Telegram has rolled out a major update which adds several new features and improvements to the messaging app.
The first major change is the ability to auto-delete messages in all chats, a feature that was previously only available in Secret Chats.
This allows the user to set a timer for a message to “self-destruct”, automatically erasing it in either 24 hours or 7 days after being sent.
Telegram noted that auto-delete only applies to messages sent after the timer is set, while earlier messages will stay in the chat history.
In addition, unlike in Secret Chats, the countdown starts when messages are sent, not read.
To enable the timer on Android, users can tap the three-dot menu, select Clear History and choose a duration.
On iOS, press and hold a message, tap Select, then Clear Chat and choose Enable Auto-Delete.
Widgets and other features
Telegram now also offers two widgets that can be added to the user’s home screen for quick previews of activity on the app.
The Chat Widget shows a preview of recent messages, while the Shortcut Widget shows only names and profile pictures of contacts.
Telegram said the feature on Android will always keep chats and messages up to date and can be further expanded to take up more of the screen.
However, on iOS, widgets will only get fresh data occasionally and can’t be expanded, 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,” the company said.
In addition, the following features and improvements are now available:
- Expiring invite links – Owners and admins can now create links with a limited duration, numbers of uses, or both.
- Invite by QR code – Invite links can be converted into a scannable QR code for placement on physical objects.
- Unlimited group members – Large groups closing in on the 200,000 member limit can be converted to Broadcast Groups with unlimited members. Only admins will be able to send messages, but all members can participate in voice chats.
- Improved chat import – Messages imported from WhatsApp will now appear sorted by their original date if added to a new Telegram chat or one that has fewer than 1,000 messages.
- Improved reporting system – Telegram will now ask users to report specific messages which may contain abuse or scams. The option to add a comment providing more context alongside the report is now also available.