As you might have noticed recently, we love Telegram. Whether it's cool features that you may not have seen or helpful gestures and shortcuts, this service has plenty to offer. Today, Telegram rolled out a substantial update that not only adds new features but changes existing ones too. If you've always wanted to have a video as your profile photo, send a file larger than 1.5GB, or take tighter control over who can message you, then this update has some goodies in store for you.

File sharing

File sharing was already incredibly flexible in Telegram, especially compared to services like WhatsApp. While the previous 1.5GB file limit was more than adequate for most, this has now been increased to 2GB. This new limit applies to conversations, as well as the unlimited cloud storage on offer. I often use the Telegram cloud to share files between my S20 and iPad, and the increased file limit will surely come in handy.

Profile videos

Profile videos are, as the name suggests, videos that replaces your usual profile picture. You can create a profile video in the app itself using your selfie camera, or you can choose a pre-recorded one from your camera roll. Once the video has been selected, you'll need to choose a cover image. The cover image is a frame from your new profile video that will be shown in conversations and contact lists. The video itself will only play when the other party clicks on it, likely to save data and limit distractions. It's incredibly easy to set up and use and can be accessed from your profile page.

Skin softening

Beauty modes and skin filters have seen a rise in popularity in recent years, with the majority of phones having them built into the camera app. Telegram is jumping on the bandwagon with a soften skin slider in the media editor that can be applied to both photos and videos. While I'm sure some use these filters regularly, I don't see the appeal. In the demonstration above, it just looks like the subject's face is getting blurry. Telegram will no doubt improve this feature as time progresses, though.

Mini-thumbnails

Moving forward, Telegram will show a small preview of any shared media in the conversation list. Previously, the chat preview would indicate a photo or video had been received, but that was it. Mini-thumbnails will ensure that you know what you're getting yourself into when someone sends you a selfie at 3 AM after a night in the pub.

Filtered messages

We've all temporary chats with random people we don't want to interact with anymore. You can now head over to privacy and security settings and have Telegram automatically archive messages from people who aren't in your contacts list. These conversations aren't deleted though, so you can go into the archive and read through them at your leisure, and unarchive those with which you wish to converse again. This isn't available for me yet, but it should be live any time now.

Android-specific changes

As well as the aforementioned features that are new to the platform as a whole, there are a few tweaks specifically for Android as well. The music player has been redesigned with new buttons and an expanding track list. The video editor can now rotate and crop videos using the same tools found in the image editor. So if you've recorded something in portrait, you can crop out the evidence and avoid any potential embarrassment.

There are plenty of other smaller tweaks and additions in this update, which you can read about in the source link below. While these new features won't be for everyone, it's good to see the platform continue to grow and stay ahead of the competition. I received this update through the Play Store, but if that isn't working for you, we have you covered at APK Mirror. It's also worth noting that so far this is only live for the vanilla app. Telegram X has yet to receive these features, although that should change soon.