Telegram FAQ

This FAQ provides answers to basic questions about Telegram.
Check out our Advanced FAQ for more technical information.

General

Telegram Basics

Groups, Supergroups, and Channels

Usernames and telegram.me

Bots

Security

Secret Chats

Deeper Questions

Your Account

Troubleshooting

Contact Telegram Support
Follow Us on Twitter
Facebook
Advanced FAQ


General Questions

Q: What is Telegram? What do I do here?

Telegram is a messaging app with a focus on speed and security, it’s super-fast, simple and free. You can use Telegram on all your devices at the same time — your messages sync seamlessly across any number of your phones, tablets or computers.

With Telegram, you can send messages, photos, videos and files of any type (doc, zip, mp3, etc), as well as create groups for up to 5000 people or channels for broadcasting to unlimited audiences. You can write to your phone contacts and find people by their usernames. As a result, Telegram is like SMS and email combined — and can take care of all your personal or business messaging needs.

Q: Who is Telegram for?

Telegram is for everyone who wants fast and reliable messaging. Business users and small teams may like the large groups, desktop apps and powerful file sharing options. Since Telegram groups can have up to 5000 members, we support replies, mentions and hashtags that help maintain order and keep communication in large communities efficient.

In case you're more into pictures, Telegram has animated gif search, a state of the art photo editor and an open sticker platform (find some cool stickers here or here). What‘s more, there is no need to worry about disk space on your device. With Telegram’s cloud support and cache management options, Telegram can take up nearly zero space on your phone.

Those looking for extra privacy should check out our advanced settings and rather revolutionary policy. And if you want secrecy, try our device-specific Secret Chats with self-destructing messages, photos, and videos — and lock your app with an additional passcode.

We keep evolving — check out the blog and follow us on twitter to stay in touch.

Q: How is Telegram different from WhatsApp?

Unlike WhatsApp, Telegram is a cloud-based messenger with seamless sync. As a result, you can access your messages from several devices at once, including tablets and computers, and share an unlimited number of photos, videos and files (doc, zip, mp3, etc.) of up to 1,5 GB each. And if you don't want to store that data on your device, you can always keep it in the cloud.

Thanks to our multi-data center infrastructure and encryption, Telegram is faster and way more secure. On top of that, Telegram is free and will stay free — no ads, no subscription fees, forever.

Our API is open, and we welcome developers to create their own Telegram apps. We also have a Bot API, a platform for developers that allows anyone to easily build specialized tools for Telegram.

And that‘s just the tip of the iceberg. Don’t forget to check out this paragraph for even more exclusive stuff.

Q: How old is Telegram?

Telegram for iOS was launched on August 14, 2013. The alpha version of Telegram for Android officially launched on October 20, 2013. More and more Telegram clients appear, built by independent developers using Telegram's open platform.

Q: Which devices can I use?

You can use Telegram on smartphones, tablets, and even computers. We have apps for iOS (6 and above), Android (4.0 and up) and Windows Phone. You can also use Telegram's web version or install one of our desktop apps for Windows, OSX, and Linux.

You can log in to Telegram from as many of your devices as you like — all at the same time. Just use your main mobile phone number to log in everywhere.

Our API is open for developers, should you want to build your own applications for other platforms.

Q: Who are the people behind Telegram?

Telegram is supported by Pavel and Nikolai Durov. Pavel supports Telegram financially and ideologically while Nikolai's input is technological. To make Telegram possible, Nikolai developed a unique custom data protocol, which is open, secure and optimized for work with multiple data-centers. As a result, Telegram combines security, reliability and speed on any network.

While the Durov brothers were born in Russia, as were some of the key developers, Telegram is not connected to Russia – legally or physically. Telegram's HQ is in Berlin.

See also: articles about Telegram

Q: Will you have ads? Or sell my data? Or steal my beloved and enslave my children?

No.

Q: How are you going to make money out of this?

We believe in fast and secure messaging that is also 100% free.

Pavel Durov, who shares our vision, supplied Telegram with a generous donation, so we have quite enough money for the time being. If Telegram runs out, we will introduce non-essential paid options to support the infrastructure and finance developer salaries. But making profits will never be a goal for Telegram.

Q: What are your thoughts on internet privacy?

Big internet companies like Facebook or Google have effectively hijacked the privacy discourse in the recent years. Their marketers managed to convince the public that the most important things about privacy are superficial tools that allow hiding your public posts or your profile pictures from the people around you. Adding these superficial tools enables companies to calm down the public and change nothing in how they are turning over private data to marketers and other third parties.

At Telegram we think that the two most important components of Internet privacy should be instead:

  1. Protecting your private conversations from snooping third parties, such as officials, employers, etc.
  2. Protecting your personal data from third parties, such as marketers, advertisers, etc.

This is what everybody should care about, and these are some of our top priorities. Telegram's aim is to create a truly free messenger, without the usual caveats. This means that instead of diverting public attention with low-impact settings, we can afford to focus on the real privacy issues that exist in the modern world.

Q: There's illegal content on Telegram. How do I take it down?

All Telegram chats and group chats are private amongst their participants. We do not process any requests related to them.

But sticker sets, channels, and bots on Telegram are publicly available. If you find sticker sets or bots on Telegram that you think are illegal, please ping us at [email protected]

Q: A bot or channel is infringing on my copyright. What do I do?

All Telegram chats and group chats are private amongst their participants. We do not process any requests related to them. But sticker sets, channels, and bots on Telegram are publicly available.

If you see a bot, channel, or sticker set that is infringing on your copyright, kindly submit a complaint to [email protected]. Please note that such requests should only be submitted by the copyright owner or an agent authorized to act on the owner’s behalf.

Q: Wait! 0_o Do you process take-down requests from third parties?

Our mission is to provide a secure means of communication that work everywhere on the planet. To do that in the places where it is most needed (and to continue distributing Telegram through the App Store and Google Play), we have to process legitimate requests to take down illegal public content (sticker sets, bots, and channels) within the app. For example, we can take down sticker sets that violate intellectual property rights or porn bots.

User-uploaded stickers sets, channels, and bots by third-party developers are not part of the core Telegram UI. Whenever we receive a complaint at [email protected] or [email protected] regarding the legality of public content, we perform the necessary legal checks and take it down when deemed appropriate.

Please note that this does not apply to local restrictions on freedom of speech. For example, if criticizing the government is illegal in some country, Telegram won‘t be a part of such politically motivated censorship. This goes against our founders’ principles. While we do block terrorist (e.g. ISIS-related) bots and channels, we will not block anybody who peacefully expresses alternative opinions.

Q: My bot or sticker set was banned unfairly, what do I do?

If you think we banned your bot, channel, or sticker set for no apparent reasons, drop us a line at [email protected].

Q: Do you process data requests?

To protect the data that is not covered by end-to-end encryption, Telegram uses a distributed infrastructure. Cloud chat data is stored in multiple data centers around the globe that are controlled by different legal entities spread across different jurisdictions. The relevant decryption keys are split into parts and are never kept in the same place as the data they protect. As a result, several court orders from different jurisdictions are required to force us to give up any data.

Thanks to this structure, we can ensure that no single government or block of like-minded countries can intrude on people's privacy and freedom of expression. Telegram can be forced to give up data only if an issue is grave and universal enough to pass the scrutiny of several different legal systems around the world.

To this day, we have disclosed 0 bytes of user data to third parties, including governments.

Telegram Basics

Q: Who can I write to?

You can write to people who are in your phone contacts and have Telegram.

You can also select a publ