Telegram Messenger in its latest update has rolled-out Topics in Groups, Collectible Usernames, new interfaces for operating systems and more to enhance the user chat experience. Moreover, the platform brings some unique features for its premium users such as Voice-to-text for Video messages. Earlier, the premium users were only able to transcribe voice messages. A bunch of 12 new emoji packs have also been added to Telegram Premium. The app has also released several interface-driven updates for Android, iOS and desktop apps.
In the latest blog by Telegram's CEO & Founder, Pavel Durov wrote, "I feel particularly excited about today's Telegram update. It adds topics to large groups, transforming these linear chats into slick mobile-friendly versions of good old Internet Forums.
Ironically, the very first popular internet service I built around 20 years ago was also an Internet Forum – a message board for students of my university, which eventually grew into the biggest student portal in the region.
16 years ago I again incorporated forums into the Communities section of VK, a social network I founded. Since VK was the most popular communication platform in Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and other countries, tens of millions of people used the forum feature there.
I feel nostalgic about those times: I had yet to learn the skill of hiring engineers and designers back then, so I programmed and designed everything on my own, working 20 hours per day.
Today I am fortunate to have the best coding team in the world to recreate the forum experience for hundreds of millions across all platforms in a more modern, fast and accessible form. Telegram will now support organized conversations where thousands of people can concurrently discuss different subjects in the same group.
Topics today come packed with lots of features including the ability to close and pin topics, flexible notification options and lots of fun animated emoji to be used as topic icons. But this is just the start. Taking advantage of the two-week delay caused by Apple's review, we have begun to expand these new threaded groups into something even more powerful."
Topics in Groups
Telegram groups can support huge communities with hundreds of thousands of users. To keep these chats easy to read, groups with over 200 members can now enable topics and create separate spaces for any subject. Topics function as individual chats within the group – supporting their own shared media and notification settings. Members are free to chat on any topic of their interest, using all their favourite features like polls, pinned messages and bots.
This feature is intended specifically for large groups, adding new ways to customize their chats and promote discussion. Later this year, Telegram expect to introduce a different set of tools, tailored to small groups. If users want to give topics a test drive, try them out in this public group.
Group admins can enable topics in their Group Settings, and can control who is allowed to create and manage topics in Permissions. Telegram plans to release further updates that will bring more powerful tools for both admins and users of this feature.
Telegram users can make it easy for others to contact them or find their public groups and channels via usernames. In addition to one basic username, users can now assign multiple collectible usernames to each of their accounts and public chats. The ownership of collectible usernames is secured by TON, a fast and scalable blockchain network. They can be bought and sold through a new platform called Fragment, enabling a simple and secure way to acquire and exchange valuable Telegram domains.
Collectible usernames work just like basic @usernames, they appear in Global Search results and have their own links that can be used outside of Telegram: username.t.me and t.me/username.
Unlike basic usernames, collectible usernames can be less than 5 characters long – making it possible to get unique names like @news or @game. Once acquired, a user has full control over their collectible username, able to trade it or retain it for later use. Users can deactivate any of their collectible usernames by making them invisible in search results without losing the name.
Voice-to-Text for Video Messages
Since the launch of Telegram Premium, subscribers have been able to convert any voice message to text – for times when it's more convenient to read than listen along. This update adds the same functionality to video messages, allowing Premium users to get an instant text transcript.
New Emoji Packs
While thousands of users experiment with uploading custom emoji sets, Telegram artists have completed 12 new emoji packs. Premium users can use these emoji in any messages and captions – or set them as statuses for Halloween.
Redesigned Night Mode for iOS
Dark themes have been updated for users on iOS, making colours more balanced with better blurring effects as they scroll in chats and the chat list.
Resizing Text on Android
Changing the text size in Chat Settings on Android now increases the size of all chat text – including link previews, reply headers and more.
For those times when our users are studying, sleeping or being suspicious, this update brings 4 new interactive emoji that play full-screen effects in 1-on-1 chats and can also be used as reactions. Additionally, all users can celebrate the spooky season with 3 more reactions in any chat.