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Thoughts from the Product Manager / CEO / Founder of Telegram.

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Why users shouldn’t worry about ads on Telegram

I read an article that cautioned users from switching to Telegram from other apps, because "Telegram is going to introduce ads". This is misleading for at least 3 reasons:

1. There will be no ads in chats on Telegram. Users who rely on Telegram as a messaging app, not a social network, will never see ads. Private chats and group chats are and will always be ad-free. As I outlined in December, ads are being considered only in large one-to-many channels (like this one), which do not exist in any other messaging app. So users ditching older apps for Telegram won’t increase the number of ads in their lives.

2. User data will not be used to target ads. We believe that collecting private data from users to target ads the way WhatsApp-Facebook do is immoral. We like the approach of privacy-conscious services like DuckDuckGo: monetizing services without collecting information about users. So if we introduce ads in one-to-many-channels, they will be contextual – based on the topic of the channel, not targeted based on any user data.

3. We are fixing ads that are already here. In most markets, content creators on Telegram already monetize their content by selling promotional posts in their channels. This is a chaotic market with multiple third-party ad networks pushing intrusive ads that create a negative user experience. We want to fix this situation by offering a privacy-conscious alternative for channel owners.

Users will be able to opt out of ads, but I do think that privacy-conscious ads are a good way for channel owners to monetize their efforts – as an alternative to donations or subscriptions, which we are also working to offer them.

Our end goal is to establish a new class of content creators – one that is financially sustainable and free to choose the strategy that is best for their subscribers. Traditional social networks have exploited users and publishers for far too long with excessive data collection and manipulative algorithms. It’s time to change this.

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The "capitalism <-> socialism" opposition seems outdated. I prefer to think in terms of "centralization vs decentralization". Humans have evolved to perform best in small groups of less than 150 people. That's why wherever there's centralization and excessive hierarchy, there's inefficiency and underutilized human potential. Capitalist monopolies and socialist dictatorships are equally bad.

In a natural environment, every small community is able to produce an outstanding leader and an independent thinker. In today's world of trillion-dollar monopolies and bloated governments, the potential of hundreds of millions of people is suppressed by the limitations imposed by our artificial societal structures.

That is the reason why tens of thousands of people working at big corporations such as Facebook have failed to keep up with what our small team at Telegram has been implementing. That’s also the reason why countries like Russia fail to generate and retain global brands in their jurisdictions. Genuine creativity is rare in organizations and societies built on excessive hierarchies and lack of personal autonomy.

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For the last two weeks, the world has been following the events in the United States with concern. While the US represents less than 2% of our user base, we at Telegram have also been watching the situation closely.

Telegram welcomes peaceful debate and protest, but our Terms of Service explicitly prohibit distributing public calls to violence. In the last 7 years, we’ve consistently enforced this rule globally, from Belarus and Iran to Thailand and Hong Kong. Сivil movements all over the world rely on Telegram in order to stand up for human rights without resorting to inflicting harm.

In early January, the Telegram moderation team started to receive an increased number of reports about US-related public activity on our platform. The team acted decisively by clamping down on US channels that advocated violence.

Thanks to these efforts, last week our moderators blocked and shut down hundreds of public calls for violence that could’ve otherwise reached tens of thousands of subscribers. The team continues to process reports from users in addition to proactively removing content that directly incites violence.

I would like to thank everyone who reported public channels that crossed the line. Keep it up! We value each of your reports. Telegram welcomes political debate coming from all sides of the political spectrum – but will act swiftly to stop those who incite people to inflict harm on others.

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In the first week of January, Telegram surpassed 500 million monthly active users. After that it kept growing: 25 million new users joined Telegram in the last 72 hours alone. These new users came from across the globe – 38% from Asia, 27% from Europe, 21% from Latin America and 8% from MENA.

This is a significant increase compared to last year, when 1.5M new users signed up every day. We've had surges of downloads before, throughout our 7-year history of protecting user privacy. But this time is different.

People no longer want to exchange their privacy for free services. They no longer want to be held hostage by tech monopolies that seem to think they can get away with anything as long as their apps have a critical mass of users.

With half a billion active users and accelerating growth, Telegram has become the largest refuge for those seeking a communication platform committed to privacy and security. We take this responsibility very seriously. We won’t let you down.

Those of you who have used Telegram for the last several years know we’ve been consistent both when it comes to defending private data and to improving our apps. For those of you who just joined and are wondering what Telegram stands for, I’d like to quote my post from 2018:

You – our users – have been and will always be our only priority. Unlike other popular apps, Telegram doesn’t have shareholders or advertisers to report to. We don’t do deals with marketers, data miners or government agencies. Since the day we launched in August 2013 we haven’t disclosed a single byte of our users' private data to third parties.

We operate this way because we don’t regard Telegram as an organization or an app. For us, Telegram is an idea; it is the idea that everyone on this planet has a right to be free.

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I hear Facebook has an entire department devoted to figuring out why Telegram is so popular. Imagine dozens of employees working on just that full-time.

I am happy to save Facebook tens of millions of dollars and give away our secret for free: respect your users.

Millions of people are outraged by the latest change in WhatsApp Terms, which now say users must feed all their private data to Facebook’s ad engine. It’s no surprise that the flight of users from WhatsApp to Telegram, already ongoing for a few years, has accelerated.

At about 500 million users and growing, Telegram has become a major problem for the Facebook corporation. Unable to compete with Telegram in quality and privacy, Facebook’s WhatsApp seems to have switched to covert marketing: Wikipedia editors have recently exposed multiple paid bots adding biased information into the WhatsApp Wikipedia article [1].

We have also detected bots which spread inaccurate information about Telegram on social media. Here are the 3 myths they are pushing:

Myth 1. “Telegram’s code is not open-source”. In reality, all Telegram client apps have been open source since 2013 [2]. Our encryption and API are fully documented and have been reviewed by security experts thousands of times. Moreover, Telegram is the only messaging app in the world that has verifiable builds both for iOS and Android [3]. As for WhatsApp, they intentionally obfuscate their code, making it impossible to verify their encryption and privacy.

Myth 2. “Telegram is Russian”. In fact, Telegram has no servers or offices in Russia and was blocked there from 2018 to 2020 [4]. Telegram is still blocked in some authoritarian countries such as Iran, while WhatsApp and other “supposedly secure” apps have never had any issue in these places.

Myth 3. “Telegram is not encrypted”. Every chat on Telegram has been encrypted since launch. We have Secret Chats that are end-to-end and Cloud Chats that also offer real-time secure and distributed cloud storage [5]. WhatsApp, on the other hand, had zero encryption for a few years, and then adopted an encryption protocol funded by the US Government [6]. Even if we assume that the WhatsApp encryption is solid, it’s invalidated via multiple backdoors and reliance on backups [7].

In 2019 alone, Facebook spent almost 10 billion dollars on marketing [8] (I guess this includes paid bots on Wikipedia and other sites).

Unlike Facebook, Telegram doesn't spend any money, let alone billions of dollars, on marketing. We believe that people are smart enough to choose what is best for them. And, judging by the half a billion people using Telegram, this belief is justified.

[1] – WhatsApp Gives Users Ultimatum – Share Data with Facebook or Lose Access
[2] – In December 2020, the Wikipedia article about WhatsApp had the label “This article may have been created or edited in return for undisclosed payments, a violation of Wikipedia's terms of use”. Related investigation is discussed here.
[3] – Telegram Source Code
[4] – Reproducible Builds for Telegram Apps
[4] – On Digital Resistance in Russia
[5] – On Telegram Encryption
[6] – U.S. Government Funded The WhatsApp Encryption
[7] – Why WhatsApp Will Never Be Secure
[8] – Facebook Marketing Spending from 2010 to 2019

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Today marks one of the most important product updates in the history of Telegram – Voice Chats 🎙

With Voice Chats, every group on Telegram gets a synchronous dimension that runs in parallel with its text-based stream. They are best on Android with overlays which are visible on top of other apps, but also look great on iOS with the sticky push-to-talk button and interactive animated waves. On Desktop, you can assign any shortcut to speak in Voice Chats while using other apps.

Check out the demos in the blog and make sure to update Telegram to the latest version:
https://telegram.org/blog/voice-chats

P. S. Minor fixes may be required in the iOS app for slicker animations in large voice chats. We’ll be able to push them to the AppStore in 4 days when the responsible team at Apple returns from holidays.

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My new post:

https://telegra.ph/Consume-Less-Create-More-Its-More-Fun-12-04

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Thanks to everyone for birthday wishes. The celebration inspired me to another one of #telegram_office_posters

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Apple released a statement saying they didn't want us to take down the 3 channels run by the Belarusian protestors, but just specific posts "disclosing personal information."

This sly wording ignores the fact that channels, @karatelibelarusi and @belarusassholes, consist entirely of personal information of the oppressors and those who'd helped rig the elections – because that is why those channels exist.

By hiding their demands with vague wordings, Apple is trying to avoid the responsibility of enforcing their own rules. It is understandable: according to this poll, over 94% of Belarusian users think the channels that made Apple worry should be left alone.

Previously, when removing posts at Apple’s requests, Telegram replaced those posts with a notice that cited the exact rule limiting such content for iOS users. However, Apple reached out to us a while ago and said our app is not allowed to show users such notices because they were “irrelevant”.

Similarly, when Facebook wanted to inform its users that 30% of the fees users were paying for online events went to Apple, Apple didn’t let Facebook do it saying this information was (once more) “irrelevant”.

I strongly disagree with Apple’s definition of “irrelevant”. I think the reason certain content was censored or where your money goes is the opposite of irrelevant.

Apple has the right to be greedy and formalistic (or maybe not – that’s something for the courts and regulators to decide). But it’s time Apple learned to assume responsibility for their policy instead of trying to hide it from users – they deserve to know.

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Last night Telegram was down for about an hour in Europe due to hardware malfunctioning. Some iOS users who tried to access Telegram during this time may have been logged out and will unfortunately have to relogin.

We have already fixed the iOS app and the update is on the way to the App Store. We are also tweaking our networking software to minimize the risk of such issues in the future.

Telegram has a unique custom-built multi-datacenter infrastructure spread across the globe. This approach allows us to make things very efficient in terms of speed, security and cost, but can also pose some challenges in times of rapid growth. Each week, at least 10 million new users sign up for Telegram, and we are constantly scaling both our software and hardware.

Apologies for the downtime. We know how important it is for you to be able to access your messages 24/7 and we are working hard to achieve 100% uptime.

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We try to launch a major Telegram update every month, but sometimes we are late. I designed this poster for our office wall in Dubai to remind the team they won't get this middle eastern fruit unless they push some new features for you guys.

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Another new feature in today’s update is search filters. You can see the search tabs when tapping on the search icon/field from the main screen of Telegram.

The obvious purpose of these tabs is to make finding messages easier. But you can also use them to view all media from all your chats and channels in one chronological feed. It gives you a quick overview of all your audiovisual content.

What I like about these search tabs is that they look and act exactly as shared media tabs you already know (and love).

However, we don’t want new users to get confused by a level of complexity they don’t need, so you have to have at least 10 chats in your inbox to see the tabs.

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#telegram_office_posters

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I can understand why the US gov threatens to ban TikTok unless its US assets are sold to US investors. After all, China bans pretty much every non-Chinese social media app on its territory. Why should the rest of the world, including the US, let a Chinese app have a free ride in their markets? If you want to access the markets of other countries, you should also open your market to them – that would be fair.

However, the US move against TikTok is setting a dangerous precedent that may eventually kill the internet as a truly global network (or what is left of it). Before the US-TikTok saga, only autocratic countries like Iran, China or Russia were known for bullying tech companies into selling parts of their businesses to investors with close ties to their governments. It’s not surprising, for example, that Uber had to sell both their Russian and Chinese branches to local players.

I am proud that, unlike Uber, we at Telegram have always declined offers to sell our operations in specific countries. A few years ago we received letters from two funds with ties to countries that later attempted to block Telegram. Both letters expressed the same idea: “Telegram is going to get blocked in our country soon, so your only option is to sell us the local part of your business”. My response to those offers has been along the lines of my 2011 middle finger photo: we are not in the business of betraying our users. We are not selling Telegram – neither in part, nor in full. This will always be our position.

The problem with the US-TikTok case is that it legitimises an extortion tactic previously employed only by authoritarian regimes. For decades, the US has been perceived as the defender of free trade and free speech. But now that China has started to replace them as the main beneficiary of global trade, the US (or at least the Trump administration) seems to have become less enthusiastic about those values. This is regrettable, because billions of people on this planet still like the idea of an open and interconnected world.

Last week, Turkey introduced a bunch of laws limiting social media companies. A few years ago, the US would have had the moral right to criticise such efforts, citing freedom of speech and free trade as ideological foundations for their concerns. Today it’s less clear whether the US still has that right. Authoritarian leaders all over the world are already using the TikTok case as justification in their attempts to carve out a piece of the global internet for themselves. Soon, every big country is likely to use “national security” as a pretext to fracture international tech companies. And ironically, it’s the US companies like Facebook or Google that are likely to lose the most from the fallout.

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I hope you all liked the latest Telegram update – our 8th major update this year. This new version of Telegram could have become available to you several days earlier. But it didn’t, because of Apple’s desire to control every mobile app in the world. Few iPhone users realise how the policies of Apple make their lives worse. That’s why I decided to write the post below.

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Telegram became the most downloaded mobile app in the world in January 2021.

For the last 7.5 years, Telegram has steadily climbed the rankings for popular apps. Since its launch in 2013, Telegram’s user base has grown over 40% each year.

What’s our secret? Consistency.

For the last 7.5 years we’ve consistently defended the privacy of our users and regularly improved the quality and feature set of our apps.

Anyone who stays true to their values and applies focused effort over a long period of time is bound to succeed in their area. This is true for any human occupation – sport, blogging, art, coding, business or studying.

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Some users wanted a way to move their chat history from WhatsApp over to Telegram. Two weeks ago I realized this should be theoretically possible, and yesterday we made this feature available on both iOS and Android, together with many other improvements. It also supports migrating chats from KakaoTalk and Line – two other Pre-Telegram apps.

Nothing like this has ever been made possible by a major app, and our team had to implement some serious magic to make it work. We are happy with the result: moving messages to Telegram allows people to save disk space and stop worrying about third-party backups or changing devices.

The feature currently imports messages to the end of the target Telegram conversation, but retains the original timestamps of messages. Some folks have been asking whether we can mix the existing messages in a Telegram chat with the imported messages in one unified timeline. This should be possible if the target chat (where you import messages to) has fewer than 100 messages, so we’ve started to work on that.

We’ll also provide free APIs for third-party developers who want to create tools that will allow users to import messages to Telegram from anywhere. Hopefully, such tools will help add support for more apps than this first wave of three – and also allow users to import multiple chats or their entire inbox at once.

The original meaning of the paper plane on the Telegram logo means “freedom”. For us, freedom of choice and data portability are paramount. People should be in complete control over their own data – and their own lives.

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Since my last post, the already massive influx of new users to Telegram has only accelerated. We may be witnessing the largest digital migration in human history.

Following this global phenomenon, two presidents started their Telegram channels:

The President of Brazil – @jairbolsonarobrasil
The President of Turkey – @RTErdogan

They join a list of other heads of state already present on the platform:

The President of Mexico – @PresidenteAMLO
The President of France – @emmanuelmacron
The Prime Minster of Singapore – @leehsienloong
The President of Ukraine – @V_Zelenskiy_official
The President of Uzbekistan – @shmirziyoyev
The President of Taiwan – @iingtw
The Prime Minister of Ethiopia – @AbiyAhmedAliofficial
The Prime Minister of Israel – @bnetanyahu

(Note that such verified accounts typically show a blue check mark in your chat list and search results.)

We are honored that political leaders, as well as numerous public organizations, rely on Telegram to combat misinformation and spread awareness about important issues in their societies.

Unlike other networks, Telegram doesn’t use nontransparent algorithms to decide whether a subscriber will see content they subscribed to or not. As a result, Telegram channels are the only direct way for opinion leaders to reliably connect with their audiences.

By removing the manipulative algorithms that have become synonymous with 2010s technology platforms, Telegram channels restore transparency and integrity to public “one-to-many” communication.

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I’ve been taking part in the discussion in the comments and answering questions. Here are some of the responses:

On Apple-Google censorship /channel/durovschat/518801

On making server-side code open /channel/durovschat/515221

On a privacy-conscious ad platform /channel/durovschat/527441

On US-based encrypted apps /channel/durovschat/519187

On encryption vs. usability when using Secret Chats vs Cloud Chats /channel/durovschat/527081

On maximising security of communication /channel/durovschat/527134

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🎇

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As Telegram approaches 500 million active users, many of you are asking the question – who is going to pay to support this growth? After all, more users mean more expenses for traffic and servers. A project of our size needs at least a few hundred million dollars per year to keep going.

For most of Telegram’s history, I paid for the expenses of the company from my personal savings. However, with its current growth Telegram is on track to reach billions of users and to require appropriate funding. When a tech project reaches this scale, typically there are two options – start earning money to cover the costs, or sell the company.

Hence the question – which path will Telegram take? I’d like to make a few points to clarify our plan:

1. We are not going to sell the company like the founders of Whatsapp. The world needs Telegram to stay independent as a place where users are respected and high-quality service is ensured. Telegram must continue to serve the world as an example of a tech company that strives for perfection and integrity. And, as the sad examples of our predecessors show, that is impossible if you become part of a corporation.

2. Telegram is here to stay for a long time. We began developing our apps for our personal use over 8 years ago and have come a long way since then. In the process, Telegram changed the way people communicate in several aspects – encryption, functionality, simplicity, design, speed. This journey has just started. There’s much more we can – and will – bring to the world.

3. In order to make points 1 and 2 possible, Telegram will begin to generate revenue, starting next year. We will do it in accordance with our values and the pledges we have made over the last 7 years. Thanks to our current scale, we will be able to do it in a non-intrusive way. Most users will hardly notice any change.

4. All the features that are currently free will stay free. We will add some new features for business teams or power users. Some of these features will require more resources and will be paid for by these premium users. Regular users will be able to keep enjoying Telegram – for free, forever.

5. All parts of Telegram devoted to messaging will remain ad-free. We think that displaying ads in private 1-to-1 chats or group chats is a bad idea. Communication between people should be free of advertising of any sort.

6. In addition to its messaging component, Telegram has a social networking dimension. Our massive public one-to-many channels can have millions of subscribers each and are more like Twitter feeds. In many markets the owners of such channels display ads to earn money, sometimes using third-party ad platforms. The ads they post look like regular messages, and are often intrusive. We will fix this by introducing our own Ad Platform for public one-to-many channels – one that is user-friendly, respects privacy and allows us to cover the costs of servers and traffic.

7. If Telegram starts earning money, the community should also benefit. For example, If we monetize large public one-to-many channels via the Ad Platform, the owners of these channels will receive free traffic in proportion to their size. Or, if Telegram introduces premium stickers with additional expressive features, the artists who make stickers of this new type will also get a part of the profit. We want millions of Telegram-based creators and small businesses to thrive, enriching the experience of all our users.

This is the Telegram way.

It will allow us to keep innovating and keep growing for decades to come. We will be able to launch countless new features and welcome billions of new users. While doing that, we will remain independent and stay true to our values, redefining how a tech company should operate.

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Happy Halloween everyone! 🎃

I hope you liked yesterday’s Telegram update with multi-pins, proximity alerts, playlists and other features.

I just realized I've been using the Android Halloween theme for most of this year, as it goes well with the general mood of 2020.

If you're also on Android, check it out using this link – or choose a similar theme in your Chat Settings among the Dark Theme presets. It works best with the Halloween-inspired side bar, which users of Telegram for Android should be seeing today.

For iOS and Mac, this link should install the Halloween theme.

Do you like this month's trending sticker packs? My personal favorites so far are HalloweenUtya and ShadowKitty (but only because the creator of PepeVampire didn’t come up with enough stickers to get featured).

Feel free to share your favorite Telegram themes and sticker packs in the comments.

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As I’m turning 36, some people ask how I manage to look younger than my age. I’ve asked the same question of many people who age well (from Jared Leto to a random fitness trainer who looks like 25 at 50). Here’s what all of these young-looking individuals do (and don’t):

1. AVOID alcohol. There may be some rare exceptions, but in general, alcohol (as well as other addictive substances) makes people less healthy and visually older.

2. Sleep a LOT. Sleep is when your body repairs itself. You can’t borrow it: lack of sleep during the week can’t be compensated with oversleeping on the weekend.

3. Do NOT overeat. Excessive weight makes people look older and correlates with dozens of illnesses. Typically I eat twice a day within a 6-hour window or once a day, no snacking. Eating 3+ times a day is just a (bad) habit.

4. EXERCISE. Moderate but regular exercise makes people look healthier and live longer. Personally, I don’t do much cardio (I’d rather walk/cycle/swim in the open air) and prefer moderate weights.

5. LIMIT stress. There are mental habits that help. It helps to believe that everything that happens is for the better. Stoic techniques such as negative visualisation and generally not giving a shit also work. Living close to nature makes all of the above easier.

6. Do NOT eat meat. Eating seafood and wild-caught fish is fine, but farmed red meat is something most people who look younger than their age avoid. I suspect the unhealthy nature of farmed meat has to do with the way livestock is raised and killed (growth hormones, fodder etc).

7. Live ALONE. Surprisingly, all the young-looking, middle-aged men I spoke with lived alone for most of their lives. It may be the result of their independence from the sleeping/eating/behavioral patterns of another person. Or it’s just correlation, and people who are independent from unhealthy societal norms are also independent in their personal lives.

Interestingly, you can find scientific explanations for most of these points (even the last one is defensible, e.g. there are multiple studies showing that sleeping alone improves the quality of sleep). I’ve been following these rules for over 10 years, with "more sleep" being the most difficult due to the nature of my work.

If you are twice as young as I am and looking for the key takeaway, here it is: NEVER DRINK ALCOHOL. Once you give up on alcohol, you’ll stop silencing your intuition, which will tell you what is good and what is bad for you. You will figure out everything you need to know by yourself and won’t depend on other people for advice.

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Apple is requesting that we shut down 3 channels used by the people of Belarus to expose the identities of their oppressors.

@karatelibelarusi
@chatpartizan
@belarusassholes

Their concern is that publishing the personal information of law enforcers and propagandists may incite violence.

I think this situation is not black and white and would rather leave the channels be, but typically Apple doesn’t offer much choice for apps like Telegram in such situations. Unfortunately, I assume these channels will end up getting blocked on iOS, but remain available on other platforms.

P. S. Everyone is welcome to express their views and comment on this post provided they stay on-topic and use English. Thanks!

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Every major update of Telegram also brings you hundreds of professional animated stickers. These stickers are featured in the trending stickers section (to get there, select the emoji icon when typing a message, then tap on the sticker icon and choose the “plus in a circle” section). Just a few minutes ago this section got updated and now features a list of 20 excellent sticker packs including - YES - baby Yoda.

P. S. The moderators of my comments keep turning stickers off. I don't blame them. Personally though, I would rather receive a sticker than a message in a language I don't understand.

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Lastly, we have introduced Anonymous Admins for groups today. This is a handy feature for celebrities and generally for anyone who wants to run a large group chat without publicizing their personal account.

The creator of the group can make any group admin (including ±self) anonymous. After this, the admin will disappear from the group member list and will post messages on the group’s behalf.

If you add different “titles” for various anonymous admins in the group chat, the members of the group will be able to tell which admin posted each message. I am personally happy we added this feature, because for the first time in many years I was able to start a public group chat (@durovschat) without having my inbox flooded.

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Today we are adding native support for comments in channels. So once you update Telegram, you’ll be able to leave comments in some channels, including this one.

Throughout the next 10 days I’ll be posting stuff here to try this feature out.

What I like about our implementation of comments is that they are indistinguishable from a group chat. In fact, all comments in a channel are hosted in a group attached to that channel.

This allows for many possibilities both for commenters (e.g. adding voice messages, stickers, GIFs etc. to comments) and for admins (e.g. limiting voice messages, stickers, GIFs etc. in comments).

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#telegram_office_posters

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7 Reasons Every iPhone User Should Be Worried About the App Store’s 30% Tax

In the last few months, many prominent app developers voiced their disapproval of the App Store policies Apple imposes on all apps. Why should that concern you if you own an iPhone? Here are 7 reasons.

HIGHER PRICES. Apple’s 30% commission makes all apps and digital goods more expensive for you. It goes on top of the price you pay to developers for any services and games you buy on your phone. You pay more for every app, even though Apple already charged you a few hundred dollars more for your iPhone than it cost to make. In short, you keep paying even after you have paid.

CENSORSHIP. Some content in apps like Telegram is unavailable to you because Apple censors what is allowed on the App Store, which it fully controls to enforce the 30% tax. Apple even restricts us – app developers – from telling our users that certain content was hidden for iPhone users specifically at their request. Apple should realize how ridiculous their attempt to globally censor content looks: imagine a web browser deciding which websites you are allowed to view.

LACK OF PRIVACY. In order to install an app from the App Store, you must first create an Apple account and log in using it. After that, every single app you download and every push notification you receive is tied to your account, making you an easier target to track. Since the main reason you have to use an Apple account to download an iPhone app is Apple’s desire to enforce their 30% commission, the cost of their greed also includes your private data.

DELAYS IN APP UPDATES. You get new versions of your apps several days or weeks after they are actually ready, because Apple’s review team is notoriously inefficient and often delays approval for no apparent reason. You would think Apple could use the billions of dollars it receives from third-party apps to hire additional moderators. Somehow they are unable to do even that, and us – big apps like Telegram – typically have to wait several days or even weeks to publish updates.

FEWER APPS. Apple’s 30% commission on apps goes on top of all the other expenses developers must pay for: government taxes such as VAT (~20%), wages, research, servers, marketing. Many apps would have been net profitable in a world without Apple’s 30% commission, but being forced to surrender 30% of their revenue to Apple makes them unsustainable. As a result, many of them go bankrupt and lots of great apps you could have enjoyed just don’t exist.

MORE ADS IN APPS. Because Apple makes selling premium services and accepting donations one-third less meaningful for developers, many of them are forced to show ads in their apps in order for their companies to survive. Apple’s policies skew the entire industry towards selling user data instead of letting them adopt more privacy-friendly business models like selling additional services to their users.

WORSE APPS. Billions of dollars are taken from developers who could have otherwise spent those funds on improving the quality of the apps you use every day. Instead, this money rests idly in Apple’s offshore bank accounts and does nothing for the world, while app developers struggle to find resources for the research and development the world needs.

The situation is so bad that one would expect Apple’s 30% cut to be unsustainable. Yet it’s been around for more than 10 years and is still there. In my Telegraph post below, I'm explaining how Apple has been able to trick consumers and regulators into inaction for so long.

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https://decrypt.co/36296/sec-wrong-to-go-after-telegram-crypto-mom-hester-peirce

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