[Written By External Partner]
Telegram is a solid alternative to text and WhatsApp messages, especially if your friends are using it too. Unfortunately, many users are stuck on the basics and unaware of the app’s best functions. Here are a few lesser-known features you should be taking advantage of.
Upload several profile pics
You don’t have to make do with a single profile photo. Your contacts will see the latest photo, but they can see the rest when they swipe.
Go to Settings to upload new profile pics. This is under Edit – Set new photo on iPhone and on the camera icon at the top on Android.
You can remove your current picture, take a new one, or upload one. Android users can scour the web for a new picture.
Change your number
Go to Settings on Android or Edit on iPhone to change the number you use with Telegram. Go to Change Number and follow the instructions. Telegram will move all media, clients, and messages to the new number and add it to your contacts’ address books automatically.
Adjust privacy and security settings
It’s easy to find people on Telegram – you just click on the search icon, enter the person’s username, and their profile comes up. What’s more, the app makes it possible for people who aren’t in each other’s contacts to interact.
To adjust your privacy settings, go to Privacy and Security under Settings. You can change who can see your status, phone number, etc. To stop people from reading your chats, use Passcode Lock. If you’re not using some logins, you can terminate them in Active Sessions.
The Advanced function lets you choose how much time can pass without activity before the app deletes your account.
Telegram stores default chats on its servers, which some see as a privacy issue. If you create secret chats, they will feature end-to-end encryption. You can only access these chats on your phone. If you want, you can set a self-destruct period for anything you’ve shared. If a message is deleted by one party, it disappears on the other party’s device as well.
To start a new chat on Android, select New Secret Chat in the left menu. Find and tap the person’s name, then go to More and Start Secret Chat on your iPhone.
Adjust the theme
You can adjust the theme in Settings on both iOS and Android (under Appearance or Chat Settings, respectively.) Here you can change night mode settings, bubble colours, text size, etc.
You can even create your own theme. Go to Chat Themes (iOS) or press the three-dot button (Android) to do this if none of the default options works for you.
Use Telegram via a proxy server
Finally, the app lets people use it in areas where it’s blocked by connecting through a proxy server. Using a VPN on your phone is usually preferable, but a proxy server will work regardless.
You can set up this function under Proxy Settings. Go to Use Proxy and provide the information required to add it.