Telegram has updated its app with new features and visual updatesincluding the addition of speech-to-text transcription for videos, individual topics in large group chats, and “Collectable usernames.”
Video message transcription can be accessed by tapping the “→A” button at the bottom right of any video, but it’s not available to everyone – like Telegram’s existing voice message transcription, the feature is limited to Telegram Premium users. A Telegram Premium Subscription costs $4.99 per month and comes with added benefits such as faster downloads, no ads, and a larger 4GB upload limit.
Telegram has also introduced new features for free users, starting with Topics in Groups. This allows groups with more than 200 members to create separate spaces that function as individual chats, with their own notifications, independent of the larger group. The setup is similar to Discord servers that have a single overarching focus, but also side channels for more specific conversations. You can test the function yourself in Telegram’s public group.
Next up is Collectible Usernames, an NFT-like asset secured by the TON blockchain network that can be bought and sold through Fragment. Telegram says these vanity names can be less than five characters long and work just like regular usernames, appearing in global search results and generating “username.t.me” and “t.me/username” links that can be used outside of Telegram .
Telegram’s night mode has also been redesigned for iOS users, making colors more balanced with better blurring effects when users scroll through chats, while Android users will benefit from new options to resize text – including link previews and reply headers – via the Chat settings. Some minor design improvements have also been added, such as pulsating chat bubbles for placeholders when messages load and a new animation to swipe left to reply. Finally, Telegram Premium users have access to twelve new emoji packs (some with a seasonal Halloween theme) that can be set as user status or in messages and captions.
Telegram rounded out the update announcement with an apology for the delayed release, saying that “Apple took two weeks to review the update.” Telegram founder Pavel Durov gave additional details in a special positiont, saying, “Apple claims they review apps within 24 hours, but in our experience it takes at least 7-10 days for a meaningful product update to reach the App Store.” This isn’t the first time Durov has publicly criticized Apple, having previously accused the tech giant of delaying updates for weeks and removing the ability for users on iOS to create pay-to-view posts due to its strict App Store. guidelines from Apple.