Amidst the global coronavirus pandemic, Telegram has reached the milestone of 400 million monthly active users, up from 300 million a year ago. To celebrate the occasion, the company has introduced an update to Telegram version 6.1. It comes with a redesigned attachment menu, an improved quiz mode, and a proper sticker directory. Telegram also wants to create a database of educational quizzes and will distribute €400,000 to people who contribute to that goal.
The change most people will probably spot first is the improved attachment menu. Instead of throwing you into a new full-screen interface when you select an option other than Gallery, all five menu entries now sit in a pull-up drawer. Once you expand it, it'll smoothly transition into a regular full-screen view complete with a top bar. Telegram warns that a bug in Google Maps might break that new interface for some people, but Google is working on a fix. Additionally, the sticker selector now has a plus button in the top left corner that lets you search for and add your favorite sticker packs from a collection of more than 20,000 stickers.
Back in January, Telegram added quizzes to its poll feature, and with school children staying at home right now, the company has decided to enhance this aspect of the app with more educational features. The @QuizBot lets you add explanations when users respond to questions to give them more context or help them learn from mistakes. There's also a timer to make cheating harder. For anyone interested in creating educational quizzes, the company has set up a competition to crowd-source original education tests in any language. It'll distribute €400,000 across participants based on popularity and quality of their submissions. Further details will be posted to the @contest channel.
400 MILLION USERS, 20,000 STICKERS, QUIZZES 2.0 AND €400K FOR QUIZ CREATORS.
Telegram has reached 400 million active users!
• Fully redesigned attachment menu with animated icons.
• 20,000+ stickers from professional artists now available in the updated sticker panel.
• Added explanations and timers for quiz questions.
• €400,000 contest for educational tests. Use @QuizBot to create an educational quiz to participate.
While 400 million monthly active users is certainly an impressive stat and a result of continuous growth, it pales compared to WhatsApp's two billion daily active users. It's still stunning that the app manages to carve out a niche in the winner-takes-it-all messenger market, just like Signal. Telegram's independence from one single phone and quick development cycles that regularly add innovative features might do their part. This year, Telegram will also finally introduce secure (possibly end-to-end encrypted) video calling, the one glaring omission left.
You can download Telegram 6.1 on the Play Store, but we have it over at APK Mirror, too, if it isn't live for you yet.