Instant View, Telegraph, and Other Goodies

Meet Instant View, an elegant way to view your dog articles with zero pageload time. To try it out, use Telegram version 3.14 to share a link to a Medium post or a TechCrunch article. This will get you an Instant View button that immediately shows a native page, saving you time and data.

Instant View button

Saves time and data

If you have feedback about the way an Instant View page was generated, ping our @previews bot. Only a handful of websites are supported at the moment, but we'll be adding more as we go. Eventually we want to provide Instant View pages for every story on the Web and thus devour the entire Internet (*evil laugh*).

Telegraph

Today we are launching Telegraph – a publishing tool that lets you create richly formatted posts with photos and all sorts of embedded stuff. Telegraph posts get beautiful Instant View pages on Telegram.

To try it, go to telegra.ph, publish a story, and share it on Telegram. With Telegraph, your Telegram channel can run stories just like the mainstream media (although you may find it tricky to become as biased).

Jump to Date

You can now travel in time to any moment in the past. Just tap Search inside a chat and choose a day using the Calendar tool.

Calendar button

Pick a day

Unfortunately, this doesn't work with dates from the future. Sorry, no flying cars and hoverboards for you today.

View Pack for Recent Stickers

Remember all those times when you had a sad Pepe among your recently sent stickers? If you‘re like us, your natural desire would’ve been to reunite the sad Pepe with the rest of his family by scrolling to the Pepe pack in your sticker panel.

You can now do that in an instant: try a long tap (or 3D-touch on iOS) on a recent sticker, then choose ‘View Pack’. Hey presto! For some mysterious reason, this also works with non-Pepe stickers.

Groups in Common

Sometimes you want to find a group in your chats, but can‘t recall the title. Here’s a life-hack for you: think about a contact of yours that was also a member in that group. This association technique may help you bring back the title too. If it doesn‘t, open that contact’s profile and tap Groups in Common.

Android Strikes Back

Some of you Android users told us we loved iPhones more than Androids. That almost made us cry (remember the sad Pepe in our recent stickers?). To make things right with you, we fired our iOS dev, who was too good.

Well, not really. We simply locked ourselves in the coding basement for several weeks to bring you this:

  • A slick new interface for creating groups and selecting users in privacy settings (shiny animations included).
  • A new beautiful interface for notification settings.
  • Improved security for passcode locks (your chats won't be seen in the task switcher now). This one also works on iOS.
  • Improved camera speed when taking photos and videos.
  • Better video compression.
  • An improved and less obstructive photo viewer.
  • Easier editing of messages and adding captions to photos.

And that's just getting us warmed up. Make Android Great Again!

Also

Something big is brewing in our secret dungeons. Stay tuned.


November 22, 2016
The Telegram Team

First BotPrize Winners Get $200,000

Earlier this year we announced BotPrize, our initiative to award $25,000-$50,000 grants to the creators of the best Telegram bots. Today we selected five bots for the first batch of grants, amounting to a total of over $200,000.

For our first pick of winners, we focused on bots that have already gained massive popularity in some markets. The prize money will help their developers create an even better experience for their existing and future users.

BotPrize: November 2016

In this batch, we awarded bots from five very different categories: Photo-editing, Productivity, Games, Dating, and Finance.

Photo-editing
@icon8bot – an AI-based bot that allows you to apply great-looking filters to photos using neural networks and machine learning technology. More: icon-ai.com

Productivity
@integram_bot – a bot that allows you to set up integrations with third-party services for developers such as Trello, Gitlab, Bitbucket, and more. More: integram.com

Games
@werewolfbot – a ‘Werewolf Game’ bot for group chats that gained popularity in SE Asia long before we launched our gaming platform last month. More: tgwerewolf.com

Dating
@strangerbot – a bot that connects two random users to chat anonymously, which gained huge popularity after going viral in Southern Europe. More: strangerbot.com

Finance
@octopocket_bot – a smart-wallet bot that allows users from the EU to transfer money to each other, and is integrated into the ATM system of Spain. More: octopocket.com


We will continue awarding creators of great bots throughout this year and the following year in $200,000 batches.

Have fun using or building bots!


November 11, 2016
The Telegram Team

P.S.

Here’s a video demonstrating how @icon8bot works:

Gaming Platform 1.0

Last year we launched a Bot Platform for Telegram. Free, powerful, and open, it was an instant hit among users and developers. Today we are aiming to push the boundaries further by launching a bot-powered Gaming Platform on Telegram. That’s right: you can now use bots to play games in your chats, complete with graphics and sound.

Ready to Play

Hundreds of games are headed your way, but about 30 are ready to be played on Telegram now, most of them published by @gamee. You can start a game by interacting with their bot directly, or by invoking it from any of your chats. To do that, try typing “@gamee “ in a group and choose a game to start playing with your friends:

Select a game

If you spot a great game on Telegram, you can challenge your friends from other chats by sharing the game with them.

Challenge your friends

Better with Friends

The best part of the Telegram Gaming Platform is the competition across all your existing chats. We save high scores for every game played in every chat, and you can instantly check out how you and your friends are doing against each other. Every time there’s a new leader in the game, other playing members of the chat are notified that they need to step it up.

In-game high scores

New high score in chat

Easy to Build

Building games for Telegram is easy (check out the API). Here’s MathBattle, a game that took our developer only 3 hours to build. You can launch it from any chat by typing @gamebot and choosing Math Battle:

This is Corsairs, a demo game that took its dev just 5 hours to build and set up. That includes sound, graphics and animations:

While these demos look basic, Telegram games can be anything from simple arcades and puzzles to multiplayer 3D-shooters and real-time strategy games. The underlying technology is HTML5, so games are loaded on-demand as needed, just like ordinary webpages. Games will work on iPhones 4 and newer and on Android 4.4 devices and newer. Note that your friends will need Telegram 3.13 or higher to play.

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

No Added Calories

We know you love Telegram because it’s lean and efficient. This is why the new Gaming Platform requires 0 bytes of disk space and won’t add a single byte to the size of our apps. The only thing we're adding today is countless more fun moments in your chats.


And now let's see how high you can score.


October 3, 2016
The Telegram Team

Photo Editor 2.0, Masks and Homemade GIFs

Last year we introduced the most powerful photo editing tool ever to be implemented in a messaging app. This allowed you to instantly improve photos before sending them.

Today we’re pushing the photo editor to the next level with the fun stuff: you can now add drawings, masks, stickers and text right onto your pictures.

This is easy: just choose a mask, and it will be automatically positioned in the right place. Telegram identifies faces on photos and uses mask meta-data to find the perfect spot.

Our artists created hundreds of beautiful and fun masks as examples, but everything we do here in Telegram is an open platform. So as of today, anyone can use the /newmasks command for the @stickers bot to upload their own masks.

Masks Button (top right)

Adding Masks

When opening a photo, you will see a list of mask sets that were used on it. This way popular custom masks will quickly become viral.

GIFs Democratized

Another thing that’s likely to spread virally now are your GIF-animations. Creating your own GIFs has never been easier: simply record a video in Telegram and tap the new “mute” button to share it as a looped autoplayed GIF.

The animation will be saved to your GIFs section so that you can quickly react to anything with a set of your own prerecorded GIF-emotions.

Trending stickers

The last addition to this entertainment-heavy update is the trending stickers tab. Whenever you’re feeling hungry for new stickers you can find the latest additions in the stickers panel in any of your chats.

In-chat Trending Stickers


We're back from the summer break, so watch out for more updates coming your way soon.


September 23, 2016
The Telegram Team

Trending Stickers, Storage and More

Telegram users share hundreds of millions of stickers every day. Many of these are custom-created on the spot using pictures of friends or local politicians. Others are made by professional artists from all over the world. Starting today, we will be showcasing popular sticker sets made exclusively for Telegram in the new Trending Stickers tab.

Sticker panel

Trending tab in settings

You can find the new Trending tab on the Stickers panel and in Telegram Settings. We've made adding new stickers easier for people who have many sets installed. When you go over the limit of 200 sets, older unused stickers are archived automatically. You can reactivate them from the Archived Stickers tab in Sticker Settings later.

Personal storage

Many people have been using a chat with themselves or a small group to store their favorite messages or personal media. Starting today, there's no need for such lifehacks anymore. Just head to the Contacts tab and open the storage chat with yourself by tapping on your number at the top.

New contacts screen

Your storage chat

Feel free to forward favorite messages to the storage chat or send photos you want to quickly pass between devices. The handy ‘Shared Media’ sections will make finding content a breeze and you can always use in-chat Search for specific queries.

You can also access everything you send to the storage chat on any number of devices you connect, so this can serve as a simple but effective way to replace services like Dropbox right inside your messenger.

Group previews

Invite links are a handy way to add people to groups, even when they‘re not on Telegram yet. Today we’re making it easier for you to understand just what you're joining when you open them.

New group previews

As of Telegram v.3.11., you will be able to see who else is in the group and how many members it has before joining it.

Android Camera and More

If you're running Android 4.1. or higher, Telegram just got a brand new camera interface so that you can take photos in fewer taps. It is also now possible to preview bot content before sending.

Bot content preview

Check out before sending

Another nice bonus in this Android update is that you can now download large media and files 2x to 4x faster.

New looks and new viewer for Telegram Desktop

Telegram Desktop users can now enjoy an in-app player for videos. We've also improved the design in chats, adding sleek new message bubbles.

New desktop video player

And that‘s about all we’ve got for you in version 3.11.
As usually, stay tuned for more updates – coming after our little summer break.


August 3, 2016
The Telegram Team

Keep Calm and Send Telegrams!

Some media reported on a “massive” hacker attack on Telegram in Iran.
Here's what really happened:

Telegram accounts

Certain people checked whether some Iranian numbers were registered on Telegram and were able to confirm this for 15 million accounts. As a result, only publicly available data was collected and the accounts themselves were not accessed. Such mass checks are no longer possible since we introduced some limitations into our API this year.

However, since Telegram is based on phone contacts, any party can potentially check whether a phone number is registered in the system. This is also true for any other contact-based messaging app (WhatsApp, Messenger, etc.).

SMS codes

As for the reports that several accounts were accessed earlier this year by intercepting SMS-verification codes, this is hardly a new threat as we've been increasingly warning our users in certain countries about it. Last year we introduced 2-Step Verification specifically to defend users in such situations.

If you have reasons to think that your mobile carrier is intercepting your SMS codes, use 2-Step Verification to protect your account with a password. If you do that, there's nothing an attacker can do.


See also:


August 2, 2016
The Telegram Team

Drafts, Picture-in-Picture, and More

Telegram has replaced email for business communication for many of our users. But in a messenger, a lot of people are competing for your attention. Sometimes they interrupt you halfway through typing an important message, and you forget all about it. Good news! With our latest update, this is no longer a problem.

Today we're introducing Drafts. Unfinished messages are now clearly visible in the chats list, and the chat with an unsent draft will move to the top. What's more – all your drafts are now synced across all your devices. Now you can start typing on your phone, then continue on your computer – right where you left off.

Drafts in the chats list

Picture-in-Picture

On iOS, YouTube and Vimeo videos get a new button in the bottom right corner. Tap it to shrink the video and continue watching and listening while accomplishing other tasks.

You can drag the minimized video around the screen so that it doesn't get in the way. On iPads, videos in PiP mode will follow you around even if you switch to a different app. PiP will become available for all videos in Telegram in one of the next updates.

Internal Video Player for Android

Android users will enjoy the new built-in video player, available for Android 4.1+.

New built-in video player on Android

…and more

On top of this, Telegram v.3.10 allows you to view the entire set of a group‘s profile pictures instead of just the latest one. The beautiful ’Scroll to bottom' button with an unread messages counter has made it to Android and Telegram Desktop.

New unread messages counters

We've improved design across all of our apps. Telegram Desktop now sports nifty blue unread message counters, new buttons, and fully revamped profile pages.


We at Telegram are hard at work expanding the boundaries of what you can do with a messaging app. Stay tuned for more updates coming soon!


June 14, 2016
The Telegram Team

Edit Messages, New Mentions and More

Farewell to typos! Starting today, you can edit the text of your messages after sending them. This works across all Telegram chats, including groups and one-on-one conversations.

Edit messages

Simply tap and hold on a message, then press ‘Edit’. If you're on desktop, press the up arrow button to edit your last message. The messages will display a small ‘edited’ label so that it's easy to tell which were altered.

New Mentions

Mentioning other people in groups is handy since it sends them a notification about your message even if they muted the group. Starting today, you can mention any members in a group – even if they don't have a username. Just type the @ symbol and select whoever you would like to address. Easy!

Mention group members

People List

Speaking of addressing people, you can now get to your recent chats much faster using the new People list in Search.

Recent chats

Bot Attachments

We've also made it easier for you to access your favorite inline bots. Simply scroll down the attachment menu – and there they are. The more you use them, the higher they will climb.

Bots in attachment menu

Naturally, you will only see inline bots in the attachment menu if you used them at least once. Try @youtube, @gif or @imdb if you don't know where to start. Check out this post for more info on how to use inline bots.

Interface Improvements

We‘ve added quick sharing buttons to forwarded messages from bots, channels, and public groups. Notifications about messages with stickers will now show the relevant emoji so that you’ll know the general idea at first glance.

Scroll to bottom

Last but not least, if you're on iOS, your app now remembers the scroll position in chats when switching to a different chat and back. And scrolling up in a chat summons a new button that will send you back to the bottom in one tap. This button also displays a handy unread message counter if new ones are waiting for you there.


And that's it for today. Stay tuned for more updates coming soon!


May 15, 2016
The Telegram Team

Instant Camera and More 3D Touch

When taking pictures, even a split second can make the difference between capturing the perfect moment or missing it entirely. Starting today, our iOS users can snap a photo or take a video in no time. To access your camera quickly, simply tap and hold the attachment button, and you're ready to shoot:

This quick camera interface defaults to selfie mode with flash on, but you can change this and it will remember your choice.

With this update it also becomes easier to record videos using the standard camera interface. Press and hold the big button and the recording starts. By popular demand, videos you record in-app will now be saved to your device in Full HD quality.

More 3D Touch and More

Starting today you can use 3D Touch to preview photos and videos everywhere, including the attachment menus, message history, and the Shared Media section. The same goes for profile pictures: That's right, you no longer need to go to chat info to check them out in full size.

We've also added Uber and Citymapper as options for opening a location:

And, speaking of opening stuff, we've fixed the issue with files – you can now open any file you get in other apps again. This is extremely useful, given that you can share and store an unlimited number of documents and files of any type on Telegram.


That's it for today, stay tuned for more updates coming soon! The cool features we are adding in the next release will be available for all platforms.


April 28, 2016
The Telegram Team

$1,000,000 to Bot Developers. For free.

UPD: BotPrize extended: We will continue awarding grants to great bots in 2017.

Good news, everyone! This year, Pavel Durov will be giving away one million dollars to bot developers in the form of grants starting at $25,000 each. All you need to do to be considered is create an impressive bot using our Bot API. What do we want in return? Nothing. That's right, just support your creation and make your users happy.

Here's a list of things that a bot needs to make us smile:

  • It must be fast, just like the rest of Telegram's interfaces.
  • It must be useful for at least a few people out there.
  • We like it when bots also work in inline mode.
  • Oh, and did we mention it must be fast?

Some areas you may want to focus on: integrations, tools for bot builders, AI stuff, and natural language processing, although your bot may do something altogether different. Surprise us!

We don't mind if you port your bot from a different platform – just make sure it really feels at home in Telegram. We have many nifty interface options that aren't available elsewhere and make using Telegram bots a breeze.

How to submit

If you think you've made a bot that fits the description above, go ahead and drop us a line at BotSupport. Don‘t forget to include your bot’s username and the tag #BotPrize – this way we'll be able to find your bot.

We‘ll be giving out the prizes in several batches throughout 2016 and 2017. But there’s no reason to wait that long, send them to us as soon as they're ready.

Here‘s a poster in case you’d like to spread the word:

And that's it. Get the docs here, check out the intro if you're new to this, and make a bot for the world. Then send us a link.

You may also want to subscribe to our official @BotNews channel.


April 18, 2016
The Telegram Team