Telegram Introduces Topics in Groups, Video Transcriptions, Dark Mode, and More

Telegram has rolled out a new update on iPhone and iPad, introducing long-requested features. As outlined by the popular messaging app, the new update brings topics in groups. video transcription, dark mode, new emojis, and much more.

First off, Telegram’s topics can be enabled within groups with more than 200 members. The platform wants to better support groups with large communities, allowing them to have easy-to-read separate spaces for any number of subjects. These topics are said to function as normal chats, having their own shared media and notification settings. Topics can range from gaming, cooking, etc. Telegram notes that the goal is to introduce a similar topic function to small groups down the road. However, they will likely feature different tools tailored to a smaller community experience.

Moving over to video transcription, Telegram is offering a voice-to-text option for video messages. Users can now read through a text transcription of a video in the event they are unable to use their volume settings or earbuds. This feature is exclusive to Telegram Premium, which is available for $4.99 USD. This feature is said to be instant, enabling users to get their transcriptions right at the moment.

Telegram is also adding ‘Collectible Usernames’ to the platform. This is the company’s way of introducing an easy method of adding and findings contacts. This enables users to find users and channels by using their usernames. On top of the standard username, Telegram support multiple collectible usernames for each account and public chat.

Collectible Usernames are supported by TON, which Telegram states is “a fast and scalable blockchain network.” They can be bought and sold via Fragment. Each Collectible Username works similarly to standard @usernames. Though, for the first time on the platform, these can be less than five characters. Once created, the users can begin to trade and sell the digital asset.

Additional highlights include a dark mode. Telegram has redesigned its dark themes on iOS. Now, the app offers better-blurred effects and balance when scrolling pages and interacting with the chat lists.

Telegram Premium users also gain access to 12 new emoji packs. These appear to range from aliens, to pumpkins, ghosts, and pigeons. These emoji packs can be used within messages, statuses as well as captions.

Finally, Telegram is offering new quality-of-life updates. The platform now supports the ability to resize text on Android, animations when swiping left, and interactive emoji reactions.

Telegram acknowledges that it wasn’t able to fulfill an update prior to Halloween (hence the spooky emojis rolling out now). In a separate post, Telegram’s CEO Pavel Durov states that Apple’s App Store review process took over a week. “Apple claims they review apps within 24 hours, but, in our experience, it takes at least 7-10 days for any meaningful product update to reach the App Store.” Durov continues to criticize Apple’s App Store review process and discusses the EU’s Digital Markets Act.