Telegram beats WhatsApp in race to launch emoji reactions; update brings slew of new features

Telegram has said that this is its 12th major update of the year.

With this, the platform hopes to not only offer more engaging ways to interact with different types of audiences, but also to enhance the overall user experience on the instant messaging app.

Telegram new features 2021: As the year is coming to an end, instant messaging platform Telegram has announced that it is introducing some special features for users before we leave 2021 and ring in 2022. This marked the 12th major update by the platform in the year, it said. Well, the update includes key features like message translations, reactions, themed QR codes, as well as hidden texts. With this, the platform hopes to not only offer more engaging ways to interact with different types of audiences, but also to enhance the overall user experience on the instant messaging app.

In case you did not know, ever since WhatsApp’s controversial privacy policy of January 2021 triggered mass migration, Telegram has not only been taking digs at the Meta-owned service, but has also been bringing out one update followed by the other to provide users with more and more. In tone with that, it is fitting that a last update has been released by Telegram on December 31.

Reactions: Animated and quick

So, if you have heard, WhatsApp is reported to be working on an Instagram-like feature to react to specific messages with the help of emojis without needing to send a new message. This capability is already available on Instagram and Facebook Messenger. For months now, it has been reported that WhatsApp will be bringing this to its chats as well. However, Telegram seems to have reached there first as it has announced its feature ‘Reactions’ that would let users react to a specific message in a chat with an emoji quickly without having to send a new message. However, it has also gone a step further, providing each reaction emoji with its own unique animation.

There are two aspects to this. One is that a user can long-press on the specific message they want to react to and choose from the line of emojis that appear. Apart from this, users can also double tap on a message to send their default reaction (set to a thumbs up). However, this quick reaction can be changed by going to Settings, and then Chat Settings and Quick Reactions on an Android phone or going to Settings, Stickers and Emoji and then Quick Reactions on an iOS device.

In-app message translation

Message Translation feature by Telegram will translate any message to another language so that users can read a message in their language without having to exit the Telegram app. The feature is available on all Android devices that support Telegram and on all iOS devices running on iOS 15 or above. Moreover, the translation feature is available for all the languages that are available with the OS of a particular device.

Users would need to go to Settings and then Language to enable translation, which would lead to a dedicated ‘Translate’ button to be added to the context menu when a message is selected. In fact, users would also be able to exclude from this feature any language that they speak fluently so that the translate button can be hidden for these languages.

That’s not all..

A fun feature, called Spoilers or Hidden Text, has also been added by Telegram. With this, users would be able to ‘Spoilers’ formatting to hide a certain portion of the message’s text, and this text would remain hidden in notifications and chat list as well. The hidden text would only be revealed once the recipient tapped on the message.

Themed QR Codes have also been added by the instant message platform, which would allow users to create QR codes for any user who has a public username, and this feature is also available for channels, bots and groups. With this, the user, channel, bot or group’s profile would be displayed in a quick manner to other potential users. This QR code would also be customisable.

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