest way to find a sticker that fits your mood is to type in a relevant emoji – Telegram will immediately suggest matching stickers.

Keep an eye out for new animated stickers – and our next update.


July 6, 2019
The Telegram Team

Location-Based Chats, Adding Contacts Without Phone Numbers and More

Telegram 5.8: Adding Contacts Without Phone Numbers, Location-Based Chats and More

In the previous update, we improved privacy settings and added a way for you to control who can see your phone number. Today we're making it easier to exchange contact info on Telegram.

All new chats now have an Add to Contacts button at the top. This allows you to quickly add anyone who messages you to your Telegram contacts, even if you don't know their phone number yet.

Add/Block Buttons in a Chat

If you'd prefer they disappeared instead, the Block button is right next door.

Add People Nearby

Ever scrambled for business cards at a beach party? Or dropped somebody's phone into the pool in a “let me type in my number for you” moment? Worry no more.

Simply open Contacts > Add People Nearby to quickly exchange contact info with Telegram users who are standing next to you (and also have this section open).

This feature comes in especially handy when several people meet to perform the take-my-number dance. Now you can catch all your pokémon in just a few taps.

Location-Based Chats

Speaking of pokémon, the new People Nearby section also shows Groups Nearby – location-based group chats open for anyone around to join.

Tap Create a Local Group to unite your dormitory or apartment building, and maybe you can get Todd in 2C to finally turn his music down.

Location-based group

This update opens up a new world of location-based group chats for anything from conferences, to festivals, to stadiums, to campuses, to chatting with people hanging out in the same cafe.

Transfer Group Chats

If you ever get tired of being the host of your group, you can pass the burden on to another administrator. Telegram apps now support transferring ownership rights from any groups and channels to other users.

Grant full admin rights to your Chosen One to see the Transfer Ownership button.

Transfer group ownership

Whether your watch has ended, or you have some business to attend to in King's Landing, passing the torch is a simple, two-tap affair.

Enhanced Notification Exceptions

Notification Exceptions just got more powerful. You can now toggle message previews for specific chats. If you have many exceptions, use Search to find the right chat — or ‘Delete All’ to get back to square one instantly.

Notification exceptions

Siri Shortcuts

Owners of iOS devices can now use Siri shortcuts to open chats with people. No hands just got no-handsomer.

Siri

Theme Picker and Icon style

We've also revamped the Appearance settings on iOS so that it's easier to see what the different themes will look like even before you apply them.

New theme picker on iOS

A while back, the Telegram X app for iOS was promoted, becoming the official Telegram, and its previous shell was removed from the store. If you are still using it for some reason, this is a good time to switch — ol' Telegram X is now three versions behind the main branch.

Some users told us they didn't want to switch because they liked the Telegram X icon better. So this update adds a way for your iOS app icon to get back in black:

Pick your poison

By the way, Telegram X for Android is still there and is not going anywhere for now. If you're looking for an alternative interface, feel free to give it a try.


June 23, 2019
The Telegram Team

Focused Privacy, Discussion Groups, Seamless Web Bots and More

Telegram is about privacy. In 2014 we pioneered granular privacy settings in messaging. Today we are making them even more flexible with exceptions for group chats.

From now on, you can make something visible for all your classmates in one group chat and keep it private from, say, all your colleagues in another – with just two taps:

Settings will adjust automatically as people join and leave the groups. So when your half-brother unexpectedly gets a job as a data broker, you'll just need to kick him out of one group to update all your settings.

Who can see my phone number?

On Telegram, you can send messages in private chats and groups without making your phone number visible. But there may be cases when you want to make your number known (e.g. to all your coworkers), so we added a new dedicated privacy control – Who Can See My Number.

A screenshot of the redesigned Privacy & Security settings screen

Redesigned privacy settings on iOS

Meet Seamless Web Bots

We've made it easier to integrate bots with web services. Bots can now help you log in with your Telegram account on a website when you open a link. If you allow them to, you'll be logged in by the time the page loads in the browser:

A confirmation dialog that offers to open a link and optionally authorize on the website

While this is purely optional, it opens the door for a vast variety of new bots. To try out this seamless authorization, press the ‘comments’ button under this post.

You can also make our sample @discussbot an admin in any of your broadcast channels to get a comments button under the posts you publish. The comments button opens a website where you are already logged in and ready to leave a comment. The bot will notify you if someone replies to what you wrote there.

Anyone can create similar bots to connect their existing services to Telegram on the fly. Integrating all kinds of social, gaming, productivity, dating or e-commerce services into your channels is now a breeze.

Broadcasts meet Group Chats

Telegram channels are a tool for broadcasting your thoughts to unlimited audiences. Telegram group chats offer a democratic way for communities of up to 200,000 members to discuss things.

Ever since we launched channels and groups, users have been asking us to add discussions to channels and announcements to groups. With this update, admins can add a group chat to their channel to serve as a discussion board:

Subscribers will see a ‘Discuss’ link on the bottom panel, and each new post from the channel will be automatically forwarded to and pinned in the discussion group.

View public channels

Speaking of channels, you can now view any public channel from the web – even if you aren‘t logged in to Telegram. The same also goes for those retro people who don’t have a Telegram account at all. Yet.

A public channel, as seen from the web

Simply open the channel link in a browser and select “Preview channel” to see something like this: t.me/s/telegram

Scam Alerts

Telegram apps will now show a scam label for suspicious accounts.

Chat with a scammer

iOS Goodies

In other news, Telegram 5.7 for iOS introduces thumbnails for PDF files. Keep in mind that Telegram lets you share files of any type, up to 1,5GB each in size (so you can telegram a PDF payload worthy of Elon's rockets).

PDF file with a thumbnail

Telegram for iOS also catches up with the rest of our apps in terms of text links. You can now make any text a link to a website, keeping all the cords under the carpet.

Creating a text link on iOS

Mind that people will get a warning about where exactly the link leads when they open it. (Hint: use URL shorteners if you want to rick-roll people).

Android Delights

As for Android, we've redesigned the majority of confirmation dialogs in the app, and improved the design for message search and adding people to groups. Additionally, the app got a new theme switcher in Chat Settings.

Have fun with all that and stay tuned for our next updates.


May 31, 2019
The Telegram Team

Archived Chats, a New Design and More

Introducing archived chats, a new design and more

Today's update gives you the tools to sort your messages with archived chats, a new design on Android and a handful of other nifty features to make the most of your messenger.

Everything in its place

Introducing archived chats, the new tool for spring cleaning in your chat list. Sort your active and inactive chats, separate personal stuff from work or banish annoying contacts to your archive for some spectacular revenge!

Swipe left on a chat to transfer it to your archived chats folder. When an archived chat gets a notification, it will pop out of the folder and back into your chat list. Muted chats will stay archived forever.

You can hide the archive by swiping left on it. See it again by dragging the screen down.

Pin an unlimited number of chats in your archive to keep your messages in the order you want. When chats pop out of your archive with a notification, you can archive them again to return them to their original place within the folder.

Pinned chats in the archive

Bulk actions for a busy chat list

Time is money and money buys cat food, so don't waste time and make the most of the bulk actions in your chat list, now also available on Telegram for Android. Long tap on a chat to open the new menu where you can select multiple chats and then pin, mute, archive or delete them, all faster than ever before.

Android's new clothes

Telegram for Android got a lot slicker, starting with the app's new icon and down to every menu in the app sporting a new design.

Telegram for Android's new icon

New app icon

Redesigned menus

Slick new menus

Selecting messages in chats is now not only more stylish but also more functional – note the new quick forwarding button which appears right under your thumb:

More info at a glance

With the expanded chat list, you can see more text from the messages in your list. Simply select Three lines in the Chat Settings menu to see up to three lines per chat instead of the usual two.

Chat settings, choose between two or three lines per chat

Chat list view settings

Share and share a lot

Want to share a message far and wide? Pull up the new streamlined sharing menu to cover the entire screen and select your whole gang. And don‘t fret if you’re short on words, the comment field now supports emoji.

The new sharing menu with online badges and emoji support

New sharing menu

The new design also makes it easier to share sticker packs.

Sticker pack viewer with the new sharing buttons

New sticker pack viewer

You shall not pass

Meanwhile on iOS, passcode settings have been made more stylish and more robust to accommodate 6-digit codes, in addition to the previous 4-digit and custom alphanumeric options. Keep it secret, keep it safe 🔒.

Another new feature on iOS allows clearing your recently used stickers so nobody can prove how much you love sending funny dog stickers.

Clear recent stickers on iOS

Clear recent stickers

We also thought that large emoji feel more natural without chat bubbles and made them look like little stickers instead. Aren't they cute?

Clear recent stickers on iOS

New look for large emoji

Easier forwarding, links to messages, online badges

Ever selected the wrong chat when forwarding a message? Tap the message snippet above the text box before sending to change where the message is forwarded to.

Switch recipient when forwarding messages

Switch recipient

If you'd rather point to a particular spot in a conversation, you can now copy links to messages in private groups and channels – just like you could with public messages. Needless to say, links to private chats will only work for members of their respective communities.

Copy links to individual messages in a private community

Links to individual messages

Last but not least, you can now instantly see who's online from the chat list and sharing menu to find out who else might be watching cat videos in the middle of the night.

Online badges in chats

As always, stay tuned for more updates on all our platforms — we look forward to popping back out of your archive with the next version.


May 9, 2019
The Telegram Team

Taking Back Our Right to Privacy

Unsending messages, anonymized forwarding, improved search and VoiceOver/TalkBack support

For us, your private data is sacred. We never use your data to target ads. We never disclose your data to third parties. We store only what is absolutely necessary for Telegram to work.

In 2013, we gave millions of people power over their data with end-to-end encryption.

Today, we are giving hundreds of millions of users complete control of any private conversation they have ever had. You can now choose to delete any message you have sent or received from both sides in any private chat. The messages will disappear for both you and the other person – without leaving a trace.

Unsend Anything

The “Unsend” feature we introduced 2 years ago worked only for messages sent by you and only for 48 hours. Now you can “unsend” messages you have received as well, and there is no time limit. You can also delete any private chat entirely from both your and the other person's device with just two taps.

Anonymous Forwarding

To make your privacy complete, we’ve also introduced a way to restrict who can forward your messages. When this setting is enabled, your forwarded messages will no longer lead back to your account — they'll just display an unclickable name in the “from” field. This way people you chat with will have no verifiable proof you ever sent them anything.

Look for “Forwarded messages” in Privacy and Security settings. By the way, you can now also restrict who can view your profile photos.

Settings Search

Since the Settings section keeps getting bigger, we’ve added a search tool that allows you to quickly find any settings you need.

This new search tool in Settings also shows answers to any Telegram-related questions based on the FAQ:

Emoji Search and GIFs

The GIF and stickers search has been upgraded on all mobile platforms – it now looks better and finds more cats. Any GIF you find can be previewed by tapping and holding. Sticker packs now have icons, which makes selecting the right pack easier. Large GIFs and video messages on Telegram are now streamed, so you can start watching them without waiting for the download to complete.

On Telegram for Android, you can now use keywords in many languages to find any emoji. If we are missing a keyword for an emoji, you’re welcome to suggest it here – emoji search will constantly be improving without the need to update Telegram.

You’ll also see a list of related emoji when typing a message. If you like an emoji enough to send it without any accompanying text, the emoji will appear larger in the chat on Android (iOS coming soon).

VoiceOver and TalkBack

We’ve added support for accessibility features – VoiceOver on iOS and TalkBack on Android. These gesture-based technologies give you spoken feedback so that you can use Telegram without seeing the screen.

Tell us what you think the next update should be.

March 24, 2019
The Telegram Team

Autoplaying Videos, Automatic Downloads and Multiple Accounts

Autoplaying Videos and New Automatic Download Settings

Today's update will make Telegram chats livelier with Autoplaying Videos. Smaller videos will start playing without sound when they reach your screen. To unmute them, simply press the volume buttons on your device.

If you like to be in control of your data usage, try the new auto-download settings. It‘s easy to see your current settings at a glance and we’ve added a new quick way to switch between Low, Medium and High presets for Mobile, Roaming and Wi-Fi.

You can also manually set up automatic downloads by chat type, media type and file size. The app will remember your choices as the Custom preset in case you need to temporarily switch to Low and back — or the other way around.

To Each According to Their Needs

Default settings for data usage have become more generous but depend on the affordability of mobile data in your country. We know that in some places it's easier to buy an aircraft carrier than download an extra 20MB (looking at you, Ethiopia). Telegram will try to download less data for users in such countries.

On the other hand, if you're likely to have a monster data allowance, Telegram will try to save you from tapping the “download” arrow too often.

These new default limits for automatic downloads are not set in stone. Starting today, we can change them remotely, based on your feedback and the cost of data in each country.

To Log Out or Not to Log Out?

New users often bring their logout habits from other apps and don't realize that this is rarely necessary on Telegram. To help them find their way around the app, the logout menu now shows several alternative options to logging out:

Logout Alternatives

Logout Alternatives

Multiple Account Support

Some of us have several phone numbers and multiple Telegram accounts: one for work, another strictly personal and a third one provided by benevolent aliens along with instructions to never use it except in a planetary emergency.

You can add all these accounts to your app and easily switch between up to 3 phone numbers without logging out.

Add account

Add Account in Settings > Edit

If you've added several accounts, you will receive push notifications for all of them. Notifications will include information on which account they were sent to. You can also tap and hold on an account in Settings for a sneak peek of its chats list:

The multiple accounts feature was born in Telegram for Android and is now also available on iOS. We hope your alter-egos will be pleased.


February 26, 2019,
The Telegram Team

Chat Backgrounds 2.0: Make Your Own

Telegram 5.3: Introducing the Backgrounds Platform

No chat can be dull if you have a really cool chat background. Today's update will ensure you get one. You can now search the web for wallpapers, add effects and then share your backgrounds with friends via links.

Telegram backgrounds now support motion and blur effects. You can also set any color as your background, apply a pattern and tweak its intensity.

Just like before, you can set any photo from your gallery as your chat background. On Android, you can add some extra effects in the built-in photo editor.

Share links

Having used this new arsenal to create the perfect chat background, you can easily set it to Telegram on all your other devices. What's more, you can infect the rest of the world with your genius by sharing your background via a link, just like this one:
https://t.me/bg/l7jg-vpxmEYBAAAA1e0rNKySlkk

Message containning a Telegram background

Search backgrounds

If you don‘t feel very creative and would like to simply set something nice real quick, we’ve added new backgrounds to the official selection.

We've also included a background search option. Find your dream wallpaper based on keywords or color and then set it in just a few taps.

Background Search Results

We're also announcing the Instant View 2.0 Template Competition: two months, $300,000+ in prizes, $100 per template. See Instant View Contest 2.0 for details.


January 31, 2019
The Telegram Team