The advantage of a username is that you can share your contact details for Telegram without revealing your phone number, thus safeguarding some level of privacy.
Usernames must be a minimum of five characters — so you can’t make up for losing out on a one-letter Twitter handle here — and can contain letters, numbers and underscores.
That’s not quite all from this Telegram update. The company has also taken a leaf out of Snapchat’s book with a new feature that lets users ‘Tap and Hold to View’ photos, video and voice messages that are sent with a self-destructing timer. Prior to this update, Telegram users had to tap on media to load it.
Founded by the brothers behind Russian social network VK, Telegram launched in October 2013 with a promise to make mobile messaging more secure. The service gained some serious momentum after Facebook agree to buy WhatsApp, when it clocked 8 million downloads in a matter of days, primarily from users concerned with Facebook’s approach to user data.
Those stats are far smaller than WhatsApp — which has over half a billion monthly users — and others, but they are impressive for such a new entrant in the messaging space.