Everything You Need To Know About Using The Telegram App

It pretty much does everything.

by Lauren Grant
Originally Published: 
How To Use The Telegram App
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Telegram, a free messaging app, first popped up in the App and Google Play stores back in 2013 and has since garnered over 500 million active users. After news of WhatsApp's updated terms of service, former users began flocking to Telegram. Unlike WhatsApp, Telegram offers users a cloud-based server where unlimited media files can be sent without the issues of enough storage or worry of backing up data. But that’s not all that makes this app popular, Telegram also allows you to create group chats that can hold up to 200,000 people, it’s encrypted and has no plans of introducing ads or subscription fees.

Messaging apps in 2021 aren’t just for getting in touch with loved ones. Many have useful features that are designed to make one’s life easier. Telegram gives users everything from having a customized look for each of your individual chats to using nifty chatbots that can help you book your next trip, check the stock market, your email, or to just have fun with when you’re in the mood to play a game. Whether you’re chatting it up, networking, or getting a daily task completed, Telegram has a way to help.

Here's everything you need to know about how to use the app.

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First, Download The Telegram App

Like any other messaging app, Telegram offers users a clean and easy way to navigate conversations. Once you've downloaded the app, follow the steps on how to set up your profile. Then, you'll be prompted to choose one or more of your contacts to start a chat with.

Customize Your Look

Once you've set up your phone number and contacts, it's time to customize your app's look. Go to Chat Settings and manage everything from your text size to your chat background. Like other apps, Telegram has light and dark modes, as well as color themes. Since the app operates on a cloud server, you can choose a chat theme that has been uploaded by another user. You can customize and upload your own theme to share with the masses by holding your finger down on a theme until the Share option pops up. Along with this, you can upload multiple photos for your chat display picture. Only one photo will show but fellow messengers will be able to click through them.

Telegram's Chatting Features

The social app has one-on-one, group, and secret chat options. Telegram's secret chats work by using end-to-end encryption so that only you and the recipient of the message are able to see its contents. Additionally, Telegram offers a broadcasting tool called Channels. With Channels, you reach way more than just your contacts list. Both private and public, Channels allows you to reach an unlimited amount of people who are using the app by posting in specifcally themed channel chats. Your individual username won't be connected to your messages, allowing you to converse freely without worry of your information getting out.

Using Telegram Bots

Remember those bots from your AOL Instant Messenger days? That's kind of what Telegram Bots are like. While other messaging apps also have chatbots, Telegram's bots go above and beyond for not only your entertainment but for your everyday needs. These chatbots serve as a useful tool in your day-to-day messaging by helping you with things like weather updates, best time to buy airplane tickets, identifying songs and movies, and finding hotels. Check out this list of some of Telegram's most helpful bots.

Create Telegram Groups & Join Channels

While Whatsapp only allows up to 256 group members and Signal allows up to 1,000, Telegram lets you add up to a whopping 200,000 members to a group chat. While you probably don't need that many people in a chat (can you imagine how many notifications you'd get in an hour?) it's always nice to have options. Along with Groups, you can also extend your network with Channels. This feature allows you to join specific groups that you can tailor to your interests like education, current news, video games, and more. Telegram also offers hashtag support, meaning for all those looking to network or just find like-minded friends, you'll be able to simply sneak a hashtag in your Channel chat that will allow others to find you seamlessly. Here's a list of Channels you can join.

Utilize Telegram Chat Tools

Telegram takes chatting to the next level with functions like pinning messages, saving messages as files, and even scheduling your messages. You can schedule that "good morning" text that your mother expects every day. And if you're too paranoid to send it while you're sleeping, you can choose to send scheduled messages as soon as you open the app. While there are existing separate apps that help you schedule your messages, Telegram is the only messaging app that allows the service without the help of third party sources.

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