Telegram Hacks 101
5 years ago, I remember being mind-blown by the idea of free messaging. Back then, WhatsApp used to be the must-have-at-any-cost app that all the cool kids had. But now, with messenger apps springing up almost every day, you get different friends telling you to download different apps that usually end up hogging way too much storage space.
Originally founded by the indie h1pst3rs, Telegram is now becoming increasingly mainstream, which means more WhatsApp users flocking over to Team Telegram. With these hacks unique to Telegram, it is no wonder that WhatsApp has now become the Facebook of our generation – outdated and what our parents use.
1. Never be caught with paiseh messages again
Even more powerful than Gmail’s “undo send” that lets you retract emails 30 seconds after you’ve pressed send with the slip of a hand; on Telegram, you can unsend messages within 48 hours of it being sent.
Trust me, you’re not the only one who’s had a mini cardiac arrest after accidentally sending your mum an inappropriate message. As long as the other party hasn’t read it yet, you’re not quite dead yet.
Step 1: Simply delete the message and select ‘delete for Me and ____’
Step 2: Your message will be deleted from both yours and their chat.
2. Hide your ‘last seen’ status only from your boss/friend/creepy classmate
When the “last seen” function was first created, I remember my friends being equal parts elated and agonized. On one hand, you could finally see when a friend was last online, and find out if he was just asleep, or simply ignoring you. On the other hand, other people could do the same to you.
Telegram has finally done it. No more switching apps to pretend you haven’t read the message yet. The best part about this function is that it does not disable your ‘last seen’ entirely, but only for the contacts you select.
Step 1: Go to Settings > Privacy & Security
Step 2: Click ‘Last Seen’ and select an option under ‘Who Can See My Timestamp’
Step 3: To disable last seen from specific contacts, click ‘Never Share With’ and select contacts
Now, you can tell your friend/teacher/boss that you completely missed the message, and they’d never find out.
3. Set a Telegram passcode to keep kaypoh people away
Remember those spot checks you used to get from your mum when you were 15? Yeah, if this function had existed then, you probably wouldn’t have been grounded so often. Telegram’s passcode function assures chat security and privacy, preventing kaypoh friends (and mums) from scrolling through your chats. In order to lock your chats, set an app passcode following these steps:
Step 1: Go to Settings > Privacy and Security > Passcode Lock > Turn Passcode On
Step 2: Apple users have the option of Touch ID
4. Watch YouTube/Vimeo videos and chat at the same time
We’re all guilty of telling our friends who excitedly send us video links, “Yeah I’ll watch it later”, and never actually getting around to watching it. The app-toggling frustration is real, especially if you have an affinity for multi-tasking. Telegram allows you to watch videos and chat at the same time, so you don’t have to stop what you’re doing just to watch a potentially lame video.
Here’s how you do it:
Step 1: Click on the thumbnail of the video link
Step 2: Select the ‘fullscreen’ icon to watch in fullscreen within the app itself
Step 3: If you want to chat at the same time, click the ‘picture-in-picture’ icon
5. Edit your “I don’t give a duck” sass after accidentally sending it
If you claim to never have typed “I don’t give a duck” in a flurry of furious text messages, and subsequently feeling like a complete idiot, you are clearly lying. This function not only prevents you from coming across as a total dingbat, but also saves you the trouble of sending another message (with an asterisk) correcting yourself, which really just makes the whole situation even funnier.
Step 1: Simply double tap your wrongly spelled message and select ‘edit’, and correct it after its sent.
6. Create supergroups of up to 5000 members for your company or OGs
We used to think a group limit of 100 was a lot. Well, Telegram’s group capacity has now expanded to 5000 people. Don’t feel sad though, nobody really expects you to have 5000 friends to make a group with. This function is more useful for corporate use, for instance, to create a group for the entire office. Unless you’re just really really popular then well, good for you.
Step 1: Click new message icon
Step 2: Select ‘New Group’
Step 3: Add up to 5000 contacts to create a supergroup
7. Add people to groups by sending them group links
Let’s say you’re hosting a party for your work mates, open to whoever can make it. Ditch the burden of waiting for an RSVP and just send out a group link for whoever that wants to join. Then they can’t say bojio and blame you for forgetting to add them in. Telegram allows you to add people to a group just by a click – so it’s their problem to add themselves, no longer yours!
You can also send the invite link to those using WhatsApp and they will be directed to the Telegram app automatically if they have it installed. It’s time to revolutionise Telegram, folks.
8. Pin outing details in group chats for MIA/blur sotong friends
When it comes to group outings, there’s usually one sotong who’s blur about the details of the meetup. But never again will this person get lost in the flood of messages when details can be pinned on Telegram. In addition, if there’s an address you’re getting to, don’t have to scroll all the way up once you get into the cab. Take note that you need to upgrade the group to Supergroup before you can do this.
If you’re that irritating 256-unread-chats friend who ‘single-ticks’ literally every message and later forgets to reply, you can also pin up to 5 chats and 5 secret chats by swiping left and selecting ‘Pin’.
9. Join a channel to get your daily dose of whatever
Just like Twitter, on Telegram, you can join channels to get daily updates/messages about almost anything and everything. A channel is like a community of people sharing the same interests, except, you cannot chat with one another via the channel, only read the incoming feed. Whether it’s daily bible verses, or motivational quotes, or even the latest sticker packs, keep yourself updated by joining a channel.
Step 1: To join a channel, simply type in @tchannelsbot into the search bar. This robot will help you discover the best channels available on Telegram.
Step 2: You can even create a new channel by selecting the ‘New Message’ icon, and clicking ‘New Channel.
10. Edit your photos Snapchat-style before sending them
Snapchat’s innovative photo editing function has now been adopted by Telegram, where you can add stickers to your photos before sending them, all within the app. Besides stickers, there are also masks with which you can play around with, that detect your facial features on the photo. Simply follow these steps:
Step 1: Attach/take a photo in the Telegram app
Step 2: Click the sticker icon
Step 3: Select preferred mask and it will detect the facial features and auto-align it
11. Create unglam GIFs of your friends to annoy them
Source – Feelings of disbelief are best conveyed in a GIF
A sticker says a thousand words, but a GIF says a million. Animate your conversations even more by creating your own GIFs while chatting. If you ever get bored of the same old emojis and stickers, you know what to do.
Step 1: Take a video using the Telegram app
Step 2: Click the mute button on the bottom right
Step 3: Video will be sent as auto-looped GIF
Unfortunately, GIFs created this way don’t seem like they’re able to be saved as a .GIF, but as a silent video instead. So if you ever want to post the GIF elsewhere, sadly, you will not be able to as it is out of Telegram and will be saved as a video instead of a GIF.
12. Play Cards Against Humanity or Werewolf with friends
Those of us who lack proper hand-eye coordination for action games like Super Mario Run, will take to Telegram’s bot-controlled gaming platform. Whether you’re feeling lonely or simply enjoy gaming, Telegram will keep you company with a variety of games you can pick from, the most popular ones being:
* Cards Against Humanity
Step 1: Type [name of game] in the search bar
Step 2: Send the message /start to the bot
Step 3: Add the bot into a Telegram group with your friends
Step 4: Follow instructions given by the bot, on how to proceed with game
You can also find other Telegram games here!
13. Start a secret chat for next level privacy
No matter how close you think you are, bitching about your boss to a colleague is never a foolproof idea, as you never know when they might just screenshot your conversation for use against you in order to score some brownie points.
With Telegram’s secret chat feature which allows you to place a self-destruct timer of your preferred time period, you can send anything without worrying about it being used against you. If the other party screenshots your conversation, you will get a notification. Beware, however, of what you send, as they can always use another camera to capture your conversation.
Follow these steps:
Step 1: Click new message icon at top right hand corner
Step 2: Select ‘New Secret Chat’
Step 3: Choose contact
Step 4: Click the timer icon on the message input bar
Step 5: Choose how long you want your ‘Self Destruct Timer’ to last for
14. Create a sticker pack to troll your friends
Sometimes our feelings are best conveyed in sticker-speak. Whether its “BB hungry BB need food” or “BB want but BB never tell” – the best stickers are those you can make on your own.
Step 1: Type @stickers in the search bar
Step 2: Send the message /newpack to the bot
Step 3: Send a message of what you want the sticker pack to be named
Step 4: Upload the image you want to convert into a sticker
Step 5: The image file should be in PNG format with a transparent layer and must fit into a 512×512 square (one of the sides must be 512px and the other 512px or less).
Before sending stickers to the bot though, you have to make sure your pictures are correctly configured. Here’s how:
* Send the photo to yourself via Telegram, so you can access it from Telegram Desktop.
* Save image and open in Preview, for Mac users, or any other photo editing app
* Using the markup tool, pick the smart lasso option and trace the photo accordingly and crop
* Go to www.garyshood.com to resize and convert image to 512×512 in PNG format
* Send to the @stickers bot as a file NOT a photo
Here’s a tip: It’s a lot easier to create a sticker pack on Telegram Desktop because of the photo specifications and uploading process. We’ve had a lot of fun using our own TSL food stickers on the company chat!
15. Chat with Emma Stone
If you’re ever caught in an emergency situation and don’t have someone’s number, just chill. Telegram uses both username and mobile number for chats, which means that you can chat with someone even if you don’t have their number. All you need is their username.
Go onto the search bar and type in their username to strike up a conversation. Yes, this also means you can directly message celebrities – or their bots – who have Telegram; whether they reply or not is an entirely separate matter.
Telegram – The Superior Messaging App
Try out these hacks and never be (virtually) inefficient again. In other words, don’t be a noob. If you can’t get your life together, at least try to sort your virtual one out. So next time you see your friends unnecessarily toggling between apps to watch videos or sending the same few emojis on WhatsApp, you know what to do.
Telegram shouldn’t just be the app that everyone goes to when they want to ignore someone on WhatsApp, because its in fact better than almost any messenger app in terms of functionality. Get out of the herd mentality and hop on over to #TeamTelegram with the other cool kids who’re probably gonna say “I used Telegram before it got mainstream”.