Telegram’s instant messaging platform may have been put to the test by new features introduced recently by its main rival WhatsApp. In response, it has released nine major updates to combat it.
The ability to sign up for an account without a SIM card is one of the new features that gives Telegram an advantage over WhatsApp.
Before now, Telegram, like WhatsApp, required a phone number to sign up new users for the service, with your account tied to it. However, with the new feature, the company said:
- “You can have a Telegram account without a SIM card and log in using blockchain-powered anonymous numbers available on the Fragment platform.”
Other features: Aside from the ability to sign up without a SIM, Telegram also rolled out other features which are highlighted.
Auto-delete all chats: With this feature, Telegram said it is expanding users’ control over their digital footprint into the future.
- “You can now set a global auto-delete timer to automatically remove messages in all new chats. Existing chats will not be affected, but you can easily expand your auto-delete settings to any of them from the new menu in Settings > Privacy & Security > Auto-Delete Messages.
- “The timer will be automatically applied to all your new chats with users – regardless of who starts them – and to all new groups you create,” Telegram said.
Ultimate Privacy: Telegram said it now gives users full ownership of their entire message history through its unique combination of removing messages for all participants without a trace, and controlling existing and future chats with auto-delete timers.
- “Together with using your account without a SIM card it delivers ultimate privacy,” the company said.
Topics 2.0: While its previous update gave admins of large groups the option to organize discussions into topics, merging classic internet forums with the latest in messaging technology, Telegram topics have now become even more powerful – and are now available for groups of 100 members or more.
- “Groups now have a default topic called General, which holds the group’s service messages and pre-topic message history. This topic is available for all group members so they can find older messages, but admins can rename the topic or hide it from the main list.”
Aggressive Anti-Spam: Telegram said admins of groups with over 200 members can now choose to unleash the full proactive power of Telegram’s algorithms – turning on the new Aggressive mode for the automated spam filters.
Temporary QR codes: Telegram users that have a public username can generate QR codes to quickly connect with people around them.
- “Now you can generate a temporary QR code if you don’t have a username and are hiding your phone number from everyone. Scanning the code will let people instantly add you as a contact without knowing your phone number.”
Emoji search on iOS: Telegram iOS users can now enjoy Emoji search – that was already available on Android – using keywords in multiple languages to find the perfect emoji, including those from your custom packs.
Detailed storage for Android: Telegram has redesigned the Storage Usage page on Android and it now shows how much space each chat is using on your device. Telegram has added 10 more custom emoji packs. However, these are available for Telegram Premium users only.
Emoji reactions get customized: Interactive emojis are a take on message reactions as users can just tap to play full-screen effects that are synchronized for both chat partners