Telegram introduces bidirectional IFTTT integration

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Saturday, December 10, 2016

On Wednesday the online instant messaging service Telegram announced IFTTT (If This Then That) integration in its client. This feature allows the users to connect their Telegram account to other social networks and web applications. This change came as a part of the 3.15 release. The project team has announced these changes on the official Telegram blog.

Android application of the Instant Messenger has the option for picture-in-picture mode.
Image: Telegram.

IFTTT facilities allow users to connect to multiple services from one platform. The bidirectional facility of IFTTT means a user can opt-in for receiving notifications from the connected applications in Telegram and for updating them using commands from Telegram.

To get started, users needed to query a relay called "IFTTT bot". According to Telegram, the IFTTT bot provides over 360 services and can also be invited into group chats to facilitate collaboration. Applets need to be enabled to start the IFTTT services. Some of the applets supported are Gmail, Dropbox, Spotify, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Google Drive and Pinterest.

Telegram claimed to be the first messaging application to be fully integrated with IFTTT.

In the new release, Telegram also introduced an option to "pin" the chats. The "pinning" feature allowed a user to pin chats to the top of the chat list, including up to five chats and up to five secret chats, by long press on the chat in Android and left swipe in iOS.

Other introduced features included a new photo high precision crop and rotate tool — the rotate accuracy reached a tenth of a degree — and a new video player for YouTube and Vimeo videos, allowing the users to watch these videos natively from the application. The "picture-in-picture" option in the new player allowed to watch a video and chat at the same time by dragging the playing video around the screen while chatting. The video playing in picture-in-picture mode doesn't stop playing even when user opens other application.

These last two features — crop and rotate, picture in picture — were made available only in Android. Telegram said they plan to release new updates before the year end.

Previously, Telegram had introduced Telegraph, a publishing medium; and an "instant view" feature which loads articles from Medium and TechCrunch instantly.


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