Telegram has witnessed a massive surge in its user base, which largely comprises people who have begun demanding a safer alternative to WhatsApp, who updated its privacy policy- perceived by many as being data breaching in nature. To keep up with its expanding user base, Telegram has, this week, announced a slew of new features in its latest updates, heeding to the demands and needs of its new-found popularity. 

In its new update, which was announced in a blog post this week, Telegram introduced an auto-delete timer for messages in any chat, as well as new flexible invite links and faster access to your chats with home screen widgets. The update also allows groups to now have unlimited members.

The Auto-Delete

Nothing lasts forever, and your messages don’t need to either. This is precisely why Telegram users can now delete messages for all participants in a conversation at any time, without a trace. Since 2013, users can also set a self-destruct timer for messages in Secret Chats. Starting this week, users can enable an auto-delete timer in all Telegram chats, which will automatically erase messages for all participants either 24 hours or 7 days after sending.

Auto-delete can be enabled inside of chats, and set to delete either 24 hours or seven days after messages are sent. Auto-delete won’t remove every message though; if a message was sent before the feature was turned on, it’ll be there. Meanwhile, in groups and channels, only admins can enable or modify the timer.

To enable the timer on Android, tap ⋮ > Clear History then choose a duration.

On iOS, press and hold a message, tap Select > Clear Chat (top-left) > Enable Auto-Delete.

 

Home Screen Widgets

For instant access to your most important chats, you can now add a Telegram widget to your home screen. The Chat Widget shows a preview of recent messages, while the Shortcut Widget shows only names and profile pictures. On Android, chats and messages in the widget will always be up to date, and you can further expand the widget to take up more of your screen. On iOS, widgets will only get fresh data occasionally and can’t be expanded – this is due to system limitations.

To add a widget, press and hold on your home screen, then tap Widgets on Android or the (+) on iOS and search for Telegram.

Expiring Invite Links

Telegram is adding in expiring invite links that can be set to expire after a certain number of uses, a certain amount of time, or both. With the new invites, group admins should be able to better moderate who joins and keep the private subject matter a little more private. Along with the main invite link, owners and admins can now create additional links with a limited duration, a number of uses, or both. Any invite link can be converted into a scannable QR Code to put on everything from brochures to billboards. You can also see which users joined using each invite link to find out where new members came from or which format has been most effective for growth.

To view and manage invite links, tap to open your Group or Channel’s Profile > Edit > Invite Links. Tap (⋮) or (⋯) to convert a link to a QR Code.

 

Groups With No Member Limits

Telegram groups allow up to 200,000 members to exchange messages, media, and stickers. Groups that are close to the limit can now convert into Broadcast Groups that allow unlimited members. Converting to a Broadcast Group makes it so that only admins can send messages, but members can still join voice chats.

Apart from these updates, Telegram has also added an improved reporting system and more animated emoji.

 

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Rhea Sovani

Author Rhea Sovani

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