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Telegram adds iMessage-style reactions and hidden text for spoilers

·Contributing Writer
·2-min read

Telegram is squeezing in one last major update before 2021 wraps up. Among the new features is hidden text to mask spoilers. So, if you can't wait to blab about what happens in Spider-Man: No Way Home before everyone in the chat has seen it, you can select any section of your text and use the Spoiler formatting. This will hide the text in the chat, notifications and chat list. When your friends are ready to read what you think about [redacted] showing up, they can tap the spoiler text to read it.

Also new are iMessage-style reactions. You can double tap any message to send a thumbs-up reaction. Tapping once (or tapping and holding on iOS) will let you select other emoji, such as a grin, fire, a shocked face or a thumbs down. You can change the default double-tap emoji in the Chat Settings on Android, and under the Stickers and Emoji section in iOS settings.

In private chats, reactions are always enabled. Channel and group admins can decide whether to switch them on and what reactions the other members can choose from.

Elsewhere, Telegram now has a useful translation option. Through the Language section in Settings, you can enable translation, which adds a Translate button to the context menu. You can nix languages you're able to understand and the Translate button won't be available on messages you receive in those languages. Translation is available on all Android devices, but iPhone and iPad users will need to be running iOS 15 or later. The number of languages Telegram supports depends on your operating system.

In addition, users can generate QR codes for anyone with a public username, as well as bots, groups and channels. You can tap the QR code icon next to their username and select the colors and pattern before sharing it elsewhere. You can find your own QR code in Settings.

The Telegram team redesigned the context menus on macOS with new shortcut hints and animated icons. The app will display a full-screen effect in one-on-one chats when you send certain emoji too.

Earlier this year, Telegram added group video calls and other features, including a way to block others in group chats from taking screenshots and saving shared media, as well as live streams with unlimited viewers. There's been some blowback against Telegram this year, however, with reports suggesting there has been a significant uptick in the level of cybercriminal activity taking place on the encrypted messaging app.

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