Telegram updates its messaging app with options for automatic deletion of messages, expiration of invitation links and new unlimited groups, which the company shared in a blog post. Like Signal, Telegram received a series of new users in the confusion over WhatsApp’s privacy rules, and now the company is adopting features that were already part of its competitors’ apps, features that provide more security and privacy.
Automatic messaging was already possible in Telegram’s encrypted Secret Chats, but this new update for iOS and Android adds the ability to make messages disappear in any kind of chat. Automatic deletion can be activated inside calls, and is set to delete either 24 hours or seven days after messages are sent. Automatic deletion does not clear all messages. If a message was sent before the feature was turned on, it will remain. Telegram̵
Telegram also makes changes in groups that can allow the kind of immediate, informative sound experiences that have become popular at the clubhouse. New “Broadcast Groups” allow an unlimited number of members, but limit the creation of posts to group administrators so that they can, well, broadcast. Talechats, on the other hand, are open to everyone in a broadcasting group, and Telegram believes that the function should be “ideal for large communities, where people can follow and capture exclusive interviews, news or just informal conversations”.
To keep these groups exclusive (or expand them quickly), Telegram adds expiring invitation links that can be set to expire after a certain number of uses, a certain time, or both. With the new invitations, group administrators should be able to moderate who joins and keep private subject matter a little more private.
Many users left WhatsApp for Telegram out of concern that Facebook would read their messages. Extending privacy features such as automatic deletion seems like a good way for Telegram to address these concerns. But even with new privacy options, Telegram still does not offer a feature that many users expect – end-to-end encryption.
All messages on Telegram are technically encrypted, but Secret Chats are the only ones that are exclusively visible on the devices of the people participating. There is a difference that Telegram says enables features such as the new broadcast groups, but even with automatic deletion it can be a dealbreaker for you.
You can see the full list of new features on Telegram’s blog.