Free messaging apps are now a part of the norm, and oh, how good it feels not to be limited by 1000 SMSes a month. Whilst WhatsApp is still one of the most well-known and popular messaging apps, Telegram is slowly gaining its footing in Singapore.
And specially for ShopBack readers, you can download our adorable HappyBag & Friends sticker pack!
Here are 14 Telegram hacks that prove it’s going to take over the world of messaging apps.
1. Avoid mini-heart attacks when you send a message in the wrong chat
Telegram could potentially lengthen your life span for every time it saves you from embarrassment or an angry person (this is not real medical advice). Telegram has an option to delete or “unsend” your messages for all parties in the conversation. As long as the message hasn’t been read, you’re not in trouble yet.
- Press and hold to select the message(s) you wish to delete
- Select the “Delete” option
- You will be prompted to either delete for both of you or only for yourself. Delete for both of you (or all members of the group).
And voila! Gone as if you never sent it!
2. Edit your mistakes away!
Perhaps you could have phrased your message a little better, or you were trying to be serious but made a spelling mistake. Telegram has an editing function that allows you to edit your message and correct your mistakes. More preferable than sending another message with an asterisk, in our opinion.
- Double tap (for iPhone)/ single tap (for Android) the message and a list of action options will appear.
- Select “Edit”.
- Edit your message and resend.
Telegram also has top-notch customisable privacy and security features available to make your messaging experience a pleasant one.
3. Hide Your Last Seen from Certain Users
When WhatsApp introduced the function to hide blue ticks and Last Seen time, it was both a blessing and a curse. On one hand, you want to know if people have read your messages, yet on the other hand, you might be avoiding someone and don’t want them to know you’ve seen their message.
Telegram offers the best of both worlds with customisable Last Seen time stamps! Like WhatsApp, you get to hide your time stamp and blue ticks from ‘Everybody’, ‘My Contacts’, and ‘Nobody’. But what if you only want to avoid a select few? Telegram has an additional option, ‘Add exceptions’ where you can choose ‘Never Share With’ and select particular contacts you don’t wish to share your Last seen time stamp with.
- Go to Settings > Privacy and Security
- Click ‘Last Seen’ and select your preferred settings
4. Keep nosy people out of your chats with a Telegram passcode!
Some people just have no respect for privacy. Perhaps you have friends and parents who can’t seem to mind their own business and have a tendency to look through your phone. This Telegram function is a lifesaver! By activating this function, Telegram and all your chats will be locked and can only be unlocked with a passcode that only you know!
- Go to Settings > Privacy and Security
- Click on ‘Passcode Lock’ and tap the button to turn it on.
- Set a passcode that you can remember
However if you forget your passcode, you will have to delete and reinstall your app and all secret chats will be lost. So, make sure you choose a passcode that you can remember!
5. Self-Destructing secret chats, photos, and videos!
If Telegram and Snapchat had a baby… It would probably look something like this.
Sometimes, some things shouldn’t be said but you really want to tell someone. In such circumstances, you can create a secret chat that does not allow forwarding, has a self-destruct timer for your messages and notifies you when the other party takes a screenshot.
- Click the new message icon, and select ‘New Secret Chat’
- Choose contact
- For iPhone: Click the timer option on the message input bar, for Android: click the three dots on the top right-hand corner, then select timer
- Select how long before your messages self-destruct
You can also send self-destructing photos and videos on normal chats!
- Select a photo/video you wish to send from your gallery
- Click on the timer icon
- Select the self-destruct duration
6. Send Snapchat style photos!
What we really love about Telegram is how it combines everything we love into one app. Add that something special to your photos with cute stickers and masks that auto-align to your facial features! You can also draw on your photos, edit, crop and add captions to your photos before sending!
- Choose a picture from your camera roll, or take a photo in the telegram app
- Click the edit icon, then the sticker icon
- Decorate away!
7. Customise a Sticker/Mask Pack to truly express how you feel
If you are already a Telegram user, you should be familiar with the use of Telegram stickers. But did you know you can create your very own sticker pack? With the addition of masks for your pictures, you can also create your own pack of masks!
- In the Telegram search bar, type ‘@stickers’ and select the stickers bot
- Type ‘/newpack’ or ‘/newmasks’ depending on which you want to create
- Follow the instructions of the stickers bot
If you love collecting cute new Telegram stickers, we have created THE CUTEST stickers featuring our ShopBack mascot, HappyBag (and his friends)!
8. Send Video messages to your friends
When you are too lazy to type, there’s always the voice message option. Sometimes, if you REALLY want to convey your point, voice messages don’t do as good a job as video messages. Send fun video messages to your friends with just a tap of a button!
- Make sure your version of Telegram is the most updated one
- Tap the mic icon on the message input bar to switch it to video mode
- Press and hold to record, release to send.
- If you are sending a long video and get tired of holding, slide up to automatically record, and hit stop when you are done!
9. Chat with yourself
Yes, this doesn’t sound like a very useful function, but hear us out. With the option to chat with yourself, it could relieve you of some boredom, act as a personal to-do list or notepad, and you can send yourself pictures and videos if you want to transfer them to your laptop!
When you send files, photos, and videos from your phone to yourself, you will be able to access the same files on Telegram Web! This simplifies the entire process of transferring files! You no longer have to sync your iPhone to your laptop, plug in cables, wait for your airdrop to connect, or send via Dropbox etc. There are many ways to transfer files to your laptop, but this is definitely the simplest and most convenient.
- Tap your own display picture
- A chat will be opened!
10. Create a Gif of yourself (or your friends) because why not?
Did you know you can create your own gifs on telegram? Gifs are funny to watch and sometimes, only a gif can accurately portray what you wish to express. Especially if it’s of yourself.
When you send a muted video, Telegram automatically loops and sends the video as a gif to your friend.
Here’s how you can turn yourself into a gif:
- Film a video, or select a video from your phone
- Mute the video
- If you wish to, you can trim the video to your desired length
- Hit send and it will be sent as a gif!
11. Send High Quality pictures
Ever had a beautiful, high-quality group photo of you and your friends ruined because WhatsApp compressed the photo? With Telegram, you get to send uncompressed files so your photos and videos stay in their high-quality glory.
- Instead of sending your picture as a photo on Telegram, send it as a file instead
- Select the photos you wish to send from your gallery
- Sent in high quality!
12. Play games with your friends on Telegram
When you’re bored in lecture, you can games like Werewolf and Lumberjack on Telegram. By inviting a games bot to your chat, you can play any game from the long list of games that Telegram has.
The tricky thing is that there are many game bots with different games, so it’s not possible to scroll through all the existing telegram games available to choose from.
If you already know the game you want to play, here’s how:
- Type the name of the game into the Telegram search bar
- Send ‘/start’ in the chat with the bot
- Add the bot into a chat group with your friends
- Follow the instructions to play!
If you are looking for a game to play, here are some sites with a list of the many Telegram game bots available!
13. Create your own Supergroup!
Telegram has an option to create a Supergroup or to upgrade an existing group to a Supergroup. A Supergroup is good for companies or events with many people as it has a limit of 10,000 members. Furthermore, you can also pin messages (especially if they are important) so that important information doesn’t get lost in a conversation with 10,000 members.
- Click the new message icon
- Select ‘New group’
- Add up to 10,000 members!
If you have an existing group/created a group that has only a few people but still want it to be a supergroup,
View the chat group settings, and there should be an option to ‘Convert to Supergroup’
Note that once you convert it to a Supergroup, it cannot be undone.
14. Join a channel to stay updated!
If you’re the sort who likes daily/hourly/frequent updates, you should consider joining a Telegram channel. A Telegram channel is for communities who are interested in the same things, be it news, bible quotes, jokes, or even shopping promo codes. However, in a Telegram channel, you cannot chat with one another in the channel.
- Type ‘Tchannelsbot’ into the search bar to discover some of the best channels available on Telegram
- Click ‘join’
You can also create your own channel by selecting the new message icon and clicking ‘New Channel’.
Telegram is a great all-in-one messaging app for both mobile and Web. While Telegram has its cons as well, these are just some of many reasons why Singaporeans love Telegram!
Do you have any other favourite Telegram hacks or messaging apps? Let us know down in the comments!
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