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Everything you need to know about Telegram

Channels, stickers, bots, privacy: with our guide the messaging app will have no more secrets


To the rhythm of 350 thousand new users per day, Telegram quickly became the messaging app of the moment, chosen by users, newspapers (yes, we are here too) and even Pope Francis, to communicate both with friends and with the general public. And if 100 million users, dozens of unique functions and fifteen billion messages exchanged every day have still not convinced you, here is all you need to know to become a true Telegram master.

On which platforms can you use it?Telegram Lapp available for free on Android, iPhone, iPad, web, Windows, Mac, Linux and, incredibly, also on Windows Phone. It can also be accessed from a browser, but be careful not to open too many tabs:


What makes it different from WhatsApp?The differences are many, but the substantial one is that Telegram is a very open platform that works through the cloud. For this your chats will always be synchronized, regardless of the device you are using. With Telegram you can also create secret chats, that is Snapchat-style conversations where the contents you share self-destruct based on a customizable timer. And if someone tries to take a screenshot, Telegram will notify you with a notification.


That's all?No, Telegram also allows you to create groups of up to a thousand people, create broadcasting channels, send files up to 1.5 GB, record voice messages, share gifs, videos, photos and stickers, interact with bots and much more.

What do I need to use Telegram?The only thing essential to have a phone number. You can only be contacted by those who have your phone number, unless you decide to set a unique username (Settings -> Username). In that case Telegram will create a link like that you can share on the Net, and anyone can find you looking for your name in the app. Don't worry: in this case your number will always remain private.

What is a channel? And how do you create it?From the main screen just touch the icon at the top right and select the "New channel" item. Lapp will ask you to set a name, a photo, a description and a personalized link. The channel as a chat to which anyone can subscribe (through the link or by looking for the name of the channel), and receive all the updates that you decide to share with the "subscribers". Attention, for: the communication will be unidirectional, and the subscribers will not be able to interact or respond directly to the content you will post.


How do you send the files?From any chat screen just press the paperclip icon in the bottom left, and choose whether to share a photo, a video, a gif (through the internal search engine) or a real file (doc, mp3, pdf, etc. ), up to a maximum size of 1.5 GB.

What are stickers?Stickers are one of the other special features of Telegram, similar to emojis but much more elaborate and with the difference that each user can create new ones. To share a sticker, just tap on the icon that appears at the bottom right of the app. If you find a sticker that you don't have around, you can tap on it and immediately add it to your collection. Do you consider yourself an artist? You can also create a collection of stickers to share with the world, just contact the @stickers bot. As happened with the package dedicated to Gianni Morandi.

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Wait, what the hell a bot?Bots are one of the most nerdy and diabolical aspects of Telegram. In fact they are like users, which you can search by name through the search bar. Except that they are actually managed by intelligent scripts that respond to certain commands. Bots are used to automate many operations, allowing you to do a lot of things without having to exit Telegram and resort to additional apps.

Okay, but where are they? And how are they used?If you already know the name of the bot you are interested in, you can use the usual universal search bar of the app. Or go to Storebot.meenavigare the thousands of bots created by users with lots of categories and rankings. Once the bot has been added to the list of friends, just tag it in a chat with the relative command to take advantage of its functionality. For example, Amazon Price Bot lets you know the price of an item for sale on the fly. Just type @amazonpricebot followed by the name of the object (eg PlayStation 4) and the bot will respond on the fly with the requested information. Comfortable, isn't it?


What are the most useful bots out there?In the store there are really for all tastes. But the most comfortable and useful are those like:@gif,to do a quick search on Giphy,@vidfor YouTube videos, @picto access Google Images,@bingfor search results on Bing and @wikito post the link to a few Wikipedia pages in a fraction of a second. And for maximum swag you can use@bold to format bold, italic and other formats.


All beautiful, but privacy?Here, privacy is another of the pillars of Telegram. All conversations are encrypted through the app servers with a 256 bit key, protecting them from prying eyes. And if that's not enough, there are also secret chats: in this case the messages travel between device and device, without passing through the cloud, and they can also be programmed to self-destruct after a certain amount of time. In the case of photos precious, Telegram will notify you if the user you sent them to has taken a screenshot of the screen.


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