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Telegram is awesome, but this feature needs to go
WhatsApp is the big dog in the mobile messaging app space globally, accounting for over a billion users. However, the company’s privacy flip-flops and its ties to Facebook have opened the door for rival apps to gain a significant foothold.
One of these rival apps is Telegram, accruing over 700 million users, and it’s easy to see why the app has gained such a following. You’ve got a familiar messaging experience, VoIP and video calling support, true multi-device capabilities, and plenty more features.
The multi-device functionality in particular is a great feather in the company’s cap compared to WhatsApp, while recent additions such as expanded emoji reactions and live streams are welcome bonuses too.
However, there’s one rather annoying feature that Telegram needs to retire. We’re talking about the “contact joined Telegram” functionality.
Stop with the “contact joined Telegram” messages
For the uninitiated, Telegram creates a chat with contacts who are new to the service, complete with a line notifying you that the contact has just joined Telegram. This functionality means you can quickly jump into a chat with your newly registered contact if you’d like.
However, I’ve found this to be a major annoyance the vast majority of the time. I don’t know about you, but I almost never tap one of these chats and initiate a conversation with the new contact in the first place. It all feels like a feeble attempt to have you chatting on the app more often.
WhatsApp doesn't shout from the rooftops about contacts that have just joined the platform, so why should Telegram do this?
What’s particularly irksome is that these new chats push down regular chats/contacts. You know, the people you’re far more likely to speak to in the first place.
Another related inconvenience is that Telegram also defaults to sending you a notification about the newly joined contact. The notification can be turned off, but you can’t actually stop the service from creating new chats in the first place.
Do you like the "x joined Telegram" feature?
Unfortunately, it seems like the only way to disable this silly “contact joined Telegram” functionality is to disable contact sync entirely. But this means contacts who message you for the first time only show up as a number — not a real solution at all. We’ve asked the company whether you’ll be able to disable this feature in a future update, but haven’t received a response just yet. We hope the team at least offers a toggle for this in the coming months.
It’s not the only issue I’ve had with Telegram, as I also find that the app simply isn’t as reliable as WhatsApp when it comes to connectivity. It’s not uncommon for me to see a “connecting” message for a few seconds (or more) when opening Telegram at least once a day. This issue persists across multiple devices and despite keeping both the “keep-alive service” and “background connection” settings enabled. So hopefully we see both this bugbear and the “contact joined Telegram” feature addressed in the near future.