Telegram grabs some of WhatsApp's best customization features in new update

Telegram Chat Theme Settings
Telegram Chat Theme Settings (Image credit: Jeramy Johnson / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Telegram has gained a host of new features as part of its latest update.
  • The new capabilities allow you to set themes for individual chats, send interactive emoji, and record live streams and video chats.
  • Telegram's read receipts capability also works the same way as WhatsApp's with the latest change.

Telegram continues to add new features aimed at improving its personalization, video recording, and other experiences. The latest update to the instant messaging app now lets you personalize the look of specific chats, send interactive emoji, and record live streams and video chats along with more improvements.

One of the significant changes in the latest update is the ability to natively record live streams and video chats. The new feature is available to group admins and allows for the sharing of recorded videos in a group for everyone's viewing. Admins have the option of recording both video and audio, or just audio. They can also change the video's orientation.

The latest improvement comes after Telegram increased the number of people who can join a live stream to 1,000 last month, along with other capabilities. Videos that have been recorded are automatically uploaded to the Saved Messages folder.

On the other hand, WhatsApp doesn't have a native ability to record video calls. If you want to save a copy of your video chat for those who missed the event, you'll need a third-party app.

Telegram also now allows you to assign a theme to a specific conversation in order to distinguish it from the others. According to Telegram, there are eight new themes to choose from, with more to come in future updates.

On Android phones, you can change the chat theme by tapping the chat header, opening the three-dot menu, and then selecting "Change Colors." These themes also include a day and night version and the ability to follow the app's dark mode settings.

You can also send someone an interactive emoji, such as a heart or thumbs up, which will "unleash a full-screen effect" when tapped. If both parties have a chat open, the emoji's animations and vibrations will play simultaneously on their devices.

Telegram's read receipts for group chats will function similarly to WhatsApp's. By tapping on a specific chat, you can now see who has viewed your message. When you see two tick marks next to a message, it means that at least one other member has seen it.

The latest update to Telegram is rolling out now.

Jay Bonggolto
News Writer & Reviewer

Jay Bonggolto always keeps a nose for news. He has been writing about consumer tech and apps for as long as he can remember, and he has used a variety of Android phones since falling in love with Jelly Bean. Send him a direct message via Twitter or LinkedIn.