Telegram launched its Stories feature to everyone today, following its availability to Premium users starting last month. Like Facebook Messenger’s Stories, they appear as expandable bubbles above your conversation. However, Telegram’s take is more customizable, providing granular control of who sees uploaded posts and for how long. “Now when you meet people on Telegram, you’ll see exciting snapshots of their life — not just a few profile photos,” the company wrote in a blog post today.
Launching alongside the messaging service’s 10th birthday, Telegram describes Stories as “by far the most-requested feature” in the company’s decade-long history. Its privacy controls include visibility options for everyone, all contacts, selected contacts or close friends.
Telegram’s Stories also let you hide your posts from contacts you don’t want to see, and Premium users can choose between six, 12, 24 and 48 hours of visibility for new posts. In addition, post creators can see a list of the Telegram users who viewed their content. It also supports a BeReal-like dual-camera mode, letting you simultaneously share photos or videos captured by your phone’s front and rear sensors. The feature also includes reactions, so viewers can add a heart or choose from “hundreds” of other responses to posts.
Some of Stories’ more advanced controls are reserved for Premium subscribers ($5 per month). Perhaps most significant, paying users’ posts display first, giving them more exposure. Subscribers can also view others’ stories in stealth mode, hiding all traces of their visit from the author. Additionally, subscribers get the previously mentioned custom expiration options, a permanent view history (see who viewed your posts even after they expire), the ability to save Stories to the gallery, “10 times longer” captions and a higher allotment of daily Stories (up to 100).
Telegram Stories is scheduled to roll out to the service’s iOS and Android apps today.