What you need to know
- Telegram version 7.4 is now live with a game-changing feature.
- Users can now import their messages from rival apps including WhatsApp and Line.
- This change drastically reduces the barrier to entry for prospective users.
Telegram is now enabling a powerful new feature, letting you switch quickly from rival apps like WhatsApp, KakaoTalk, and Line Messenger. With version 7.4 on Android and iOS, users can now import their WhatsApp conversations into Telegram with ease.
It takes advantage of WhatsApp's 'Export Chat' feature. Tap the overflow button at the top right of any chat, select 'More' and then select 'Export chat'. When the share sheet pops up, choose Telegram as your target, wait for the import to complete, and you're just about done. It should be the same for Line and KakaoTalk.
Telegram notes that you'll only be able to do this with someone who's a mutual contact with you, but that shouldn't be an issue if both parties are moving to Telegram together.
For potential customers, this removes one barrier to switching that they may face. If you have years worth of conversation and messaging, you may find the fresh start of Telegram freeing. Alternatively, you may have felt it a bridge too far for an app that may not have all your friends, to begin with. With this update, you can now choose to either carry the past with you or sever it, it's your choice. With Telegram seeing its largest growth period in months, the company is probably hoping that the less friction users experience, the better.
Telegram has also extended the time limit for deleting messages in chats. It's now indefinite. Other messaging apps often have a time limit ranging from hours to days, but Telegram has staked its reputation on privacy and this update doubles down on that.