Sunday, September 24, 2023

Emoji statuses and ‘infinite’ reactions are among Telegram’s newest features

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Screenshot of various emoji reaction options in Telegram.
A new menu allows you to quickly select the most frequently used responses. | Image: Telegram

Telegram is throwing a bot at its non-premium users this month by giving them access to more emoji reactions. The function now let all users choose from “dozens” of emoji to drop on message bubbles as an alternative way to contribute to the conversation. And if you pay the $4.99 per month for Premium, don’t worry, you now get an endless array of response options through the custom animated emoji packs released last monthas well as other new features.

Paying Telegram Premium subscribers can now use any animated emoji as status, in addition to the standard seven that can change color based on the theme. For example, you can choose a rotating controller emoji to indicate that you’re fragging on your Xbox. It appears in friends’ chat lists, groups and on your profile page instead of the normal Premium badge, which you would also tap to apply the status.

There is also now a better login system for “users who often log out and back in” that can send a temporary code to your email address or use Sign In with Apple or Google. Users on iOS will notice that the UI for logging in has been improved and includes the “nice animations” that Android users have already enjoyed.

Screenshot of many emoji options that can be selected for the status indicator, in this case a game controller is selected.
Image: Telegram
Emoji status can be added by tapping the premium badge in your profile.
screenshot of the Android Telegram app in the download section and with a draggable icon that can move an active download lower or higher.
Image: Telegram
The Android app now allows download priority.

Speaking of Android users, the app will now have stifled animations when dealing with media in the app, and also the app icon corresponds to Android’s color and dark mode settings. And the download section, like the iOS version, can now prioritize items so you can download those huge uncompressed astrophotography images for your friend’s dance recitation video.

Finally, there is now a better link format for sharing your Telegram user profile. Instead of the old one, you can do now, that is easier to share audibly and better for accessibility.

Telegram has been doing a great job of adding more Premium features for subscribers lately, but the process has had some bumps. Founder Pavel Durov had hinted at upcoming features like ad removal in June ahead of the launch, along with powerful user-centric features like support for large files and these emoji reactions.

He said the new animated emoji feature, which includes an open custom platform to create your own versions, “will revolutionize the way people express themselves”. Apple blocked an earlier update with “Telemoji” that apparently came too close to Apple’s custom designs, but Telegram eventually added “hundreds of vector-based emoji with smooth animations”.

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