The people behind the privacy-focused Telegram messenger have made a habit out of expanding the maximum number of members a group can have. It was less than two years ago that "supergroups" got support for 10,000 members, and then later in 2017 that number got bumped up to 30,000.
A few more updates have expanded on that since, and today's update to version 5.2 on Android and iOS means groups can now have as many as 200,000 members, doubling what was allowed up until now. Telegram is also doing away with the concept of "supergroups" and now any group can be made public, have more than one administrator with granular control permissions, and support persistent message history.
Group admins also have new options to optimize the way they want the community to look. It's now possible to ban certain kinds of media files entirely, or even prevent users from sending any messages at all. Telegram sees this as a way for admins to talk to each other while other users simply watch, which could be used to let a community know more about how a project is developing without having users interrupt the workflow of those working on it, for example.
Also in this update is a feature that will be very welcome if you have ever found yourself deleting your chat history by accident or if you immediately regretted doing so. Telegram will now give you five seconds after you clear your chat history or delete a chat to recover the lost data, so if you regret it immediately, you can still salvage it. After that point, the data is lost forever.
Other smaller improvements include the ability to either sort contacts alphabetically or by last seen time and new download animations and thumbnails for photos and videos. The search bar on iOS has also received a visual upgrade, while the dark mode on Android is should look a little better as well. Lastly, Android users can now set a profile picture when they create an account.
While the above updates are for the mobile apps, Telegram Desktop also got its own update, albeit not as significant. The new group permissions mentioned above are also supported in version 1.5.8, and it's now possible to automatically download files. If you make voice calls on Telegram, you can now set the input and output devices, too. Finally, you can now choose your favorite emoji set - Apple, Google, Twemoji, and EmojiOne are all available to choose from.
Telegram for Android can be found on the Play Store, the iOS version is on the App Store, and the desktop version can be downloaded on the official website, or on the Microsoft Store if you're using Windows 10.