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Thursday, January 21, 2021

Telegram announces new feature-packed update, future monetisation plans for app

Check out the new Telegram features on the Android and iOS apps, including Group Voice Chats, new UI animations, external storage support and more.

By: Tech Desk | Mumbai | December 24, 2020 2:50:46 pm
Telegram will soon add paid premium features for business and power users. (Image Source: Reuters)

Telegram has rolled out a new update with multiple new features and improvements. The new additions include voice-chat for Telegram groups, new UI animation for Android users. The app has also unveiled its strategy for the future as Telegram nears 500 million active users globally. Check out all the new features and the app’s future-plans below.

New Telegram features on Android and iOS

The new Telegram Voice Chat feature allows groups to instantly turn into a voice-chat room. The voice-chat overlay also allows users to freely navigate through the app, enabling them to browse other conversations and send a new message, while being connected on the voice-chat.

On Android, users will now also be able to exit the app and still be on the group voice chat. A new floating widget will allow microphone controls and alert users on who is speaking. On Telegram Desktop and the Telegram macOS app, users get a new Push-to-Talk button for voice chats.

Android users now also have the ability to move their Telegram app data from the phone’s internal storage to an external SD card, which will help those with less internal storage left on their phones. The Android app also gets new animations throughout the UI.

The Android Telegram app will now allow users to edit a photo that has already been sent. Users will be able to create drawings on photos and paste stickers on them with the new built-in media editor. Meanwhile, on iOS, a new pen button will let users quickly edit and send back a photo they have received. iOS users can now also enable Siri to announce incoming Telegram messages aloud.

Telegram is also launching a new ‘Bug and Suggestion Platform’ where users can report bugs and suggest new features.

Telegram will soon allow extra features at a price

Telegram Co-Founder Pavel Durov recently announced the company’s two-fold plan to monetise the app. Under the first part, Telegram will soon be introducing new premium features for business and power users. However, all existing features will continue to remain free for users. Only users who wish to use the new premium features will be required to pay a premium.

Under the second part, Telegram will introduce ads in the app’s public channels. Telegram channels are effectively large group chats, often run by either a single user or a small group. Meant to quickly relay important updates in a community, Telegram channels have over the years becomes one of the app’s standout features. These channels will now show ads via Telegram’s own ad network and will have a better interface to differentiate them from regular posts.

However, one-on-one chats and private group chats will remain ad-free. Durov also mentions in his Telegram post that the app will continue to remain an independent company. He adds that the new steps are to keep the company afloat and to avoid having to sell the company to make money, directly pointing to Facebook-owned competitor WhatsApp as a bad example.

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